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August 27, 2020 68 mins

Robert is joined agin by Teresa Lee to continue discussing Phyllis Schlafly.

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
M. What's flourishtion? Mr? Abortion? Shit? God damn it. I'm sorry.
You better than the boy that was. I don't even
know Afortune. I don't even know what I was. I
just was trying to rhyme something with abortion. I don't know.
I don't know what I'm doing anymore, Sophie, what do
what do we? What do we? What are we all

(00:20):
here for? We're here for part two of your podcast
behind that. You're the host. Your name is Robert Evans,
and your guest today is the magnificent, wonderful, fantastic, incredibly
talented Theresa Lee. Rhyme, what would you rhyme with abortion?
Let me see open abortion? It's time for abortion of abortion?

(00:44):
Oh that yeah, it was so much better. Um, all right,
well we're still talking about Philish Laughley, who was not
a fan of abortion and would not have enjoyed our
ore are having yucks about the name abortion. Um, not
the concept, just the word and trying to rhyme it
with things. You have to use a lot of contortions

(01:07):
to rhyme with abort. As a fan of poetry, I'm
sucking on books. I would think she would love rhymes,
but I guess you could listen to the first episode
to that. Yeah, so yeah, we're talking about Goldwater and
Rockefeller going against each other in the sixty four Republican primaries, right,
and how like this is a battle for the soul
of the Republican Party because LBJ is obviously going to

(01:29):
win the election. Um Phillis could see that, like something
was Robert to say that there was a soul. Yeah,
everything has a Hitler had a soul, Sophie. Um, oh,
he definitely had a soul. If you'd seen him dance,
you'd know that. Oh gosh, for some reason, I have

(01:53):
pictured him break dancing and it was an evable. Now
that's the only kind of dancing Hitler got up to.
It was just like he actually invented breakdancing, like he
actually he had a couple of years on the streets
in Harlem teaching. I don't know what where I'm going
with any of this. I feel maybe dance more, he
would have been happier from the start. I don't like

(02:14):
most people people are not dancing as much. I do
think that dancing is broadly good for you, but I
also think that hateful people get really into like hateful dances,
like where everybody's like all tints and like right up
against each other, like skinhead punky music scene. No no, no,
like the fucking like the like gone with the Wind dances,

(02:35):
like the kind of dances rich old Southern people. Yeah. Yeah.
And just for the record, Hitler actually hated dancing and
refused to dance because it made him he felt awkward
about his body. So you're right about that. I was
just being an asshole for no reason. Let's talk about Goldwater.
Speaking of Hitler, let's talk about very Goldwater. Um. So

(02:58):
Goldwater and Rockefel there's primary battles like neck and neck
right up to the California primaries, and that was kind
of the thing that was going to determine who won
this battle. Um. And so this is kind of where
Philish laughly uh comes in with a ground bait breaking
piece of propaganda. She writes a book called a Choice
Not an Echo, And this was like a pro Goldwater argument,

(03:22):
but more than that, it was it was essentially a
conspiracy theory about how the Republican primary was being stolen
by kingmakers within the party who were Eastern elites. Um.
And that yeah, yeah, this is you know, you know
how like in two and sixteen, like the Trump supporters
talking about Republicans in name only the rhinos right now, Like,

(03:44):
you've got this the real party who supports Trump, and
then you've got these Republicans in name only who were
trying to force their own like corporatist candidates on us.
This is the first time anyone starts talking about that.
Philish laughly starts that are that line of like propaganda
back in nineteen sixty four, the idea that there's these
Eastern elites in the party that are fighting against the

(04:05):
real Republican Party. Whenever someone comes up with a conspiracy theory,
they're usually the like the ones doing the conspiring, Like
it sounds like these are because it's like the idea
that anybody wants to win, that's not a conspiracy, Like, yeah,
it's a it's an election people want to win. That's
people made that clear. But then when you're secretly adding
weird facts that aren't true, that's a conspiracy. And you're

(04:28):
doing that phyllis Yeah, and it's I mean yeah, because
she's literally a part of this conspiracy to to take
over the Republican Party in the government. Yeah. So she
writes this book about how Goldwater is not just a
great candidate, but that there's this like conspiracy within the
Republican Party to stop him from becoming the candidate. Um
and it it is extremely successful, A choice not an echo,

(04:51):
sells nearly three million copies and went on to hugely
influence the California primary and the election um it delivered.
It's generally seen as being a big part of what
the lived. Goldwater a surprise victory over Rockefeller, and Phillis
for the rest of her life will brag that she
self publishes this book out of her garage and that
it just becomes this massive hit that she she just

(05:11):
does all by her little old self. Um. And she
was adamant that her whole operation was just the result
of one mother who cared um, you know, writing as
a side project while she raised her kids. Because again
this whole period, well, she is a full time, hard
nosed political operative. She has to lie to everybody on
her side and claim that like it's just sort of
a thing she does after tucking the kids in at night,

(05:32):
because you can't have a woman that actually have her
career be the center of her life, which it is
for Phillis, but she has to lie about it. She's
like the first y'all, James, isn't she the woman who
wrote um say the gray out of her like girl,
I mean, not garage out of her room or selfish? Yeah,
except for I think actually did self publish her terrible book.

(05:55):
Um and Philish Lapley's lying about self publishing her book.
So and she later told The New York Times quote,
nineteen sixty four was the most productive year of my life.
I was running the Illinois Federation of Republican Women. I
wrote a Choice not an Echo. I self published it.
I went to the Republican Convention, wrote a second book,
The Grave Diggers. Now we're in September. I was giving
speeches for Barry Goldwater and a November I had a baby.

(06:16):
So she like, this is how she frames her year. Um,
and she's she's sort of again this weird kind of
thing in Phillis where she's clearly very proud about how
much she does, but she also has to emphasize, as
she does in a little bit here, like how she
was this was all sort of secondary to her job
as a as a as a mother, like she wasn't

(06:37):
she wasn't a mother with a career or she wasn't
like she didn't. She doesn't want to be seen as
a working mom because she thinks that's evil, even though
that's exactly what she is. Um. I'm gonna quote now
from a Town and Country magazine right up. That summarizes
kind of like how Phyllis frames her career during this period.
Even as she was traveling across the country to lobby leaders,
organized her coalition, gives speeches, and at one point simultaneously

(06:59):
pursue a law degree, Slaftly dismissed her political career as
a hobby, a secondary pursuit to her obligations at home
with her six children. I was never gone overnight, she
later told The Times, reiterating that line of defense. I'd
drive out to give a speech, and sometimes I'd bring
a nursing baby with me. There was always someone outside
willing to take care of a baby rather than listen
to a long lecture. So this was a savvy way

(07:19):
for Slaughtly to frame her activism. Like the moral conservatives
that she was courting, what didn't like the idea of
women usurping traditional male role models, but they did like
the idea of like a young mother's self publishing a
political treatise about conservatism and how good it was for moms,
you know, to be women to be homemakers instead of
have careers. They like that idea of her, like doing

(07:41):
that in between breastfeedings, um, and like that she was
able to it sounds like a bad like her saying
that she gave her baby to someone standing outside. That's
that's like what happens at auditions when you see like people,
um bring the baby, which is fine because it's like
you've got to go in for like ten minutes or whatever.
But I'm like that you're describing exactly what being a
working mother is like, like if you if you really weren't,
then you'd just be at home. So she's advocating that

(08:04):
women shouldn't do this while doing it, and she has
to kind of lie about the extent to which she
She has to frame it as like a hobby, even
though like, no, philis, this was your full time fucking job,
Like you had a full time job and kids and
that's fine, but you hate that for everyone else because
you're a giant hypocrite. But so the only kind of
way to sell this to Republicans without her being sort

