Restoration PAC | Fight Right, ep 72 | Ed Martin

Published June 17, 2022 232 Views

Jerry talks to Ed Martin, president of Phyllis Schafly Eagles and accomplished political figure.

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Jerry Ewalt: Welcome to the First Right podcast, a weekly conservative news show brought to you by Restoration PAC. I'm your host, Jerry Ewalt chief marketing officer for restoration of America. And today we are blessed to have a special guest Ed Martin, president of the Phyllis Schlafly Eagles. Ed is an accomplished political figure in Missouri. Who had the honor of working closely with Phyllis Schlafly prior to her passing in 2016. At the age of 92, he co-wrote a book with her called the conservative case for Trump. Ed, Thanks for joining us today.

Ed Martin: Great to be with you. Thank you. Thanks for a chance to talk.

Jerry Ewalt: Absolutely. So Phyllis Schlafly a legend in the American conservative movement since 1964. I know she's no longer with us, but her legacy lives on. And I'd like to know a little bit about you and how you got to know Phyllis and the position you're in right now.

Ed Martin: Well, first of all, Phyllis says, I like talking about Phyllis more than I like talking about myself. Phyllis was an extraordinary American, as you mentioned, a conservative leader, she used to love to say with a big smile, she had a lot of styles. She would say I had it all, just not all at once. And by that she meant she would a wonderful husband. They had an incredible marriage. He was about a decade older than her, and they were great partners. She would talk about how they did a lot of work together. He wrote a famous report on the Abe for the ABA, the American bar association. He was a lawyer and she was kind of his research assistant. They were already married and then they had six children. She had a bunch of grandchildren, she was an author. She started an organization. She ran for office.
She had high office in, in American politics. She was the vice chair of the American Federation of Republican women, which at the time in the sixties was really the only Republican women's group. And so she was did that and you know, she beat the ERA. She met presidents, she did it all. She just didn't all do it all at once. And, and her career spanned probably the most extraordinary period in American political life. She started to work in politics in the early 1940s. She was about 18 years old and in 19, and she was born in 1924. And so she was just kind of getting into 18, 20 year old and, and then all the way through until 2016. And one of the things she was very proud of was that she attended every Republican national convention from 1952 until 2016. She attended again in 2016 and was proud to cast her vote for then candidate and nominee Trump.
And so she was involved in politics. She used to say, politics is where the action is. You can say, you know, deep thoughts and ivory towers or things, but if you want to make a difference, you got to get involved in politics. And we can talk about lots of different aspects of that. She, she was first famous for being an expert on the what's called the strategic balance. They, the problem of how do we handle those Soviet threat. And she actually was a lay non-military expert on all the aspects of Soviet power and military power into the 1960s. And really only became famous for being a, the founder of the pro-family movement because the era fight found her. And, and so I, myself, I've been involved in policy and politics. Since I left law school, I graduated law school and worked my first job working in human rights, work, working on family issues and school choice.
And pro-life met Phyllis. I was living in St. Louis for 25 years or so, met Phyllis became friendly with her, but only went to work with her specifically when I became chairman of the Missouri Republican party, which is an unpaid position. And so Phyllis said, Hey, I'll give you some office space and you can give me some of your time for pay to do some work there. I was practicing law at the time. And so that's when we started working together and I worked with her the last, almost five years of her life. And she asked me to succeed her. And so her vision is, and was a, and is now, today what we do, we call ourselves a Phyllis Schlafly Eagles. Now it used to be called Eagle forum and all sorts of different names, but Phyllis Schlafly Eagles using her name and our, our different value add compared to other think tanks or entities is we are really conservative. We're truly conservative kind of America first before Donald Trump or anybody else popularized it. Phyllis in the sixties, one of the reasons she got so famous with, she was writing about the globalist influence that was then really Soviet fostered. And, and she was worried about it, but so we know policy conservative policy, but we're, and particularly pro-family policy, but we also know politics. It's no use having deep thoughts and not being able to figure out how they fit together. Doesn't mean we always get it accomplished, but our interest is in influencing what's happening in politics because we know that's how you impact impact policy. That's how we can do that. So that's a kind of thumbnail of, of who we are.

