Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Donald Trump on Phyllis Schlafly

Donald Trump eulogizes Phyllis Schlafly

Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly, the founder of the Eagle forum and  who was instrumental in the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s died at at the age of 92.  

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump (R-NY) spoke before her funeral at the Basilica Cathedral of St. Louis.

In many ways Schlafly's legacy from years of right wing activism compliments elements of Donald Trump's success.  Schlafly was an outsider who earned the loyal support of activists in "fly over country" who were not aspiring members of "the smart class".  The Equal Rights Amendment seemed like a slam dunk in 1972 as Schlafly embarked in the STOP ERA movement.  The proposed 27th Amendment was defeated by a revolt by conservative leaning individuals who were not normally political activists.

Later in life, Schlafly exhibited two tendencies which also seem concordant with Trump-ism.  Despite her conservative credentials, Schafly was chary about invoking an Article V Convention of States.  This effectively kept power concentrated in the District of Calamity.  Trump may speak about regulatory reform and chatter that pleases conservatives, but it is dubious that he would seriously embark on shrinking the size of government, especially if it politically cost him.

The other trait that Trump and the older Schlafly shared was a reluctance to foreign help with troubling ties to race.   As the baseball season began, Mrs. Schlafly proffered a piece which extolled the virtues of limiting foreign players in American Baseball. 

Nonetheless, Trump offered noble and kind words. This had the virtue of also being smart political  gesture as it burnished his and and it offered another modicum of conciliation that the nationalist populist has towards the conservative moment

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