(08:26):
of suspect and a liberated woman is to kind of
make it look like she was just kind of this
homespun mom who's writing this book, write write this book
on her free time, and you know, oh, surprisingly it
sells huge and she does an out out of her
garage and it's kind of evidence of how like the
little guy, these like little conservatives, we don't need the
big corrupt publishing industry. And of course, again this is
all a lie. The reality of the situation is that

(08:49):
the John Birch Society bought like three million copies of
this book to distribute it for free, and they handled
the publication. The publishing house that Philish laughly claims she
created to publish it was just a front company. Like
there were real publishers that the John Birch Society went to.
When contracted with they would sometimes order five thousand copies
at a time of its propaganda, right, because it's just

(09:10):
a bit different. It's not best selling. Yes, it was
number one. All of the sales pretty much came from
the John Birch Society buying them to hand these out
for free. Sounds like a Communism hand out, kind of
giving money to then give it to other people for free. Communism.
She has to frame this as like I was just this,

(09:32):
this this plucky little outsider, like in my free time
putting the other of this book about the things I believed,
and so many other people believe it that it took
off in the realities. Like no, no, no, you were
part of a multi she was part of She was
the head of a multimillion dollar propaganda campaign by the
John Birch Society, UM, and they're the reason this book
sold three million copies because they bought like three million copies.

(09:53):
This is what Hillsdale does. Yeah, it's what they all do.
They literally send out so many fundraising emails. I signed up,
like with a fake email to get them, and then
they send you free news letters for the rest of
your life. I mean I didn't get the news letters,
but the whole idea is that if you donate, we'll
give out free news letters to everyone. So you're basically
paying for propaganda, which is communism. It's just within their

(10:16):
own ranks of communism. Yeah, it's it's it's very silly. Um.
I mean it's not silly. It's like this horrible, dangerous
UM propaganda network that's just getting started at this point.
This is like the birth of that this massive right
wing propaganda, like the thing that like Ben Shapiro and
the fucking Turning Point USA kids, and like all of

(10:37):
these different so like bright Bart News, all these different
kind of like right wing news and media organizations are
part of today. Um, this massive like dark funding network
of right wing propaganda is getting off the ground now
and Philish Laughley is like its first big success. Mm hmm.
Now these books obviously again we're not being bought by

(10:58):
curious readers like they were being bought in mass to
be handed out. Um, and she was. You know, Slaughlee's
book was just kind of the most successful part of
this wave of hard right propaganda that starts being distributed
by the John Birch Society at this point. Some of
it attacked lb J. There were other books that obsessed
over Communist infiltration, but Slaughley's work would go on to
have the longest influence because Goldwater secured the nomination. At

(11:21):
the party's national convention in July near San Francisco, Goldwater
delegates booed Nelson Rockefeller so loudly that he could barely
give his concession speech. The same delegates who had screamed.
Moments earlier, cheered when Goldwater gave his speech, which included
the famous declaration that extremism in defensive liberty is no vice.
This is, like goldwater speech at the nineteen sixty four

(11:43):
San Francisco Convention, is like a straight up fascist rally um.
And one of the reporters who was actually there to
hear it live was a young Hunter S. Thompson, and
he wrote my favorite description of this. I remember feeling
genuinely frightened at the violent reaction to that line that
Goldwater said. As the human thunder kept building, they mounted
their metal chairs and began howling, shaking their fists at

(12:06):
Huntley and Brinkley up in the NBC booth, And finally
they began picking up those chairs with both hands and
bashing them against chairs other delegates were still standing on.
It's this like unhinged hatred of the media, um, hatred
of you know, the party elites. This like the thing
that's been at the core of the Republican Party ever
since that like Trump kind of let loose again that

(12:29):
the respectable people in the party have always tried to
keep locked up. It starts to break out for the
first time under Goldwater, and of course Goldwater was electorally doomed.
There were not enough people who believe this and who
were willing to admit to being this kind of person.
In nineteen sixty four, LBJ actually delivered what's probably the
greatest pantsing in the history of national politics. Like no

(12:50):
one since has ever lost as badly as Goldwater lost.
Um like it is he they he is torn apart
in this election, um, and the Republican Party just is
beaten into the ground. At least that's how it looks
from the outside. The reality is that this kind of
had more to do with LBJs strength than a weakness
in goldwater strategy. And I think that becomes clear like

(13:13):
later on. But at the time people like assume, oh,
this is there's a lot of assumptions on the left
that like, oh, like the frothing anti communist wing of
the of the Republican Party lost like this will they're
going to turn to more reasonable politics now. And that's
not what happens. As Politico or as a write up
I found in political Notes quote from Goldwater's insurgency on

(13:34):
where the die was cast and the GOP has never
returned to a moderate platform Goldwater's base was in the
South and West, where his vote against the Civil Rights
Act and in favor of States rights and deared him
to a white electorate, And on the whole, Goldwater's geographic
and demographic coalition has endured within the GOP. Democrats ow
a debt of gratitude to Goldwater for creating a near
consensus among African Americans for their party. Until nineteen sixty four,

(13:57):
presidential Party nominees from the Party of Lincoln would often
receive up to a third of the black vote. Goldwater
dipped to an estimated four percent of Black supporters, and
in the fifty years since, the most GOP nominee could
hope for was about ten percent of African American votes.
So that's that's where this all starts with Goldwater. He builds,
like he launches, the GOP. His candidacy does on the

(14:19):
path that it's still on today and on the electoral
path that it's still on today. And a number of
Republican voices at the time thought that Goldwater's defeat was
proof that Nixon and Rockefeller had been right to try
to open the party up, but Philish Laughley was not
convinced of this. And neither were a whole lot of
other anti communist Christian extremists who felt the increasingly liberal
culture of the United States was stealing their children and

(14:39):
country from them. The Goldwater campaign was the activation point
for a lot of folks who become major figures and
what people eventually called the New Right. Paul way Rich
worked on the campaign along with Howard Phillips and Richard Vigory,
three of the men who later joined with Jerry Fallwall
to start the Moral Majority. Fallwell and his crew get
a lot of credit for birthing the religious right and

(15:00):
launching the culture ward that's currently you know, our entire
lives uh and and it's true that they were like
kind of the the faces of this and the people
who you know, created the term moral Majority, but they
were really just cribbing from Philish Laughley's Moral Conservatives in
nineteen sixty, which was the first organized gasp of this
sort of thing. Now, after Goldwater's defeat, men like way

(15:22):
Rich and fall Well, it kind of like the faceman
of the of the New Republican Party. Uh tended to
ignore Philish Laughly. They saw her as a once useful
propaganda tool that was like consigned to the past now
and for a while, sh Laughlely herself seemed to even
believe this, And as the story goes, it was her
husband Fred who first suggested what would become her next
crusade after Goldwater's failure stopping the Equal Rights Amendment. Now,

(15:48):
if you happen to be a reasonable person and not
like a screeching demon, the e r A is pretty
much the least offensive amendment you can imagine. It just states, quote,
equality of rights under the law shall not be denied
it or abridged by the United States or any by
any state on account of sex right. Hard to hard
to argue with that, and nobody seemed to want to

(16:08):
argue it. When it was first proposed in March of
nineteen seventy two, it was very broadly popular. A lot
of Republicans liked it. Uh it was it was just
kind of like, oh, we're saying this like and it
was seen as kind of more of like a symbolic vote.
It's like, oh, we should announce openly that, like we
as the United States don't like gender discrimination. That's all
that was going on in the r A. Now, because

(16:30):
it was an amendment, though it needed to be approved
by both the House and the Senate, which it was
in March of nineteen seventy two, so very bipartisan gets
through the House and Senate, and then it needs needed
to be sent to the states for ratification. Thirty eight
states would have had to ratify the e r A
for it to become law, and this seemed easy to
do it first. Thirty state legislators legislatures ratified the e

