Happy Birthday to Phyllis Schlafly
August 17, 2015
You may recall the email below. The facts of that email remain true - Phyllis is extraordinary and today we again wish her happy birthday!
However, over these months since January 2015 when I was named President of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, I have come to know more than Phyllis' extraordinary achievements. I have spent long hours with Phyllis both in Saint Louis and on the road. In countless conversations, I have learned a secret of Phyllis Schlafly.
Sure, she has told me about policy and politics from her days as a young Harvard M.A. graduate working on a 1946 congressional race through her friendship with Ronald Reagan to today when Presidential candidates regularly call her for good counsel. I have realized that she pioneered conservative thought and communication. I know now that she has been a participant in or close observer of every major American policy and political issue for fully one quarter of America's history. But that's not all.
In conversations and her writing, Phyllis teaches how to engage others. She taught of good judgment, of careful counsel, and of facts, facts, facts. "We win by having the most facts and best argument," Phyllis told me. "If we don't carry the day, we re-group and gather more facts and make better arguments." Then, with a smile and a twinkle in her eye, she said "It is never personal. Never. That's not how you win."
That's Phyllis secret.
I realize now that Phyllis' love of family, her devotion to America, her entire life's work in what she defined as the pro-family movement, is based on a love of each and every person. If you are her friend, you feel this love. If you've ever seen her talk about her children and grandchildren, you recognize it. If you are an Eagle, you know the joy of belonging to an organization that cherishes life and honors all people. And if you examine the work of Eagle Forum and Phyllis Schlafly, you are witness to an extraordinary service to "we the people."
I have no doubt that Phyllis' vision of her work and Eagle Forum is informed by her faith in God and His only Son. And it is in the great American tradition of service like Washington and Lincoln and Reagan.
Happy birthday, Phyllis. Thanks for making America better and for teaching us all how to live.