The American Conservative’s publisher, and my Cato-centric friend, Jon Basil Utley, writing at antiwar.com, offers a warm, compelling and urgent remembrance of the wonderful Phyllis Schlafly.
Phyllis Schlafly was a giant of the conservative movement. And she opposed America’s recent wars. An early fighter, who started up with opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment to the constitution, died at 92 years old.
I knew her for 30 years and she had known my mother, Freda Utley, before that. Much is written about her including nearly a full page in the New York Times. But very little is reported about her opposition to America’s recent, disastrous wars.
She began life as a dedicated opponent of international communism and was an early supporter of Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign with her book, A Choice, Not an Echo. It sold 3 million copies.
I remember her best before the Kosovo War at a meeting of the religious right Council for National Policy. I arrived at the meeting resigned to fighting again almost alone opposed to the war, after most of the members had supported the First Gulf War against Iraq. Instead I found her leading the great majority in opposition to the attack on Serbia. It’s forgotten that the war was based on lies by Bill Clinton just like Bush’s later war on Iraq. The big lie was that 100,000 Kosovans had been murdered by the Serbs. She exposed the lie in a column. I also remember her ringing denunciation of NATO expansion done by Clinton during his reelection campaign for a second term; it was all about gaining central European ethnic votes in the Midwest, without a thought of its effect on Russia.
It was she who helped mobilize social conservatives to support Ronald Reagan for President. Before his campaign many had not been politically active. He would not have won the election without their support. Phyllis called forth her supporters to become “foot soldiers for the Reagan revolution.
She also was named as opposing the First Gulf War in 1991 in Lew Rockwell’s famous list of pro and antiwar conservatives.
Her last book, The Conservative Case for Trump, just published but written in March, urges support for Trump for President. Criticizing National Review magazine last January she said, “Trump is the only hope to defeat the Kingmakers….because everybody else will fall in line.”
Read more on Schlafly from Pat Buchanan here at The American Conservative.