Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump praised longtime conservative champion Phyllis Schlafly at the Values Voter Summit in Washington on Friday and at her funeral in St. Louis the following day. In a statement released on Monday, the day Schlafly passed away, Trump said: “Phyllis Schlafly is a conservative icon who led millions to action, reshaped the conservative movement, and fearlessly battled globalism and ‘kingmakers’ on behalf of America’s workers and families. I was honored to spend time with her during this campaign as she waged one more great battle for national sovereignty.”
Schlafly established herself as one of the greatest icons of the conservative movement in 1964, with her self-published book, A Choice Not an Echo. The book, which sold about three and a half million copies, is widely credited as a decisive reason in winning the Republican nomination that year for Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona. She went on to write many more books, columns, and newsletters.
Ironically, her final book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was released the day after her death.
In the book, Schlafly and her co-authors, Ed Martin and Brett Decker, urged evangelical Christians and other social conservatives to support Trump. “Trump has gone to great lengths to court national leaders in the social-conservative movement and has convinced many of the most prominent ones that he genuinely supports their policy positions. Christianity is under attack around the world --- most dramatically from Islamists, but also insidiously here at home with attacks on religious freedom. Donald Trump has made a point about speaking out against the persecution of Christians abroad and against the left’s political correctness that is trying to ban public expressions of Christianity at home.”
Perhaps the greatest testimony to the life of Phyllis Schlafly is the reaction to her passing by those on the Left. Those who do little for the cause of liberty and Americanism are pretty much ignored by statists and globalists. Schlafly was certainly not ignored by this crowd, or by a multitude of conservative admirers.
Writing in the left-wing Daily Kos, an author identified as gloriasb made no effort to hide intense animosity toward Schlafly. In the short, but strong attack, the author accused Trump of turning “the wicked witch’s funeral into a campaign stop.” Of course, progressives know all about turning funerals into campaign events --- one only need to recall the funeral service for the late Senator Paul Wellstone (D-Minnesota) back in 2002.
Trump was much more restrained in his remarks about Schlafly at her funeral in St. Louis, who began his remarks expressing his “deepest and heartfelt condolences to her six wonderful children whom she loved so much … her sixteen grandchildren, and her three great grandchildren.” Other notable conservative attendees included Morton Blackwell, Congressman Steve King, former Congressman Michele Bachmann, Jim Holt, and David Limbaugh.
“You lost a mother, an amazing woman,” Trump told her family. “And our country has lost a true patriot. Phyllis was a warrior for the country, which she loved so much.... To borrow a phrase from a great poet, Phyllis was that strength which in all days moved heaven and earth.”
Trump continued by adding, “This incredible woman has been active in American politics for one quarter of American history — one quarter of American history and at the top. She was the ultimate happy warrior. Always smiling. But, boy, could she be tough. We all know that. And in all of her battles, she never strayed from one guiding principle: she was for America, and it was always America first. People have forgotten that nowadays. For Phyllis, it was America first.”
The Republican nominee said of Schlafly, “She never wavered, never apologized, and never backed down in taking on the kingmakers. She never stopped fighting for the fundamental idea that the American people ought to have their needs come before anything or anyone else. She loved our country, she loved her family and she loved her God. Her legacy will live on every time some underdog, outmatched and outgunned, defies the odds, and delivers a win for the people. America has always been about the underdog, and always been about defying the odds. The idea that so-called ‘little people’ or the ‘little person’ that she loved so much could beat the system — often times the rigged system ... that the American grassroots is more powerful than all of the world’s special interests put together — that’s the way Phyllis felt. She’s always felt that way. That’s the romance of America. That’s the story of the mother and the patriot that we honor here today.”
Finally, Trump told the attendees that Phyllis Schlafly “is rejoined with her late husband Fred, is looking down at us right now and I am sure she’s telling us to keep up the fight, no doubt. Phyllis we love you, we miss you and we will never ever let you down. God bless you, Phyllis. God bless her family, and God bless everyone.”
Trump was introduced by Schlafly’s son, Andy Schlafly, saying, “My mother is thrilled and delighted that this distinguished guest would grace her by speaking at her funeral. She is grinning from ear-to-ear with what we are about to see.” Schlafly was a devout Roman Catholic.
At the conclusion of the funeral mass, the attendees were led in the singing of “America the Beautiful.”
Schlafly considered her greatest legacy to be the creation of Eagle Forum, an organization of grassroots activists which evolved from STOP ERA, credited with killing passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. Eagle Forum, along with the constitutionalist John Birch Society, were the two organizations most responsible for killing both ERA and stopping (so far) the calling of a national convention to consider amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Schlafly expressed concern that such a convention could become a “runaway” convention, leading to the overthrow of our present system of limited government under the U.S. Constitution.
Ironically, Schlafly’s support of Trump over Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the Republican primaries divided Eagle Forum, even her own children, with some supporting Trump and some supporting Cruz. But all Eagles and all Americans who love the Constitution and American national sovereignty owe a huge debt to this woman, who proved one person can indeed make a huge difference.
Photo of Donald Trump speaking at funeral for Phyllis Schlafly: AP Images