Perhaps only once a century does history produces someone who changes an entire field forever. Shakespeare and Thomas Edison are examples in their fields. With a unique blend of originality, hard work, humor, toughness, and perseverance, mother has shaped the important issues in American politics for 60 years.
There is no one in politics who is more original, or who has been right more often, than mother has. Virtually every meaningful social debate today is centered around a position she originally took on it.
She carved a place for conservative movement in the Republican Party with her bestselling work, A Choice Not an Echo (1964), and then established the permanency of the movement and its ideas with STOP ERA beginning in the summer of 1972.
The conservative movement is the house that Phyllis Schlafly built. She has been its architect, its bricklayer, and its interior designer. It does not exist where she has not worked to build it, as in Europe. There have been others, of course, but none as effective, none as inspirational, and none as so consistently right on controversial issues. No other conservative has disagreed with her on a major issue and remained viable. That is not because she holds a grudge (she doesn’t), but because she has virtually always been right, and on time.
She did the impossible in stopping ERA in the 1970s, when only 32 out of the 635 in all of Congress had voted against it and the media and both parties promoted it enormously. She was the first to recognize the importance of social issues, and she gave conservative values a powerful voice when no one else thought it even possible. She single-handedly made motherhood an acceptable career again for women, after feminists had demonized it in the late 60s and 70s. Her unique “Homemaker of the Year” award illustrates her originality and leadership.
Has anyone else in American history had as much political influence for so long? I cannot think of anyone else. Mother has been known to liberals as the finest debater in politics, the finest witness in legislative hearings, the finest political writer, and the finest organizer, all in one person.
The Left became so obsessed with her that her name would inexplicably slip out at unrelated events. For example, when Democratic Governor Jon Corzine introduced someone who happened to have the first name of “Phyllis,” he erroneously presented her as “Phyllis Schlafly.” Corzine had never even met Phyllis Schlafly.
Her wit amid the toughness is unrivaled. For example, when mother received an honorary degree from Washington University, feminists caused a terribly ugly incident by having students turn their backs as she was receiving the award. But when asked about this afterward, she reacted with her trademark grace and wit, “I’m not sure they’re mature enough to graduate!”
She should be in the Guinness Book of World Records for several achievements: writing a political report continuously for nearly 50 years, speaking and debating at hundreds of colleges, typically to packed auditoriums, and attending the Republican National Conventions as a delegate for nearly 60 years with nearly no interruptions.
She successfully led the fight against a constitutional convention (Con Con). She put the pro-life plank into the Republican Party (which used to be pro-choice). She taught us how to read in the 1950s and 1960s, long before the homeschooling movement developed.
A baseball fan growing up, she admired how Babe Ruth could hit so many home runs off of bad pitches that were unhittable by anyone else. She made it her goal to be able to hit a “home run” off of hostile questions thrown at her by the liberal media, and she perfected it. Yankee Stadium is called the house that Ruth built, but the conservative movement is the house that Phyllis Schlafly built.