Phyllis Schlafly died Monday at the age of 92. Schlafly made a career out of portraying herself as a simple housewife who was so driven by her love of American values and traditions that she had no choice but to to go to work to tell women to stay home and be mommies like God and George Washington wanted them to, or the Communists would win. In reality, she was a shrewd political operator most of her life, even well before those nasty ’70s feminists stopped shaving their legs and abandoned their babies at daycares so they could go become lesbian witches.
In recent months, Schlafly had been busy working for the election of her new political boyfriend, Donald Trump, which led directly to an ugly internecine battle over control of the political group she founded, the Eagle Forum. The fight transformed Schlafly’s family into a cut-rate wingnut version of King Lear, with all the acrimony and potential for violence, but none of the real sense of tragedy. As the Bard said, “Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise,” right?
How bitter was the Schlafly Family drama? In a now-deleted (but still cached) Breitbart piece, Schlafly gave out her daughter’s phone number and urged supporters to tell her to surrender.
One of the reasons people always seemed surprised Schlafly was still polluting American political discourses was that she was that rare political figure who really accomplished her life’s work: Thanks largely to reactionary panic whipped up by her hyperbolic warnings about how the Equal Rights Amendment would end America forever, that constitutional amendment — one of those rare amendments saddled by Congress with a ratification deadline — was eventually defeated.
Ms. Schlafly leaves behind a fractious family fighting over the remnants of the Eagle Forum; a son who founded Conservapedia, one of the most moronic websites in the world; and a niece, Suzanne Venker, who seems dedicated to continuing Aunt Phyllis’s mission of being wrong about everything, like for instance marital rape.
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