Jerry Ewalt: Yeah. And, and that type of expertise is desperately needed right now. So I'll ask, right. Just maybe even sum up the whole thing, we see a rapid deterioration of our culture, right? Yeah. And so from what you just said, that this would not have surprised Phyllis at all, what, what do you think she would have said in leading up to this?

Ed Martin: Well, I mean, I think Phyllis would, would, if she was a happy warrior, I mean, she, she did not get her, let herself get down. I mean, she'd get behind closed doors and, and she had her worries. I remember she wrote a book called who killed the American family and she stood in my office and leaned against the door jam. And she said, okay, I finished all the chapters. Now I got the last chapter, which is what do we do about it? And she's like, I'm not sure, you know, we, I got some thinking and working to do. I mean, we know though the odds are long. We know that the, that the, the, the reality is really tough. And I think she also was a woman of deep faith. She always thought and believed that that was a starting point. And she used to say that one of her secret weapons in the fight against CRA was prayer and people, you know, she was not always overtly or publicly identified as, you know, sort of certainly a Christian, but not, you know, she didn't lead with her religion.
She, but she knew the basics. I think she would say at this moment, we're reaping the, the unfortunate of, you know, kind of downside of a hundred plus years of bad education for many decades, Phyllis was writing about the school teachers unions and the precursors to common core. The idea of watering down. She was very taken with a book called crimes of the educators written by Blumenfeld and Newman, Alex Newman, which really cataloged how they started this plan in the late 1890s into the 19 10, 19 hundreds, 1910s to destroy our kids. And so she would say, we take it back by our family structure. We take it back by our local community and she would still say, America's the best place to do that. She would say the constitution, the rule of law, the founding values. But I think she was clear-eyed about the challenges, even when she passed away in 2016, that we were facing.

Jerry Ewalt: I get, I get a lot of questions, say, Hey, a lot of problems in the us where we need to go somewhere. The question is where you're going to go. And this is still the best place to make those changes. And I couldn't agree with you more on having it, being faith, being the most important piece of all of this.

Ed Martin: Well, yeah. And look, one of the things that knitted us together was people, you know, remember this, they hear it, but our values knit us together. It's a Judeo-Christian country. It's really a Christian country, not meaning it's a Christian religion that runs it. It means that the values, when you have a, a system, that's the rule of law, it has to be bound on a respect for the other person, the human being. And, and you know that when you have a handshake or a contract, you're going to honor that. And if you don't, you're going to be held accountable. And that that's a starting point. And so when you see the, the fabric being pulled apart, you know, we have to worry about it. I mean, we do have to worry about that and we have to be clear about it, but it is still the best place on earth that doesn't make it perfect.
And maybe more importantly, to your point, your comment, we see it deteriorating faster than we ever expected. I mean, I, I think Phyllis would agree the speed of some of these changes, you know, the 16, 19 project, some of the, the really nonsensical hateful values in that they've been pushing that for years. The speed with which it was brought into things is really what I think is different. I would also say that Phyllis was willing and able to be counter to what would have maybe been perceived as a orthodoxy at times she was counter to the free trade movement. She said, free trade is taking away jobs from our families in favor of wall street. She was, that was early. She was, she was a very strong and early proponent of, of the securing, the border that we were not only losing wage earning, you know, we're driving down wages by having illegals, but also we were not making sure we were bringing the right people in to assimilate.
And, you know, I think that she was ahead of the curve on that. And there's a number of examples of another quick one to tell you, she wrote a wonderful speech in the 1980s about why did America, why was America the place where so much of the greatest inventions in history were done? You know, how come it didn't happen in, in Europe? Why didn't France come up with his laundry list? Why didn't England? And the answer was our patent system was the only right mentioned in the constitution before the bill of rights in the constitution itself, the only right is the right of inventors, the right of patent, right? To have your own invention. You didn't have to ask the king. You didn't have to ask some divine, right? You invent it not first to file, not you have the right and it spurred this innovation, that sort of sense of property rights.
So she led on that kind of fight. And, and I, I think that, that, that part of it, of this as lost in this country or we're losing ground. And last thing I'll say is one time I was beating up on John Boehner in her presence. I was saying, you know, Boehner this at Boehner that, and Phyllis said, hold on a second. Everything he does, I agree with, but be careful because John Boehner, you know, is a man and we object to what he's done. We don't object to him. And I believe she, she had a sense of the image and likeness of God in every other, being a human being. And it informed how she understood, for example, environmentalism nobody's against prayer. She loved to go to Michigan where the lakes are gorgeous. Well, that was against that, but there's a primacy, right? There's a hierarchy.
And, and I think that she was really special at teaching that. And again, same thing with the family. She would have said that the family is the best place. Mother and father build a family, the best place she also would have. And she would have said, Ronald Reagan was a real loser and a really bad person, bad actor to sign the no fault divorce laws in the late 1960s as governor of California. He did that. That was not a good thing. And she would have said that she often said that often, but yeah, call them out. But the point is, we are where we are and now you have to say, okay, we want to foster marriage. We do want the mom and the dad. But when you have a single mom, what do you do about it? Right? How do we, you, you, you still live in the practical moment we're in. And that's something I think that is rooted in the love of every person as made in the image and likeness of God.