(16:50):
r A during nineteen seventy two alone, so they get
almost to the finish line in the first year that
this thing is on the voting docket. President's Nixon, Ford,
and Carter all supported it. It should have been like
a moment of bimartists and achievement. But Philish Laughley decided
to declare war on the Equal Rights Amendment. And I'm
gonna quote now from a right up on her in
Town and Country magazine quote. When she first heard that

(17:12):
the Equal Rights Amendment was being debated in Congress, she
told her biographer Carol Pheasanthal chiefly thought of it as
something between innocuus and mildly helpful, but after a friend
asked her to debate a feminist on the e r A,
at the end of nineteen seventy one, she changed her mind.
In October of nineteen seventy two, she founded stop e R,
a an acronym for and this is a terrible acronym

(17:33):
stop taking our privileges. Wait stop yeah, yeah yeah, the
words stops in the acronym. It's terrible. The acronym, which
the whole thing is, like, I mean, there's so many layers,
like the fact that she's debating a feminist and there's
two women debating like that by itself as pretty feminist,

(17:54):
and then also just like her, um, Like, I don't know,
I'm also sensing I think it's I'm getting a different
read because I heard of our trauma talking in that
last episode that I'm feeling like she's still evil, But
I also sense she's doing this out of survival, Like
when she was getting kicked out of this, you know,
like losing relevancely, she was like, well, they'll need a

(18:14):
woman at the front of this because a man can't
say this because it's more weaponized if a woman is
anti feminist. Yet she's hurting herself because if you just
got on board, she could just have everything with feminism.
I don't know, which is very similar to the character
Robert was talking about in Handmaid's Tale. Actually with what
you just said, mm hmmm, well what even what Robert

(18:36):
said about the bipartisanship of the r A reminds me
so much of coronavirus, Like when it came out, it's like,
this is not an partisan issue. We're all just going
to handle this like people who want to live. And
then all of a sudden, it was like, do you
scratch now it's partisan? You're like, what since when living
become parts? Ye too, sad it's a bummer. She becomes

(19:01):
the chairwoman of stop E r a uh, and she
taps into this network of women she's like so it's
like in creating this um, like she has this network
of women she's built, so she like, first off, she
distributed this book to a bunch of people that like
that like builds her a fan base, and she started
a new letter after that, which is kind of the
way as a conservative at this point that you like,

(19:23):
you build a political um coalition because all these you
get all these hundreds of thousands of people in your newsletter,
and then you can you can get them to buy books,
you can get them to vote on Like you can
get them, you can organize them as like a donate
mainly you can get them to donate money. UM. So
like this is kind of how she starts this coalition,
and she she founds a group. First she found Stop

(19:43):
the r A. And then she founds a group called
the Eagle Forum UM, which is like this right wing
think t or this right wing like advocacy organization UM
that is formed around Philish Laughy basically coaching stay at
home moms to become activists to stop the e r A.
So she's trying to organize all of these like conservative
religious housewives UM into a political coalition. She described her

(20:08):
recruits in the Atlantic as quote housewives who didn't even
know where their state capital was uh and Slaughly instructed
them and everything from how to speak to the president,
run phone banks, to how to dress and smile for
the camera. Um. In nineteen seventy three, the Supreme Court
ruled on Roe versus Wade, which made reproductive healthcare safer
for a lot of Americans and also gave all of these,

(20:29):
like gave Philish Laughly basically a dosa fucking rocket fuel.
Because now the religious rights starts getting like really like
she so there's a lot going on here at once,
which is that you have this Equal Rights Amendment, which
doesn't start out as being controversial but laughly is able
to convince a bunch of um like Christian housewives, this

(20:52):
is going to um, this is going to destroy like
the traditional family and take your privileges. Uh. And at
the same time, like abortion becomes legal. So she weaves
it into like that the this e r A is
part of this like push um and like it's going
to make you know, abortion more common too, and so
like she kind of she kind of keeps grabbing these
different scale things that are too religious conservatives scary about

(21:16):
the nineteen seventies UM and weaving them all together into
this like one gigantic um fight UM. And it's this
thing where like she kind of backsides the traditional Republican
Party at this point. So like in nineteen seventies seven,
gerald Ford's wife backs the r A at the National
Women's Conference UM and the National Women Conference of nineteen

(21:38):
seventies seven, like one of the conference's goals was taxpayer
funded day care for all children, which gerald Ford's wife,
like the president's wife, is a big supporter of so
like the tradic like the Republican party structure is like
willing to talk about these things that, like our ore
are kind are very socialist policies at this point. And
Shlafley is the person who like calls that straight up communism.

(22:00):
And she starts she organizes these all these hundreds of
thousands of like conservative homemakers to to make this their war,
to make like stopping any uh any of this stuff,
like the crusade that they that they embark upon. Um.
We talked in the Fallwell episodes about how like once
upon a time, abortion was a non issue for American evangelicals,

(22:23):
Like a lot of American right wingers and evangelicals used
to be pro abortion back and like the seventh the
sixties and early seventies, and Slatly gets a lot of
credit for making it into a political like culture war issue,
And that's kind of like what she's doing in this period.
She's taking all of these things that were kind of
bipartisan that are now even today, like the idea of like, oh,

(22:44):
we should have a national daycare program that used to
not be a partisan issue. A lot of conservatives used
to support that issue. Slaughly turns it into like if
you support that, you support communism. Abortion used to not
be a big political issue. Slaughly starts organizing and propagandizing
to make it into one. She's just creating culture wars.

(23:04):
That's Philish Laughlely in the nineteen seventies. She's she's helping
to be the midwife to all of these culture wars
that are still with us today. Well, she's kind of
pushing people into this corner. Yeah, we hadn't been divided
about this stuff. Yeah, you're right there. She's pushing people
into this corner to where like, you can't debate about this,
you can't come to an agreement about this, you can't

(23:26):
meet each other in the middle. This is something that
we fight over forever now, right because there's people whom
for religious the reasons will always be on one side.
And she forces that an entire party to only represent
that side and then forcing the other party to take
the other side, which means that if you fall anywhere
in the middle on any other issues, but that's the

(23:46):
one thing you won't budge on, you have to join
that party, whether or not economically or anything else. Uh
makes sense for you. Yes, And also she convinces in
her propaganda pushes a lot of uh, pushes a lot
of people to who pushes a lot of religious conservatives
who hadn't been against abortion to consider that like a

(24:09):
key issue for them. Like again, there's been a lot
of like a decent amount of like evangelicals who had
been okay with with at least some abortions prior to this,
and she shuts that ship down. She's a huge part
of this becoming a black and white, no compromise, We're
just going to fight about this till the heat death
of the universe issue. And that's her goal is to

(24:30):
make as many of those issues as possible because they
create a durable coalition. You can't have coalition switch like
they did with the Republican and Democratic Party. They switched
in like the early around like civil rights and stuff.
You cannot have your coalition switch. You can't. People will
not leave your coalition if you convince them that the
only thing on the other side is the devil. And
like that's Philish Laughley's goal is to create culture wars

(24:54):
that cannot be resolved because it means that the Republican
Party has a durable electorate to to represent it um
and I want to quote, there's a woman named Tanya
Melick um And and melick is generally considered to be
one of the founders of like the modern women's political movement.
She was one of the first like women in like
mainstream American politics in a big way. She helped organize

(25:17):
a bunch of like, uh different kind of grassroots things.
She and she was she was a conservative activist for
most of her career who kind of turned around at
a later date and came to regret some of what
she'd done. And she was a contemporary of Phyllis Is
and she watched all of this happen, and so she
kind of she's a good she's a good person to
go to for like a description of like what Philish
Laughly is building during this period of the early nineteen seventies. Quote.

