Phyllis Schlafly has long argued that the American conservative movement’s purpose is to influence, not echo, the Republican Party.
And still going strong at age 90, Mrs. Schlafly wants to influence the GOP anew by warning against letting the party’s “kingmakers” — the Wall Street elite and political consultant class — turn the 2016 presidential nomination contest into a coronation of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Mincing no words, Mrs. Schlafly makes her case in a 2015 update to her landmark book from a half-century ago titled “A Choice Not an Echo,” which, in 1964, became the motto of Barry Goldwater’s grass-roots movement.
In her update, Mrs. Schlafly — founder of the Eagle Forum — argues that her party too often picks losers as candidates because of a stranglehold by the political consultant-big business-Wall Street crowd, which she argues makes a bundle from championing moderates over conservatives.
She warns that may be happening again in 2016 in the persona of Jeb Bush.
She notes “closed-door events have been held for Republican megadonors to select who will get the big money that went last time to Mitt Romney” and that the mainstream media already are cheering on Mr. Bush.
As evidence, she cites a New York Times article about how “Jeb Bush is so smart, so intellectual and so well-read. We were told that he is a ‘top-drawer intellect’ and a voracious reader who maintains 25 books on his Kindle — books such as George Gilder’s ‘Knowledge and Power.’”
Mrs. Schlafly urges grass-roots conservatives to rise up and resist a coronation of Mr. Bush.
“Do you get the message that the media buildup for Jeb Bush has begun and that the 2016 Republican National Convention may simply nominate for president another Establishment loser candidate?” she writes.
“But it doesn’t have to be. Some of us remember Everett Dirksen’s famous speech at the 1952 Republican Convention when he publicly taunted the kingmakers, ‘We followed you before and you led us down the path to defeat.’”