By Paul Bremer
The woman Rep. Michele Bachmann calls “the most consequential female” in public policy in the last 50 years is taking on the feminist movement and its liberal allies again, charging they and their policies are responsible for the decline of the family in America.
Phyllis Schlafly, known for spearheading the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment, takes the fight to the left in a new book titled “Who Killed the American Family.” Described as the most personal book she’s written, it explains how changes in the law, court decisions, education, entertainment and culture in general have eroded an essential building block of society.
“The American family was destroyed by a combination of political activists, judges, economic theorists, self-proclaimed experts, and left-wing politicians – with different motives that produced the same result,” Schlafly writes in the first chapter.
That’s the short answer, and she goes into greater detail in the rest of the book. To those familiar with Schlafly’s work, it will come as no surprise that she lays much of the blame for the death of the American family on radical feminists.
“That attitude is not compatible with marriage and motherhood, and it does not produce happiness,” Schlafly writes.
Bachmann noted she came to know about Schlafly “with all of the work she was doing on nearly every topic,” including her successful fight against the Equal Rights Amendment.
Soon the congresswoman obtained her copy of “The Phyllis Schlafly Report.”
“I was so thrilled,” she said.
She credits Schlafly for being part of the movement that gave rise to Ronald Reagan’s presidency and the ultimate downfall of the Soviet Union.
Another killer of the American family in Schlafly’s eyes is no-fault divorce, which she refers to as “unilateral divorce.” Women initiate two-thirds of all divorces, according to Schlafly, because they know they will usually get full custody of their children and a steady stream of child-support money from their ex-husbands.
“Wives who had tired of marriage and its obligations discovered that they could divorce with or without any reason, keep the kids and most of their ex-husbands’ income, and live a life free from marriage obligations,” she wrote.
Schlafly also writes about the tyranny of family courts, which she believes deny countless children access to their fathers through unnecessary restraining orders. She blasts family court judges for overruling the wishes of parents.
“[F]amily courts cling to the idea that a judge can act as a philosopher-king and decide what is in the best interest of a child,” she writes. “This cannot be done without punishing parents and others for acts that are not contrary to any laws, rules, regulations, or policies that are written anywhere.”
The book includes is a lengthy discussion on the perverse incentives in the tax code and welfare state that discourage stable families. Schlafly reiterated this point during a recent interview with WND.
“The welfare system is giving handouts to promote women having children without husbands,” she said. “If they don’t have husbands, they’re going to look to Big Brother government, and we don’t want Big Brother government to be supporting our families.”
Schlafly some harsh words for the parenting “experts,” such as psychiatrists, judges and social workers who claim to know a child’s “best interests” better than the child’s parents.
“It used to be that when a mom had a ten-year-old boy who was ‘a bundle of uncontained energy,’ the dad would teach him to play football or work on the farm to burn up that energy and make a man out of him. But now our society has convinced this mom to kick out her husband, drug the boy, and let him get fat and lazy,” she writes.
Liberals often claim there is a Republican “war on women” in America, but Schlafly disagrees. Instead, she writes in her book of a war on men – young boys, college men and especially fathers. She believes the feminist agenda is all about subordinating men.
The bottom line is that the traditional nuclear family must be restored if the United States is to have a limited government, she contends. When parents are unable to provide for their children, it becomes the government’s responsibility to care for them. This necessitates increased government spending, which leads to greater deficits.
“Do you want Congress to cut taxpayer spending and balance the federal budget?” Schlafly asks in the final chapter. “Do you want to restore our traditional system of limited government, created by the Founding Fathers so that Americans can live in freedom without supervision by an intrusive government? No way can any of that happen unless we restore the nuclear family as the lifestyle of the majority of Americans.”