(25:41):
It was Slaughly, with her authoritarian leadership and expert grassroots organizing,
who made the religious right a political player. It was Slaughly,
first of the Goldwater and then of the New Right
team who on earth the political gold of misogyny. It
was Slaughly who translated fear of women's liberation into a
political force in the Republican Party and thereby stinted the
foundation of the Republicans Southern strategy. Now, not only did

(26:03):
the strategy flourish on the backlash of the civil rights movement,
but it was broadened to include a backlash against the
Women's movement. To Mellet claims that Shlafley's tactics were consciously
modeled on the moral panic and the fearmongering that right
wingers had tried to ignite during the battle over desegregation UM.
A number of the evangelical leaders who made up the
Moral Majority had wound up in expensive battles with the

(26:24):
I R S over whether or not they had to
disegregate their whites only religious schools. We talk about this
in the Jerry Folwell episodes, and that's what Fallwell and
way Rich had launched the Moral Majority to fight against
school integration, and they'd had some success in like getting
a dedicated base of evangelical extremists together, but segregation was
actually really unpopular. So this the the their initial plan

(26:45):
for the Moral Majority doesn't work out, and by the
early nineteen seventies it becomes clear to them to fall
Well into way Rich that they were backing the wrong horse,
and they start looking for new ideas as part of
their plan to build a new political coalition that, in
way Rich's words, would be defined by US conservatives in
moral terms, packaged in non religious language, and propagated throughout

(27:06):
the country by our new coalition. So he's trying to
basically take religious conservatism, package it and non religious language
and and push it on the entire country. And he's
looking for a way to do that Um, and he
realizes that while he in Um Fallwell have been fucking
around with anti segregation, Philish Slofly has figured out how

(27:28):
to build this coalition on her own. In the stop
e r A fight like, She's she's put together the
thing that Fallwell wanted to make in the first place.
And so like, while Fallwell is the guy and and
way Ri's getting like the credit for starting the moral majority,
Phyllis is the one who makes figures out how to
make it work as an electoral coal coalition. She she
figures out how to actually find people for this ship Um,

(27:51):
and she does it in a variety of ways, not
just by stoking like she stokes fears about how you know,
the the the r A is going to like change
the nature of her aationships between women and men and
destroy housewives. She also brings up fears about gay people.
She starts to play that claim that since religious schools
have been forced to desegregate, the e r A would
mean forced gay marriage. So she's again forced gay marriage.

(28:15):
She's the first person in an organized way to try
to build a coalition around the fear that religious like
churches will be forced to marry gay people if gay
people get civil rights. Like that's that's Philish Laughley's invention too.
That ship was with us in the early two thousands,
Like I grew up in that ship. I've heard of
partial birth abortion was a term coined by this group.

(28:37):
Was she part of that. I'm sure she had a
role in it. I don't know about that specifically. Like
the reframe things that sounds so much like forced any marriage,
forced marriage by itself sounds bad, you know, Like like
then you're adding all these fears that people have, Like
forced by itself sounds bad, forced anything, forced lunch. I'm like,
but it's interesting and like normally when people talk about

(28:59):
forced marriage, they're talking about like people being forced into marriages.
She's talking about that Christians will be forced to recognize
gay marriages. UM, don't force you into marriage. I don't know.
Oh no, no, there are our products and services pick
uh a a romantic partner for life for every single

(29:22):
one of our listeners. My dad will be thrilled for me. Yeah.
If you refuse um, then they will they will destroy
you because this is this is the totalitarianism. Um that
that I want to support with this podcast is forced
marriages for everybody. UM yeah yeah, so uh, grab whatever

(29:44):
partner has been picked by a machine for you and
listen to these other ads. So yeah, we're back. So
Slatley is the first person in like a really organized
way to kind of to to to start propagandizing over

(30:04):
the fear of like that churches are going to be
forced to conduct gay marriages. Like she brings that into
the public. These are all things that are still with us.
She's also one of the first people in the first person,
I think, in like an organized way to raise an
alarm about unisex bathrooms. Uh and how like and this idea,
like she starts trying to freak conservatives out with this
idea that like men are going to be using women's

(30:26):
rooms and women are gonna be using men's rooms and like,
think of what that will do to your kids. Like, again,
the ship that's with us today in slaugh Ley is
the person who ignites this fucking culture war. Consciously, I
have a dumb theory that because it's a lot of
these rich, rich, out of touch people that um, because
every most bathrooms in pretty middle class homes are unisex.

(30:47):
But I feel like because she grew up in a mansion,
it's like maybe she just doesn't like sharing bathrooms at all.
Like maybe her whole thing is like I cannot believe
that someone else, a person, another person, man or woman
will be in my bathroom because it's like, yeah, I
don't know, most of the family bathrooms are unit sex.
Like I've never been in a home. Actually, I've never
been in a home that separates men and women's time. Yes,

(31:08):
but you know, you know all of your family members,
and clearly we're all at more threat from like random strangers,
even though usually when people are sexually assaulted. Yeah, it's
it's dumb. Um. She's she again all she does in
the nineteen seventies and like early eighties, she's just starting
culture wars left and right. She's a fucking culture arsonist.

(31:28):
So she gets everybody like freaking out about bathrooms and
women using men's rooms and men using women's rooms. She
also gets uh, people lathered up over the possibility that
the e r A would lead to women getting sent
into combat. So this is like one of her like
propaganda lions, is that like, if we passed the Equal
Rights Amendment, women will be draftable and then suddenly you'll

(31:50):
have women fighting in battle. And thankfully, like most of
the culture wars that she started, we're still fighting today.
You'll still you'll hear bits about this here and there,
but like, for the most part, nobody winds about this
one anymore because I guess we've all gotten okay with
women getting shot to death. Yeah, it's gonna say that.
That one's one I would say. Sometimes you get lost
in the binary of these arguments, because if I were

(32:13):
to break down her emotions and just look at facts,
I'm like, Oh, in a real debate, that's actually a
valid point to bring up. We can explore because that
could be a real fear. And if we're moving towards
a place where women and men are you know, considered equal,
wishing should be and you're afraid to get drafted. Well,
then that there is something to explore there. But really
the problem is maybe more with a draft in general

(32:34):
of you know, it's not really this idea that men
and women are equal as this idea that you're afraid
of the draft and you thought you were safe, so
maybe you don't like the draft. Yeah, it's it's she's
she's finding as many ways as possible, like she again,
she's building a coalition, and so like it's this mix
of like stoking fear and stoking anger um and schlaf
Lee's work. What makes it so groundbreaking is that she

(32:56):
found a way to get a whole ship little white
ladies to fight actively against their own interests in political
rights rather than like, you know, this was an amendment
that would have given them legal equality, and she convinced
them that instead it was going to take away their
right to be supported and protected by men. She even

(33:16):
created a political lobbying group like the Eagle Forum, she
described as the alternative to Women's lib And she told
her followers, I think the main goal of the feminist
movement was the status degradation of the full time homemaker.
So she takes what's actually going on here is that
people are trying to guarantee and enshrine and law the
equality of women, and she convinces them, no, no, no,

(33:36):
If you're a homemaker and a wife, these people hate
you and they're trying to destroy your ability, like your existence,
that's what's happening here. They want to take this away
from you, They want to take your family from you.
That's the argument she's able to convince these people of.
She's she's not afraid of shit. She is doing all
of this because she she's an anti communist like extremist

(33:58):
and once the Republican Party to be in power so
that it can build all of the nukes in the world.
And she recognizes that the best way to get and
keep power in the party is to unite all these people.
And that's why she's doing all this propagandizing. More than anything,
she wants to to unite these because like her whole
life is um is an argument against everything that she

