David’s #8 – A Choice Not An Echo by Phyllis Schlafly

I recently picked up this book at a secret meeting of right wing fundamentalists…just kidding…sort of. I did, however, hear Mrs. Schlafly speak and got the opportunity to briefly meet her afterwards. She is an amazing lady and considered by many to be a conservative icon.

The book was originally published in 1964 in support of Republican Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign. It has since been updated and expanded but the overarching message remains. Mrs. Schlafly took an intricate look at the inner workings of the Republican Party. She revealed how a small group of key players, “kingmakers” had nearly complete power and influence over who became the Republican presidential nominee, similar to the way that, “Paris dressmakers control the length of women’s skirts.” In this updated version she contends that not much has changed.

She argues, and gives supporting evidence to show that the goal of these kingmakers was and is not to give the voters a choice and put a conservative president in office, but rather to “echo” the New Deal Democrats. The result has been a string of moderate presidential candidates rather than true conservatives.

She starts by tracing the kingmaker’s control back to 1936 with the selection of candidate Alf Landon, governor of Kansas. She originally finished with what she believed was a victory over the kingmakers, when Barry Goldwater won the nomination in 1964. In this expanded edition she goes further to comment on Nixon, Ford, the Bushes, and others. She continues all the way up to addressing the upcoming election of 2016 and what she believes are the present day activities of the kingmakers.

Mrs. Schlafly goes into detail about the backroom politics and the reasoning behind the kingmaker’s opposition to particular, more grassroots conservative candidates.

She talks about the various tools they use to ensure that who they want wins the nomination and how certain candidates have all but signed their political death certificates by refusing to bend and submit to the kingmaker’s agenda. Included in their methods are incredible financial power, tremendous access to advertising and ability to manipulate the mass media, their use of pollsters and hoaxsters, promises of position and threats of being ostracized.

The author’s experience and perspective are apparent, and require that the book be read with discernment. It certainly, however, contains valuable observations and accurate opinions that are worthy of our review and consideration. It is likely that many of the comments and reflections that Mrs. Schlafly makes are things that you have thought to yourself at one time or another and you would not be surprised to learn that they are based in reality.

Incredibly interesting, surprisingly simple read that will definitely make you think!

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