Politically Incorrect Powerful Women

TIME Magazine has come out with a list: the "The 25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century." Look it over. It is nothing more than a depressingly familiar collection of leftists laced with condescending tokenism to the rest of womankind. Jiang Qing, one of Mao's wives, who was purged almost as soon as he died, is on the list. So is Rachel Carson, the dishonest pseudo-scientist whose lies condemned millions of third-world children to death. There are two token conservatives, neither an American: Angela Merkel, who did not become chancellor until 2005, and Maggie Thatcher, who was too conspicuous to be left off. Consider who was left off the list. 

Claire Booth Luce was a prolific writer whose aphorisms like "no good deed goes unpunished" have become part of modern language. She was the editor of several national women's magazines; a nominee for an Academy award; the authoress of the famous play, The Women; a war correspondent who traveled to all theaters of the Second World War; and a three-term member of Congress. She was a postwar ambassador to Italy, and then Ambassador to Brazil; she was the first women to receive the Thayer Award at West Point; and she served on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under Reagan. The most important source of private funding for women in science is the Claire Booth Luce Program. How did TIME overlook her? Her husband founded TIME Magazine. Mrs. Luce is also a powerful, pivotal leader of the conservative movement in America. (So, of course, she was an unperson when the TIME list was compiled.)

Ayn Rand has been a source of inspiration for conservatives and huge numbers of other Americans. Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead remain as indispensable to understanding the world today as Orwell's 1984 or Hayek's The Road to Serfdom. In fact, the Library of Congress named Atlas Shrugged the second-most popular book in publication after the Bible. A prolific writer with a consistent theme that found wide influence, Ayn Rand should have been on the list of the "25 Most Powerful People of the Last Century," but alas, leftist myopia utterly ignored her.

Phyllis Schlafly, still very active politically, was pivotal in getting Barry Goldwater nominated in 1964, which was the beginning of political conservatism in postwar America. Her self-published book, Choice, Not an Echo, sold more than 50,000 copies in California alone before the Republican primary, and it swung that state to Goldwater. Mrs. Schlafly has written twenty books on a wide variety of topics and has founded conservative activist groups like Eagle Forum. Phyllis Schlafly is also the only American who can claim to have singlehandedly stopped the adoption of a constitutional amendment: when the Equal Rights Amendment forbidding any official distinction between the sexes seemed certain to be confirmed by state legislatures, Schlafly's tireless and brilliant efforts stopped it at two seconds to midnight, in the process creating the conservative grassroots phenomenon in modern American politics. TIME doubtless knows about Phyllis, but she is...well, very conservative -- and so ineligible.

Dorothy Thompson was actually selected by TIME Magazine in 1939 as one of the two most powerful women in the world (along with Eleanor Roosevelt). She too was a prolific writer and, perhaps, the first American to fully understand the evils of Nazism and the need to stop it before the war. In fact, her book, I Saw Hitler, was published before the Nazis came to power. Dorothy was the first foreign journalist expelled from Nazi Germany, and she was a tireless and very early campaigner to help Jewish refugees from Germany. (Saliently, she also worked to help refugees after the war.) In 1942, she authored a declaration against the "cold-blooded extermination of Jews ... by the Nazis," which was published by the World Jewish Congress. Thompson was so influential that Katherine Hepburn's famous "Tess" in the film Woman of the Year was based on the life of Dorothy Thompson. So why is Thompson off the list? Although her political views were eclectic, she considered herself "conservative," and in her denunciations of Hitler before the war, she was also harsh on Stalin. So this extraordinary and influential woman is off the list.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was apolitical and nondenominational, yet she almost singlehandedly introduced into an increasingly materialist and agnostic world understanding of life after death. It has been over forty years since she published her groundbreaking On Death and Dying, which reviewed countless case studies of "near-death experiences." We have hospices today largely because Kubler-Ross felt it imperative that we all go through the five phases of dying. Although many of us, because of our faith, already believed in a life of the world to come, Kubler-Ross constructed a very real, empirical framework for a life after death in which we are held accountable for the good and evil we do, and if we kill ourselves or commit great evils, then we face that as well (although Kubler-Ross noted that these were exceptional cases). She is hardly a "conservative," but Elizabeth Kubler-Ross left us all with clear proof of a moral, spiritual universe. God, she proved, is not dead. 

These five incredible women transformed our world. Luce, Rand, and Schafly are as much intellectual founders of modern conservatism as any man. Dorothy Thompson, with her incredible prescience of what was happening in the world, could be called the greatest prophet of the last century. Kubler-Ross, who eschewed politics in favor of promoting compassion, still kept the ideal of an immortal soul very much alive in our world of computers and robots. Yet none of these was as "powerful" as Madonna, Martha Stewart, Coco Chanel, or Hillary Clinton. This proves, again, what we already know: leftism is surreally trite. 