(34:20):
actually rallies for, right, Like she's an extremely liberated woman. Well,
that's why I felt like she's trying to she's actually
trying to keep people down. I agree with her wanting
power and uniting people, but it's like a false flag.
It feels like she wants to keep like take power
away from the people who have to follow her, because
if any of these if any of these women actually

(34:40):
get powerful, then they may they may change their mind
or like you know, fight against her or take her place.
And I think she wants to keep them down while
making them feel protected. Yeah, and and gathering, and like
that's the thing that she's able to do that's so impressive,
is like, so she's both convinces these women that like
feminist and whatnot are to take their ability, their right

(35:02):
to be protected by their husband, and she's able to
garner the support of religious, you know men by appealing
to their sense of Christian chivalry. Um schlaf Lee's Eagle
Forums sent out letters to legislators which complained that women lawyers,
women legislators, and women executives feminists were all trying to
oppress simple homemakers and housewives. And the letter ended with
a note, we the wives and working women need you,

(35:25):
dear senators and representatives, to protect us. So she's she's
both able to kind of like find and like pull
on this fear that these conservative homemakers have. These women
have over like their place being usurped um and kind
of the you know, the history moving beyond them, and
she's able to, uh like tug at the sense in

(35:46):
these like very conservative men that like, you need to
protect these women from this, this evil feminist conspiracy. Uh.
It's one of the most brilliant pieces of political maneuvering
in history. Schlaf Lely, acting more or less on her
own intuition, is responsible for holding much of what became
the religious right with her bare hands. Like all of
these groups, this hadn't been a coalition before, and she's

(36:06):
one of the she's one of the ground level workers
who's kind of putting it together. Um ilsa Hog who's
the former president of NARROW, which is like our big
pro choice organization in the United States and a lifelong
opponent of Shlaughley wrote a book called The Live at
Minds that includes really trenchant analysis of the voting block
that Phillis helped to create. It was kind of like

(36:27):
the key figure in creating quote. The women involved were
overwhelmingly white, church going and from the rural and suburban
middle and upper class. By definition, they had privileges to lose,
benefiting by association with the white male Christian power structure.
These women quickly embraced Shlaughlee's core message that the push
for equality would erase legal differences between men and women.
They even bought her more tenuous message that the e

(36:49):
r A would lead to supported horrors like homosexual marriage,
unisex bathrooms, or women in combat. Soon she had activated
a grassroots army to zealously fight to maintain their privilege
at the expense of other women's political, social, and economic equity.
They cast these other women, often unmarried, single moms, gay women,
and women of color, as deserving of shame because of
their life choices. That all sounds familiar, because it's where

(37:12):
we are today. We never move on from Philish laugh
leg Where can I sign up? I want to join
this party? Sounds relatedly way rich and fallwell of the
moral majority realized that like Phillis has done what they
were trying and kind of like failing to do uh,
And they quickly moved to rebrand the religious right and
do it in the image of the coalition that Phillis
had built. Also, Hoe continues in her book quote, they

(37:34):
didn't dwell on the differences between her public facing messages
about gender equality, and their own still centered on religious
freedom and school segregation. They saw the harmony in their
ideology and narratives both factions. After all, we're warning their
audiences that the new buzzwords of equality, whether they were
applied to black people, gay people, or women, were tantamount
to attacking your family, your way of life, your privileged status.

(37:55):
The movement architects had a clear target for this message.
They had no viable path to gain political dominance with
zero support from women, given the racist underpinnings of the movement.
That needed. That meant they needed a good portion of
white women. Evangelical white women were already primed, since many
of them had been involved in the fight against desegregation.
White women had always been critical and driving a lot
of the behind the scenes organizing of the white supremacist movement.

(38:17):
A political platform of family autonomy and parental rights, a
kind of white supremacist maternalism is how Elizabeth Gillespie McRae
described this grassroots movement in her book Mothers of Massive Resistance.
White Women in the Politics of white supremacy. And that's
an important term, white supremacist maternalism, which is like it's
it's it's Karenism, right, It's like it's it's white suburban

(38:39):
moms and their hatred of everything that isn't white suburb
their hatred and fear of everything that isn't white suburban moms.
That's white supremacist maternalism. That is what Philish laughly welds
into an electoral coalition that she makes the core of
the Republican Party. And to this day that's who. That's
who fucking wins like that. That's a major factor in
their ability to win election. Um is white, white middle

(39:02):
class ladies. It's this idea of motherhood, but you're attaching
it to it's very specific, almost like kind of folky
old school memory of childhood. Like and they all similarly,
a lot of them grow up similarly, so they can
just kind of use some buzzwords to like kind of
trigger that. A lot of it is also co opting

(39:25):
the fear a lot of these these mothers have over
like what's going to happen like the world their kids
are growing up in because they don't understand it, and
making that fear law. So you get you know, in
the nineteen eighties, laugh Ley and this this white supremacist
maternalist coalition are a big part of what launches Reagan
into the White House. And obviously, like one of the
things Reagan does is put his wife Nancy up to

(39:45):
like be the one of the faces of the war
on drugs and just say no. And that's like, that's
the that that is white supremacist maternalism in a nutshell,
is on the surface, you have all of these you
have these like white moms scared about their kids and
just wanting to protect their children, and like that's what
we're doing. We're strong moms who want to protect our kids.
And what actually happens is you have this right wing

(40:08):
government put a car Serrale state into place that arrests
hundreds of thousands of black and Hispanic people, um and
then monetizes their bodies through forced labor, and like that's
what happens in the background of this where you've got this.
But but a big part of why they're able to
sell it is this like we have to protect the
children's sort of thing like Philish last well they're doing

(40:29):
with Q and on now they're the pedophile ring. I mean,
it's always about protecting the kids. It's always about white
kids because it's I mean, like, I like this idea
that white children are so innocent, but then a black
teen is dangerous and you're like, wait a minute there,
you're not really using motherhood in the right way if
you're really about protecting people. But I think they're stoking

(40:50):
this idea because they want to keep Americans, or the
white Americans, in a constant of state of almost like adolescents.
Like because even though they say they don't want welfare state,
if you feel like you're a child and you need
protection from your mom, you're gonna rely on your government
and listen to them as if they're your parents. You're
not gonna think for yourself. And I think they this

(41:11):
like is a part of this power struggle, is like
creating this parental dynamic between the government and its constituents,
and it's stoked by this maternal sort of like imagery. Yeah,
that's that's a lot of what's going on here. And
I'm going to continue quoting from il Zaho because I
think what she says about Slaughly and what she does
is really interesting here. Quote laugh Ly definitely steered these

(41:33):
white women towards more public acceptance and folded them into
the effort to fight gender parody measures. She never asked
them to check their racism at the door. If anything,
she told adherents who balked at the racist tendencies of
their fellow warriors to swallow their displeasure for the sake
of the cause. For her, these issues were two sides
of the same coin, as stop e r A and
the Eagle Forms cemented themselves as the new Rights Ladies Auxiliary.