Jerry Ewalt: You have to wonder if conservatives today really understand who Phyllis was, not only what she stood for, but how she did it. And what you're explaining to me is she was absolutely fearless. And she answered to a higher calling, not the Republican party, for example.

Ed Martin: Well, that's for sure. She would have said to you that she, if you want a third or fourth or fifth party go to Europe, but if you want it in your America, you gotta pick one of the two parties. And if you pick the Republican party, make it better. And I'll give you the example. They're starting after Roe V. Wade in the seventies, Phyllis started to work on the pro-life issue. And in particular, starting in the, after the 76 convention, she worked to put the plank in the prologue, the pro-life plank and the platform of the party. And she did it and she succeeded. And by 84, Reagan had signed off on the, a great pro-life plank. And in the nineties, George HW Bush and the, and the globalists and people wanted to, they were, they had money raised and they were doing efforts to make, Amerit make a Republican party.
Pro-abortion pro-choice and Phyllis folded off. She started an effort and she fought it off too. She would say at the end of her life, that may be her greatest achievement was keeping the pro-life plank in that, in that party, because you say, well, who really buys by parties? You know, party platforms. What's it mean, well, I'll give you an example. In, in Ireland, systematically, there was an effort by the pro gay marriage groups to remove the marriage platform planks in their parties. And they did that in the early two thousands. And by the time they voted as a nation seven or eight years later, 90% of the people. In other words, you, you, you start to see the root word is a little overused, but you start to normalize how people see something. And last point on this, you say who's Phyllis Schlafly history. We'll mark her as one of the greatest writers, especially in political writers.
And the reason why is because she never stopped writing. When she was 14 years old, a teacher told her, go home and write a paragraph a night, every night, bring it back in. And the rest of her life, she died on her death bed, working on her last column, which was published two days after she died. She died the next day we launched her last book. She and I had co-written it the day after the conservative case where Trump it was. So she thought of herself as a writer. And when people say, what would fill a say to do, she'd say, learn to write, not speak. You can train yourself to speak later. You can. But if you learn to write, you think if you learn to write you think, and let me tell you what I would say. I'd say there's a lot to people about the current moment we're in.
We have to have the courage, not just to take our kids off of tick tock. I mean, you and I are doing that probably right. We're working on that. We should be doing something like this. We should be saying something like this. If you can't drive a car till you're 16 and a half, where I live, you can't have a social media until you're 16 and a half because we're driving our kids off a cliff. We're letting them drive themselves off a cliff. And it's not even close this isn't bad guys coming up with jingles. This is neuroscientists in California, changing the wiring of our kids' brains through smartphones and social media and video games. You know, we've been talking the, the Schlafly brothers, Phyllis, his two sons, Andy and John, write a weekly column. And they've been writing on this, that the video games were not against anger, hate or free speech.
I, if you want to be a jerk when you're old, I don't care. But when you're 15, if you're doing gaming, that's not just violent, but it's designed to change your brain, your neuroscience of your brain. And that's what they're doing. Mehta slash Facebook is the largest neuroscience company in the world. Forget about Stanford's research wing. It's Facebook, Metta, changing the brains of ourselves. We should be worried. And our kids, and this extends to every aspect of life from, from violence to treatment of women and men to pornography, which therefore is about sexuality. I mean, and we're sitting here saying, oh, I hope people will not stifle my view on January six. I have a very strong viewpoint, but that's not. What's really at stake. What's at stake is much, much bigger.

