You’d like on a personal level embrace your political adversaries, but Phyllis Schlafly, the anti-Steinem who died today, didn’t make it easy.
She clung to a time in America when pretty much everything was run by men–only white men, of course–and trafficked in ugly racial politics, encouraging the GOP to ignore Latino voters and instead rally around white America. If you want to credit the activist for something, it must be admitted she was amazingly consistent in her backwardness, from her early efforts to thwart the ERA to her last-act embrace of the Tea Party and Donald Trump. Oh, and in between she staunchly opposed civil unions and gay marriage (despite having a gay son) and urged banning foreign-born players from Major League Baseball. Schlafly’s face seemed to say it all: It was very pleasant, though the eyes were frequently narrowed, almost in a squint, like she wasn’t quite able to see the whole picture.
In 1973, William F. Buckley, Jr. invited Schlafly and Ann Scott to debate the Equal Rights Amendment. Scott died two years later from breast cancer.