(41:56):
They found a sphere where they could raise their voices
and flex some power without threatening the men in their lives.
They used their collective weight to throw women's issues, to
whitewash the racist underbelly of the movement and show up
traditional power systems. Stop e r A was extremely brand conscious.
They knew their value was in the perfect combination of
fierce advocacy wrapped an unapologetic traditional femininity. They were known

(42:18):
for baking pies and breads to hand out to lawmakers
with the slogan from the Breadmakers to the Breadwinners. They
shamelessly flattered male lawmakers, is a core part of the
lobbying strategy. So this is a This is like gut
wrench ng and horrible, but it's also brilliant, like Shlafley
is an incredibly intelligent and effective political operator. Um, she

(42:39):
was a master using identity politics. Yeah, I mean I
like that. Like it makes me annoyed that they took
this idea of nurturing and gave it to the right,
because I'm like, I'm very much a die hard left ist,
Like I'm very radical in existence, but I'm like, I
like to nurture. I like to bake pies. Now, I now,
you guys took that and made an extreme conservative than Yeah,

(43:02):
and it's it's this is really what keeps the Republican Party,
what brings it back to life right after like and
this is what brings Ronald Reagan into office. And again,
once you've got Reagan, you've got because because Reagan was
like one of the big guys who rose in defensive
Barry Goldwater. So like Nixon, with Nixon kind of this
this sort of corporatist and and you know we're going

(43:24):
to be, you know, a bigger tent party. Like this
idea of what the Republican Party could be collapses because
Nixon was a criminal. Um, and but what what replaces
it is Reagan and this like religious uh fundamentalist, um,
white supremacist sort of view of what the party should
fundamentally be. Like that's that that really really takes a

(43:47):
hold under Reagan. Like obviously Nixon had engaged in a
bunch of white supremacists ship, but like under under Reagan
and thanks to kind of the coalition, Slaughley builds this
like they figure out a way to make it work, right,
and it becomes like the Republican Party has never stepped
away from this ship. Like the thing they embraced with
Laughley is the cult of Southern white womanhood and like

(44:08):
like you know, this this opposition, this violent opposition to
feminism and the idea that like, um, there should be
any sort of like move for a quality between the
genders and stuff, like they this the Schlafley's that Shlaughley
in a nutshell um And yeah it's it's a real bummer.

(44:29):
You know what's not a real bummer, Robbert the products
and services that support this podcast. Yeah. Yeah, So the
coalition that she creates, it comes along at this time
when like Fallwell and and way Rich and these these
kind of far right religious conservative crusaders were like trying

(44:53):
to grapple with the fact that white supremacy was not
as easy away too, Like open white supremacy didn't get
them votes, is easily a more um and like they
were seeing these civil rights leaders making advances in society
and like open racist appeals losing like their power to
convince people and having to like soft pedal their racism,
and Philish Laughly provides them away to like, you don't

(45:14):
have to soft pedal your racism, you just have to
wrap it differently, like you can you can justify the
naked imprisonment of tens of thousands of young black men
if you just have a concerned mom get on screen
and talk about how scary drugs are, Like that's that's
that can work for you, Like, so that's yeah. The

(45:35):
GOP has been kind of playing this balancing act ever since.
Philish Laughley, probably more than any other similar single person,
crafted the political strategies and laid the propaganda foundation for
the electoral strategy that's brought Republicans to power again and
again during our lifetimes. She is maybe these the main
architect of the right wings half century of steady political victories.

(45:56):
She's full of contradictions just to begin with, which then
just lee into more like even the I mean, obviously
everyone knows how contradictory they war on drugs is, but
just on a very basic level, on a class level,
like people say, like, oh, that's a drug neighborhood. You
to imply it's like a poor neighborhood, But every single
fucking like rich like Beverly Hill, those are all drug neighborhood.
Like a mansion. Literally, you read one mansion, you can

(46:19):
find probably like so much cocaine, more than you would
find in a whole block in like you know, lower
those economic area. But that's not what people care about
because they're rich people. They just yeah, well, but because
it's about white supremacy and like that's what they're really
trying to do, and they yeah laugh Lely like Schlafly
isn't the one who has the idea to do that,

(46:41):
but she's the one who figures out how to actually
sell it, Like right, they've been wanting to do They
had been wanting it, attempting and doing that, like the
law had been weaponized and drug policy had been weaponized
and stuff before that. And like Phyllis isn't even like
a huge part of the anti drug crusade. She just
puts together this coalition and figures out this way of
marketing conservatism that lets them do that, that let's Reagan

(47:02):
get into office, that lets them justify all of this
this like it's it's her. She teaches the Republican Party
that the path to their success is to just endlessly
create a series of unsolvable culture wars. That that's how
you that's how you gain and keep power. Um. Yeah.
By nineteen eighty five, the e r A was still

(47:23):
three states short of ratification, and it it dies on
the fine right like it's a long fight starts in
seventy two and eighty five, but the e r A
is never ratified. It's still not an amendment. Phyllis killed it, basically,
and by the mid nineteen eighties she was killing more
than amendments. Starting in the late nineteen seventies, she'd pushed
to make hating gay people a major plank of the

(47:43):
Republican Party she was helping to build. Her Eagle Forum
newsletter published bigoted cartoons that insulted gay in particularly trans people.
As the AIDS crisis began to tear through the gay community,
she lastly became one of the loudest voices against doing
a single goddamn thing to help. In nineteen eighty eight,
when surgeon in Normal see Everett Coup, who we did
an episode about because he was actually a pretty good guy,

(48:03):
but we were talking about how shitty the Reagans were
on Age but see Everett Coop starts like this age
education program to try to get people basic information about
safe sex to try and reduce how many people are
dying of AIDS, and Slaughly calls it the teaching of
safe sodomy, and like basically goes toward counter messaging against
this very basic education program that the government's really good

(48:26):
at twisting words, uh, really quickly in a way that
like like sounds bad even to some Like I am
pro education, but like the way that those words hit
you feel the emotion, like you feel a negative connotation immediately, yep. So,
adding anti gay rhetoric to her e er A campaign

(48:46):
had allowed Slaughly to unite a number of conservative religious
groups behind her banner. Evangelical and Catholic bigots might not
have much in common aside from their hatred of gay people,
but Slaughly could use that to bring them together. I'm
gonna quote from Slate here Rwing from long standing opposition
to racial integration, interracial marriage, and mixed raced families, her
pamphlets and articles transposed racial rhetoric onto fears of homosexuality.

(49:08):
She frequently associated the e r A with the dangers
of sex mixing, homosexual marriage, and the threat of homosexual
school teachers. As early as nineteen seventy three, she warned
that the e r A would legalize homosexual marriages and
open the door to the adoption of children by legally
married homosexual couples. The e r A would enable these
gay rights, she said, because any law that defines a
marriage as a union of a man and a woman

(49:29):
would have to be amended to replace those words with person.
So Schlaughley's newsletters, like The Physical, The Phillish Slaughly Report
in The Eagle Form, regularly published cartoons depicting gay and
lesbian marriages, images that showed men dressed as women or
women dressed as men. Gender anarchy and sexual anarchy went
hand in hand for Slaughlely. Her nineteen seventy seven book
The Power of Positive Woman of the Positive Woman compiled

(49:52):
these anti gay ideas and exclaimed that firemen who constantly
risked their lives in our behalf should have the right
to make a judgment that they're close. Living and working
conditions make a homosexual coworker intolerable. So so they're not
afraid of going into a burning building, but they can't
share an office space with the gay person. But they're
scared of gay people. Yeah, that's wild. Yeah. As the

(50:14):
eighties turned to the nineties, increasing right wing I mean, yeah,
she sure did well, Radcliffe. As the nineteen eighties turned
to the nineties, increasing numbers of right wing activists began
to imitate Slaughley's use of anti gay bigotry. The campaign
against same sex marriage that coalesced in this period and
nearly succeeded in making it illegal to be gay and married,
was based in large part on the work of Philish Laughly.