Jerry Ewalt: Well, you think about how Phyllis learned to write to her teacher, having her write this paragraph every night, and then you compare that to now, like Twitter, Tik, TOK, things like that, where you're constrained to certain characters and how much you can actually write. It's completely changing the way people think you have to get it out very quick and fast and on point. And if you don't, then no, one's going to listen. So it is changing the way people think.

Ed Martin: Yeah. And then the, and, and, and the comeback from the, you know, the people watching us say, oh, you two, or, you know, you're, you wish you could go back in time to, you know, Ozzy, you know, and, and Harry, and, and all this stuff. And, you know, the, but is look when the printing press came about the first 50 years after the printing press, you know, besides some pamphlets, the largest use of it was dirty stories. People were poor pornography fixed effectively pornography of the day. Right? And, and, and, and then after that, soon after that, you know, scientific journals happened, which had a great effect on being able to make progress in science and all. So tools are neutral as to the relationship that we have as God's creation to them. The problem is that the users of the tool, and I I'm, I'm not, I'm not shy about it.
These people that have control Meta, Facebook, Amazon, to some extent, Google, YouTube, these people are not, they're not benign. And I'm not saying that they're evil automatically. What I'm saying is they're pursuing an end, which is making money. And the best way to make money is have control. And the best way to have control is direct people to conduct. All of that should be very troubling to a parent and to an individual. And it is. And so the question then becomes, what are we doing by the way? I don't have a simple answer to that. I'm not here with a magic wand. I think part of it is to have more engaged parents, but that's not sufficient. Part of it is to have the school system that is more, you know, I, I pay a lot of money to send my kids to private schools where they're not allowed to have a phone on the campus, you know, a high school and then below, well, so I'm choosing that, but most people can't afford it. And I know I'm blessed and also there's lots to do, but I D my naming the problem naming the, the issue is sort of the first step to being able to try to figure it out.

Jerry Ewalt: Well, we started off the conversation talking about the deterioration of the culture, and there's no doubt that we need to strengthen the family to be able to provide, to stop that whole, the line, if you will. And, and that's exactly what you're talking about and what Phyllis has done for a generation.

Ed Martin: Yeah. And some of the attacks against the family are obvious, right? I think, you know, when we all, can Steve talk about abortion, for example, or the motivation of our families and parents about schools, but some of them aren't as obvious, you know, one of the things that we've had occur is that the, the growth of the state, whether you're talking about the federal government, that state or local state, actual, you know, Illinois or Missouri, whatever the power to dominate our family's lives. I mean, there's a lot of abuse in our say family court system that is, there's really led by feminists and leftists who have a view that they are, you know, sort of, you know, forcing upon the country. And when you read, who killed the American family by Phyllis Schlafly or one of her later books, last books, you see chapters on subjects like that. So it's a complex problem, and it's not, it's not one dimensional, or it's not one causation, but what is true is this, there is a generalized attack on the American family, and it has, it is coming from the left and from forces that are really evil. And so that's true. We have to be comfortable with that. That is, that is a reality. Now what we do about it and how we, we move forward. But Phillips used to say, don't fall for the libertarians that want to say, oh, everybody do what they want. We don't want to intrude a non intrusion into say, marriage is, is defining it, right? So if you say the tax code, shouldn't incentivize me and my wife being married, shouldn't make an advantage to be married. That's a decision. We, we, as a country, we wanted that we, none of us wanted income tax, but if you have a federal income tax putting in place, something that advantages a man and a woman to be married and stay married, that's valuable. And so we've got to get more comfortable talking about policies that imp that impact the family then, oh, I'm a conservative, I don't, you know, I want these limitations. Now, if you're a conservative, you want what's best for the flourishing of our community and our nation. And that's going to take some different approaches.

Jerry Ewalt: Yeah. As conservatives, we are being hit on every side and you, you brought up so many of them. So I'm going to shift gears a little bit and talk about what's coming up right. In, in the midterms in 2020 for your home state of Missouri, a couple of cycles ago, it was a swing state. Now it's clearly red. You see that continuing what happened there?

