On Phyllis Schlafly, a comment by Political Observer

America abounds in Political Romantics who long for a halcyon past.Even if they have to invent that past. What it comes down to is a longing, in many American Conservatives, for the year 1859 just before the Civil War, when the white male patriarchy was in it’s unquestioned ascendancy: women and slaves knew their respective places , servitude. Women, because they were naturally in need of masculine tutelage, and slaves were inherently inferior to whites. Aided and abetted by a Christianity that fully supported servitude as a ‘natural state’ of lesser beings in ‘God’s Plan’ and that ‘Plan’s’ managers on earth, the white male. Mrs. Schlafly came by her reactionary stance against the late 20th Century, and it’s obsessions with the  equality of Women and Blacks, as a natural outgrowth of her political/moral conformity, to the political orthodoxy of her time and place, not hard to understand. Kant’s injunction of self-emancipation from tutelage was the undiscovered in the lives of Ms. Schlafly and her political/moral coterie. And her work for McCarthy and the John Birch Society, another expression of her ‘Conservatism’, as defense against a Godless Fifth Column of Radical Jews in God’s Country- yes Antisemitism, as one of the unspoken drivers of that iteration of Conservatism, at least as narrated in the pages of the ultra respectable Financial Times!  One can only wonder about Mrs. Schlafly’s attitude about the Neo-Conservatives, who were an integral part of ‘The Reagan Revolution’ awash in the nostalgic style of FDR’s New Deal. Kristol and Podhoretz come to mind.

I forgot to include the work of Betty Friedan, my apologies for this gross oversight, mea culpa! whose ‘Feminine Mystique’ was one of the most important books published in 1963.Friedan was a pioneer, who appeared on talk shows of the time, and took more guff than she should have. But she was a tireless worker for the rights of women, and she made a political space for women like Mrs. Schlafly! Friedan and her book became one of the most read and controversial books in the history of The Woman’s Rights movement, and the target of  Mrs. Schlafly’s ire. Read of her career and life here, she was one of those Godless Fifth Column I refer to in my first post:


Political Observer






About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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