(50:36):
Like she's she's the underpinning ideologically of a lot of this,
Like she gets started the propaganda campaign that turns into
you know, the attempts to make the defensive Marriage Act
and stuff. I'm just going to start up counter campaign
and just make all marriages illegal. And that's what that's
what they do. They move the things so far, they
moved the line so far that in order to be

(50:56):
against them, you have to be extreme. But if I
do that, then it's like I was just fighting for marriage.
You're not fighting for gay marriages, raight marriages. Like marriage
is all illegal. Now if you're Republican, you just gotta
fight for gay marriage because marriage falls into that. I
think we ought to. I think we had to do
away with with gender entirely and just have you know, people,
people who have people who produce sperm can just generate

(51:18):
a bunch of that will throw it in like a
wave pool, and people who want to have kids going there,
and that's that's it. No more, no more. That's the
future that liberals want is just a bunch of cum
filled wave pools and and no more gender. That's the dream.
Wave pools are probably unfilled. Yeah, they are all cum filled. Yes,
that that is That's what Slaughley was trying to to
to prevent. She knew that our secret goal was just

(51:41):
a bunch of semen encrusted water parks, and she was
she was fighting to stop our secret schemes. So I
don't know, like she's just she's just a piece of ship.
She's a real bad fucking person. So all of this,
you know, she she helps ignite sort of like the
anti gay movement of the nineties and early two thousands,
and really, like, obviously homosexuality had been something that people

(52:04):
were like murdering folks over in the United States for
a long time before Slaughly she figures out the language
of how to sell that politically right, Like, that's the
thing that she does. She doesn't create anti gay bigotry.
She figures out how to sell it and keep it
as keep it politically relevant in the modern age when
you have to be less openly hateful. That's her talent.

(52:25):
So when it came to h anti Jewish bigotry, s
Laughly in her organizations were a little bit more cunning.
They they had to be careful about their opposition to
the Jews. Um. The Eagle Forums newsletters never said the Jews,
but they talked constantly about well financed minorities who were
responsible for supporting liberal causes and pushing social change. And

(52:45):
obviously who's the well finance manorities they're talking about, like
rich Jewish people. Uh. In the nineteen book about Kissinger,
s Laughly and her partner Admiral Ward included the line
Henry says, some who know him has no God, does
he have a country? So they're asked basically like is
Henry Kissinger loyal to the United States or is he
like a a wandering Jew without a country, which is

(53:07):
like an ancient stereotype, right, this idea that like the
jew Jewish people are not members of the societies, they
live in their their members of the tribe, and like
they're they're always working towards other ends. So again they
don't shlaughly knows that you can't print the Jews in
a bunch of propaganda, but you can get everybody convinced
that there's well financed minorities and when you name them,

(53:29):
they're always Jewish who were supporting these social programs you
think are evil. And it gets the point across to
your followers, how is she um? Like I just nobody's
pointing holes in the logic that she's saying. She's like
for her country and she's claiming Kissingers anti his country.
But then she's literally coming for her fellow countrymen, like
I'm assuming these gay people protected under the Equal rights

(53:52):
would be citizens, So she's literally doing that, She's coming
for her countrymen. Yeah, but the people who like Philish
Laughly doesn't think those are her countrymen, you know, that's
why that's factually they are. They always focus about wanting
to murder us, wanting to murder every like, yeah, definition
is that those are her fellow I mean maybe she

(54:13):
doesn't like her country. It sounds like she doesn't like
a country. There's about half the country that she wanted purged, right,
That's like that's Slaughley. That's most hardcore conservatives these days
is like that. And that's what she helps to build.
Is this this right wing coalition where she gets a
lot of people on board. Like there's this core, this
hard evil core of the of the new right. That's

(54:36):
like the John Birch society, people who want everybody they
disagree with murdered, and they're able to Slaughly helps them
build this shield of folks who are very culturally conservative
don't necessarily want that, but she's able to weld them
into an electoral coalition and then radicalize them to make
them more and more hateful. Like that's the process that
starts with Slaughley and ends with fucking Q and on.

(54:58):
But they just project a lot because it's like they
all say things like if you don't like it leave,
but it sounds like they don't like it. It sounds
like they're like they're literally projecting what they they are doing. Yeah,
I mean that doesn't matter. It's just like they they
they're they're trying to destroy, uh, they're trying to destroy
the idea of like progressivism, Like that's all they care

(55:18):
about at the core. Um, that's what people like Slaughley,
These secret the the secret John Birch agents you know
are are are are all about. And Shlaughley's probably the
best of them at doing her job. So Phillis never
earned mainstream Republican political acknowledgment, and like the way that
she wanted, she kind of wanted to be involved in

(55:39):
defense policy. The Reagan administration never had a place for her.
Nobody ever really did. She never got the job of
overseeing the creation of a nuclear arsenal even more gigantic
than our current one. But she got to see Reagan
pushed for the star Wars missile defense system, and you
know that had been based a lot on the fears
that she helps stoke. And eventually, I think she seems
to have accepted that she would be the architect of

(56:01):
the Republican Party's future, but she was never going to
hold like an office. She grew into an elder stateswoman
of the radical right, never changing, never relenting, and always
certain that her hatred of black people, gay people, Jewish people,
and every non Christian, nonconservative would eventually bear electoral fruit.
She passed her time by arguing with feminists, who hated
her for many things, but partly for the fact that

(56:22):
she clearly spent her whole life taking advantage of the
wonderful things the women's rights movement had fought so hard
to earn for every woman. And despite the fact that
she was very clearly a liberated career women and valued
the progressive achievements that allowed her to do what she'd done,
she laughtly spent every day of her working life fighting
to roll those achievements back. In one famous debate, feminist

(56:43):
mystique author Betty Friedan told slafely, I'd like to burn
you at the stake. I consider you a traitor to
your sex. I consider you an aunt Tom years later,
she laughly told an interviewer that freedom had been very
ugly to encounter. I reject all her ideology, most of
it based on the absurd notion that the home is
a comfortable concentration camp, and the suburban housewife is oppressed

(57:03):
by her husband. In society. Laughley continued to fight against
women's rights and gay rights her whole life. In nineteen
six she made a deal with Pat Buchanan, whose campaign
she co chaired to work against, to work together to
write to write her crusade against legal abortion into the
firmament of the Republican Party. Bob Dole, the party's official
candidate in that election, wanted to change the GOP stance

(57:26):
on abortion to something more tolerant. S Laughlely threatened to
a floor fight against his nomination during the convention if
Dole even allowed exceptions for raper incest, and she got
her wish. The GOP's abortion plank has never since relented.
In two thousand eleven, six hundred pieces of anti choice
legislation were introduced in legislative bodies across the United States.

(57:47):
These are one way or the other parts of Philish
Laughly's legacy. That year, when questioned about her legacy, s
Laughlely herself responded, we are winning the abortion fight. Really,
all the Republicans who are elected in two thousand ten
or pro life, including all the women, and we're winning
that fight, especially with young people. This was true in
the era when that article I found that quoting was written.
It cites a two thousand nine Gallop study that found

(58:09):
a nine point increase since the nineteen nineties among respondents
eighteen to twenty nine years of age who said that
abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. And if I
can end this whole terrible story on a semi positive note,
it would be that things aren't continuing in that direction.
While the legal assault on reproductive health has only gotten
worse over the last nine years, young people are actually

(58:30):
more likely to support abortion now than ever and then
they were in two thousand nine when that article was written.
I found a really fascinating pr r I study that
includes something very inspiring quote. Over the past five years,
young people are more likely to have changed their opinion
on abortion than any other group. Twenty nine percent reported
a change, ten percent higher than any other age group.
Young adults have changed their opinion to be more supportive

(58:52):
nineteen percent rather than opposed ten percent to abortion, by
a margin of almost two to one. So that's good. Well,
I think um a lot of it is like the framing,
like there's just so good at framing it. Like when
I say I'm like, I'll say I'm pro choice, but
I we shorthanded almost say like I'm for abortion, but
I'm not like four, I'm not like, hey, everyone, let's

(59:13):
go get an abortion. I think pro choice is this
idea that you should have a choice, but they've kind
of pushed it into the corner where we are screaming
about like our abortions. But the point is we want
a choice, not that we all want to go and
get an abortion. Like it's still like the thing can
still be painful, but this idea that you don't have
a choice is even worse. Yeah, And it seems like

