Phyllis Schlafly was the Conservative Movement’s Mother Superior. Here’s How I Got Her to Laugh

She was the Mother Superior of the conservative movement: stern, utterly consistent, unyielding in her adherence to the principles that the Goldwater campaign of 1964 had symbolized and that would eventually put Ronald Reagan into the White House. Those principles were a commitment to limited government, the rule of law and constitutional principles, and a strong America aboard and a morally virtuous America at home: the bedrock of American conservatism that Schlafly fought for all her life.

Just as Rush Limbaugh turned AM radio into a tool for conservative ideas, Phyllis Schlafly turned direct mail into a potent tool for promoting and extending that conservative faith. And when Republicans turned away from that faith, as they did during the Bush years—particularly on illegal immigration—they felt the sting of the Mother Superior’s steel ruler across their knuckles.

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