Bruce Walker is the author of a new book: Poor Lenin's Almanac: Perverse Leftists Proverbs for Modern Life.
TIME Magazine has come out with a list: the "The 25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century." Look it over. It is nothing more than a depressingly familiar collection of leftists laced with condescending tokenism to the rest of womankind. Jiang Qing, one of Mao's wives, who was purged almost as soon as he died, is on the list. So is Rachel Carson, the dishonest pseudo-scientist whose lies condemned millions of third-world children to death. There are two token conservatives, neither an American: Angela Merkel, who did not become chancellor until 2005, and Maggie Thatcher, who was too conspicuous to be left off. Consider who was left off the list. 

Claire Booth Luce was a prolific writer whose aphorisms like "no good deed goes unpunished" have become part of modern language. She was the editor of several national women's magazines; a nominee for an Academy award; the authoress of the famous play, The Women; a war correspondent who traveled to all theaters of the Second World War; and a three-term member of Congress. She was a postwar ambassador to Italy, and then Ambassador to Brazil; she was the first women to receive the Thayer Award at West Point; and she served on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under Reagan. The most important source of private funding for women in science is the Claire Booth Luce Program. How did TIME overlook her? Her husband founded TIME Magazine. Mrs. Luce is also a powerful, pivotal leader of the conservative movement in America. (So, of course, she was an unperson when the TIME list was compiled.)

Ayn Rand has been a source of inspiration for conservatives and huge numbers of other Americans. Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead remain as indispensable to understanding the world today as Orwell's 1984 or Hayek's The Road to Serfdom. In fact, the Library of Congress named Atlas Shrugged the second-most popular book in publication after the Bible. A prolific writer with a consistent theme that found wide influence, Ayn Rand should have been on the list of the "25 Most Powerful People of the Last Century," but alas, leftist myopia utterly ignored her.

Phyllis Schlafly, still very active politically, was pivotal in getting Barry Goldwater nominated in 1964, which was the beginning of political conservatism in postwar America. Her self-published book, Choice, Not an Echo, sold more than 50,000 copies in California alone before the Republican primary, and it swung that state to Goldwater. Mrs. Schlafly has written twenty books on a wide variety of topics and has founded conservative activist groups like Eagle Forum. Phyllis Schlafly is also the only American who can claim to have singlehandedly stopped the adoption of a constitutional amendment: when the Equal Rights Amendment forbidding any official distinction between the sexes seemed certain to be confirmed by state legislatures, Schlafly's tireless and brilliant efforts stopped it at two seconds to midnight, in the process creating the conservative grassroots phenomenon in modern American politics. TIME doubtless knows about Phyllis, but she is...well, very conservative -- and so ineligible.

Dorothy Thompson was actually selected by TIME Magazine in 1939 as one of the two most powerful women in the world (along with Eleanor Roosevelt). She too was a prolific writer and, perhaps, the first American to fully understand the evils of Nazism and the need to stop it before the war. In fact, her book, I Saw Hitler, was published before the Nazis came to power. Dorothy was the first foreign journalist expelled from Nazi Germany, and she was a tireless and very early campaigner to help Jewish refugees from Germany. (Saliently, she also worked to help refugees after the war.) In 1942, she authored a declaration against the "cold-blooded extermination of Jews ... by the Nazis," which was published by the World Jewish Congress. Thompson was so influential that Katherine Hepburn's famous "Tess" in the film Woman of the Year was based on the life of Dorothy Thompson. So why is Thompson off the list? Although her political views were eclectic, she considered herself "conservative," and in her denunciations of Hitler before the war, she was also harsh on Stalin. So this extraordinary and influential woman is off the list.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was apolitical and nondenominational, yet she almost singlehandedly introduced into an increasingly materialist and agnostic world understanding of life after death. It has been over forty years since she published her groundbreaking On Death and Dying, which reviewed countless case studies of "near-death experiences." We have hospices today largely because Kubler-Ross felt it imperative that we all go through the five phases of dying. Although many of us, because of our faith, already believed in a life of the world to come, Kubler-Ross constructed a very real, empirical framework for a life after death in which we are held accountable for the good and evil we do, and if we kill ourselves or commit great evils, then we face that as well (although Kubler-Ross noted that these were exceptional cases). She is hardly a "conservative," but Elizabeth Kubler-Ross left us all with clear proof of a moral, spiritual universe. God, she proved, is not dead. 

These five incredible women transformed our world. Luce, Rand, and Schafly are as much intellectual founders of modern conservatism as any man. Dorothy Thompson, with her incredible prescience of what was happening in the world, could be called the greatest prophet of the last century. Kubler-Ross, who eschewed politics in favor of promoting compassion, still kept the ideal of an immortal soul very much alive in our world of computers and robots. Yet none of these was as "powerful" as Madonna, Martha Stewart, Coco Chanel, or Hillary Clinton. This proves, again, what we already know: leftism is surreally trite. 

Bruce Walker is the author of a new book: Poor Lenin's Almanac: Perverse Leftists Proverbs for Modern Life.