(59:35):
like Slaughley, the way that she framed it succeeded in
reversing the gains of like the reproductive health movement of
the wins rights movement for decades. It does seem like
that's I mean, they have more political power than ever,
but in terms of how many people agree with the
ship she's saying, that seems to be less than there
have been in decades, Like it seems like the wave
might be turning back, like the propaganda doesn't work anymore. Finally,

(59:59):
but she got decades out of that. Well, I think
stuff like your podcast help, like literally information I think
is the only thing that really illuminates um all these inconsistencies.
And I mean, I don't know. My theory about her
is still she sucks. But I'm just hearing so much
unresolved trauma, like her spoken up childhood and this rug

(01:00:20):
being pulled out from her when her dad lost her job.
I feel like she's forever distrusting of power structures, even
though she is she becomes the power structure. She's afraid
of these conspiracies because she thinks at any moment the
things she puts her faith in will be taken away,
Like I don't know, it needs to go to a
lot of trauma therapy. I think I don't know if
it's trauma or like, I think that might be less

(01:00:42):
likely in my reading of her life than that UM.
Like she saw this UM, I think it was very
like like an opportunity, but it hurt herself. So then
that's why I feel like she didn't have all the information.
I think you were closest to write about her when
you said like she wants to be on top, she

(01:01:03):
wants to be as high as a woman can go
and maybe part like she she doesn't. She doesn't like
the idea of other women doing what she's doing, and
she actively works to stop it. But she wants she
herself wants to be liberated. I don't know. I don't
I don't have a great handle. I don't know. Yeah,
maybe maybe maybe I'm reading it wrong. But I feel

(01:01:24):
like all of her, her biographies, everything you find about
her is so like written by people who are on
the same side of the aisle as her, that it
is hard for me to get a real like I
I want to know more about how she actually felt
as a kid when her dad, you know, her family's
financial situation collapse and her mom had to take Like
is that what is like seeing her dad, you know,
depressed and out of work and her mom leaving the house?

(01:01:46):
Like did that? Did that really put a lot of
anger in her? I don't know, But I don't think
she actually knows. I think she wouldn't. I don't think
she reads to me as someone who has not actually
processed it. But of course, like you explained earlier, like
it would have enough fact, but I don't think she's
aware of it, and it actually comes out in this
bigger way where she feels she needs to control everything
around her and be on top and always know what's

(01:02:09):
going on. Yeah. I mean I can say like from
a personal level as as the kind of person I am,
Like my dad having to like move away from the
family and stuff when I was a kid, um to
get work, like had an impact on me and kind
of made had had a big lasting impact on Like
why I hate some of the things I hate, like capitalism, um,

(01:02:32):
kind of today. Uh. And I don't know, Maybe I'm
reading too much into her. I think maybe she went
I don't know. I just don't know with Phillis, But
I feel like that there's a key to whatever the
person she turned into in that aspect of her life.
I just don't really understand what it is. Philish laughly
though died in the summer. She lived way too fucking long.

(01:02:55):
She was ninety two. She died. Did she die in
a peaceful way? Like? Probably? Yeah? She died surrounded by
her family and bullshit. Um, it's a shame. I wish
she'd gotten hit the face by an eagle. Um. Yeah,
before she died, she got to do one last terrible thing. Uh.
A St. Louis Trump rally, she endorsed Donald Trump to

(01:03:18):
be the next president of the United States, saying, I
think he has the courage in the industry, the energy.
You know, you have to have energy for that job
in order to bring some changes, to do what the
grassroots want him to do, because this is a grassroots uprising.
We've been following the losers for so long. Now we've
got a guy who's going to lead us to victory.
And then her spirit just like she croaked and then

(01:03:38):
her spirit just inhabited his body and became a horcrux.
I hate Phyllis uh and everything that she stands for.
I don't know, it's it's a real bummer. She engineered
Donald Trump being able to gain political power, and he

(01:03:58):
was very much the guy she was waiting for her
whole because he's a straight up fascist strong man and
that's what she's always wanted. And like all of these
other Republicans she supported, like wound up short to her
in some way. And I you know, she knew that
Trump would would do the things she wanted, which is
violently suppressed the people she disagreed with politically. Yeah, that's

(01:04:22):
the life of Philish laughly. Uh. A woman who spent
her whole existence crusading against abortion, uh, and a woman
whose whole life was a minument to the sad truth
that like a lot of there's there's some babies out
there that maybe oughtn't have stopped being you know, you
know what I'm saying, like, Yeah, a real, a real

(01:04:43):
nasty woman, as some way would say. I just want
to clarify I don't I'm not apologizing for her, and
I definitely also hate her. But when I when I
talk about the childhood stuff, because it's it's more me
trying to understand, like how do people get so far
to the point where they're was like working against their
own interests and their own communities. And I truly don't,

(01:05:05):
uh don't mean that in a like a apologist way
at all, Like I know, like I feel like sometimes
I come off centrist, but I don't like her, Let's
be clear. Yeah, they're just trying to figure out, like, yeah,
you're trying to figure out, like how did this happen?
How did she become such a nasty batch? Is what
we're all trying to figure out. But there's one positive

(01:05:27):
thing that I kind of here and and kind of
applies to everything going on now is like whenever aside,
like the extreme radical right tries this hard like and
throws this much money, because it sounds like they had
money their whole life to oppress or change reality, it
means the other side is actually more powerful than they think,

(01:05:47):
because they wouldn't be spending all this time and money
to oppress to control if we were actually weak, Like
it's just not it wouldn't be this hard for them
to win. And they are having a hard time, so
it feels scary. But I think whenever they hear about
all this power like, it means you're actually powerful. Yep, yeah,
I mean it means they're scared of what will happen

(01:06:08):
if they don't violently suppress all resistance because they know
that not a lot of people agree with them, right,
Like that's the whole Like, that's why you that's why
you do this culture warship is because your opponent, like
the people who don't like the things you believe, are
much more numerous than you, but they all believe different

(01:06:29):
things of their own and they're willing to coexist with
other people who believe different things. Uh, and you are not.
And your coalition has been built by all of these
people who believe that there's nothing but a series of
black and white choices in politics, um and never can be.
And if you can get enough people you know, wrapped
around a bunch of issues that are they see as

(01:06:52):
life and death forever um than evenually like you'll you
won't lose those people, right like you, They will always
vote for your thing, even if they don't like you
or you're the people that you're you know, the candidate
you put up. Because abortion is the big issue, right
like it's the thing. The left is always trying to
do this with health care, but for whatever reason, it

(01:07:13):
just hasn't worked, um. You and I think it's because
in part maybe like no one actually believes that the
Republican Party or the Democratic Party is going to do
anything about health care anymore, like Obama had that chance
kind of um, but we never built anything that really
helped people enough. So you don't have this. You have
a lot of people who support single payer healthcare, but

(01:07:33):
you don't have it's not the same kind of electoral
coalition as you have with like we want to make
abortion illegal um and hurt gay people and stuff like.
That's a much more durable coalition because for one thing,
they know that the Republican Party will continue to do
it every time they're in office. They will hurt the
people I hate, Whereas most of the people who for

(01:07:54):
whom single payer health care is a voting issue, don't
trust any of the candidates who you know, run on
variants of it to actually do anything. It's a very
frustrating and bad situation and it's going to kill us
all or not, that's not really my place to determine. Uh, Teresa,
you want to plug your pluggable. Sure, you can follow

(01:08:15):
my podcast it's called you Can't Tell Me Anything. If
you haven't heard Evan's episode yet, um, you gotta go back.
It's one of my earlier guests, but you definitely pick
it up. And I think I'm gonna I already said
this in the last one, but I'm selling hat to
say I can't tell me Daddy. So follow me at
Larissachi on Twitter and Instagram for those links.

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