A Giant Leaves Us

The death of Phyllis Schlafly is a blow to American conservatism, and a personal loss. Calling her the “godmother of American conservatism,” or “the first lady of American conservatism,” as Richard Viguerie does, is no exaggeration.   Mrs. Schlafly enjoyed health and vigor at the age of 92, at which point she left us, so the loss is not one a life taken from us too soon. But it is still a great loss.

I will forego the temptation to list her many accomplishments. For that, please refer to this article by Julia Hahn at Breitbart. Instead, I want to mention the very kind and serious way she treated someone she didn’t (at the time) know.

The first time I encountered Phyllis was more than 25 years ago, when I returned home one day, stepped through the front door, and heard a voice on our telephone answering machine: “This is Phyllis Schlafly calling….”

We had discovered that our then 3-year old son, who had gained admission to an expensive and highly regarded day care center, was being indoctrinated with a new book nobody had ever heard of, called Heather Has Two Mommies. Evidently, Berkeley, California was the start of the spread of this "pathbreaking" exercise in indoctrination. Having written Phyllis about this, she followed up – boy did she ever! Pretty soon, everyone had heard of the book and we had a new daycare center.

That was the beginning. After I started American Thinker, Phyllis was incredibly kind. Despite her standing, she was absolutely collegial, un-arrogant, unpretentious, interested, and helpful. We met and spoke a number of times.  It was not a lot of time in aggregate, and I am certain Phyllis had hundreds or thousands of people she was closer to. But where it counted, in terms of access, help, and time, she was a generous as could be. (Note: this is not always the case with famous conservatives.)

I feel a tremendous loss.

The death of Phyllis Schlafly is a blow to American conservatism, and a personal loss. Calling her the “godmother of American conservatism,” or “the first lady of American conservatism,” as Richard Viguerie does, is no exaggeration.   Mrs. Schlafly enjoyed health and vigor at the age of 92, at which point she left us, so the loss is not one a life taken from us too soon. But it is still a great loss.

I will forego the temptation to list her many accomplishments. For that, please refer to this article by Julia Hahn at Breitbart. Instead, I want to mention the very kind and serious way she treated someone she didn’t (at the time) know.

The first time I encountered Phyllis was more than 25 years ago, when I returned home one day, stepped through the front door, and heard a voice on our telephone answering machine: “This is Phyllis Schlafly calling….”

We had discovered that our then 3-year old son, who had gained admission to an expensive and highly regarded day care center, was being indoctrinated with a new book nobody had ever heard of, called Heather Has Two Mommies. Evidently, Berkeley, California was the start of the spread of this "pathbreaking" exercise in indoctrination. Having written Phyllis about this, she followed up – boy did she ever! Pretty soon, everyone had heard of the book and we had a new daycare center.

That was the beginning. After I started American Thinker, Phyllis was incredibly kind. Despite her standing, she was absolutely collegial, un-arrogant, unpretentious, interested, and helpful. We met and spoke a number of times.  It was not a lot of time in aggregate, and I am certain Phyllis had hundreds or thousands of people she was closer to. But where it counted, in terms of access, help, and time, she was a generous as could be. (Note: this is not always the case with famous conservatives.)

I feel a tremendous loss.