Ed Martin: I think it's actually, it's a great question. And I have frontline experience in 2010. I ran for Congress in Dick Gephardt's old district. So Dick Gephardt had been close to almost speaker of the house. I think he ended up being minority leader. And when they drew the maps in on 2000 and 2001, it was Dick Gephardt in his, his sort of operators and Roy blunt, who at the time was very senior in the house, Republican. They drew the maps to protect themselves, right. That's how these things work. So Gephardt was in a district like Pelosi's in now that you don't think you could ever lose. I in 2010, I almost won. I lost about 1,018 hundred votes or something. And it was because a lot of the people that looked like Democrats in the past and were Democrats were shifting, they were working people. They had family values, they wanted more opportunities. They were watching the hollowing out of America. So what a place like Missouri, you know, people don't realize in, in, in Ross Perot's first run for president, there were two places where he outperformed. One was New Jersey, which I grew up in New Jersey actually. So I have that sensibility. And then the other place was in the collar counties of St. Louis in Missouri, because there's all these working people that just thought, Hey, I kind of want America first. So that's what Missouri has. Missouri has got a lot of conservatism that John Ashcroft wing of the Republican party occupies the whole state except Kansas city and St. Louis. And they have trended towards a more conservative sensibility, especially because we lost all those jobs. We had auto making jobs. We had Anheuser-Busch jobs, all these jobs left and the feeling was they left because the coasts didn't care and multinational companies came in and took, took away jobs. So, and I think people are, that's a big shift that's happening in the country, on the issues of work and, and, and immigration and those issues. And so I think Missouri is pretty solidly red going forward. A very, very pro-life the people that could win in the last 20 years, the only people that could win we're sort of faking it at the top level Democrats that were sounding pro-life and sounding pro gun. And, and they really were, you know, they weren't, but they're, you know,

Jerry Ewalt: So that's the question now, can we replicate what's happening in Missouri or what's happened in Missouri across the country? Are we going to see a red wave?

Ed Martin: Well, certainly my prediction in the fall would be absent a real nefarious election problems. I think it's going to be a red wave. I don't think there's anything that stops that it's, I'm in fact, I'm of the mind that it's the largest swing since probably the 1890s when there was a massive swing, right? So I think it will be dramatic. I think the American people are looking up and they're saying, Hey, wait a second. Gasoline keeps going up. It went up 10 cents. Last night. I have a friend that texted me this morning, went up 10 cents last night. And he said, and tonight they're going to put on, you know, some show trial about January 6th or whenever. Then, you know, these, these couple of weeks in June, they're going to have these trials. And so the disconnect between the Democrats, you know, we have Chuck Schumer standing on the steps of the Supreme court saying by name Kavanaugh, you will pay. And then of course, a person in this country goes and does what exactly what, what a Schumer says and goes with a gun to kill cabin on his family. And that Chuck Schumer should resign. I mean, this is obvious, this is normal, normal, self-respect normal shame would make it that the us. But, so I think it's, I think it's a red wave in the fall. The real problem though, to be honest, is what will our side do with it? Meaning conservatives will win. Republicans will win the party that has more conservative positions will win and what will they do with it, right? How will they indicate to the American people, not just the policies that matter, but to your first part of this question, the, the reality that matters. I mean, we need people that are fearlessly going to stand up for our values, not just by saying I'm pro-life, but by, you know, going after the school systems that are doing as a team, here's an example, the teacher's union in this country that teach school, teachers, unions are, are the, the greatest purveyor of racism, systemic racism.
I think of the only one, actually, I'm not sure there's any other ones and they ought to be dismantled. And the, and the, and our side should not be afraid of that. And they are, Republicans are afraid of the teacher's unions and they shouldn't be. And if you want to really save the country, you don't go and say, 1619 project is dumb. Everybody knows that. And everybody that has a brain knows it. And if you don't have a brain and don't know it, you're not, you're not at the center of the thing, but what's happened is the school teacher's unions took hundreds of millions of dollars during COVID for PPE and training, and they are using it to solidify what they're doing in our schools. And they want this kind of stuff happening. So I I'm concerned that our side will be clear enough about the, the SA the direction of the country. If they get some power in the fall. And that's our job to be articulating. I think what we take it as one of our jobs that the Eagles to, to be clear what we think should be happening to succeed for the country.

Jerry Ewalt: Yeah, no. And at restoration America, we're joining you in that battle too, because absolutely. We have to stand clear on what is needed and we can't back down. So, ed, this was fantastic. Thank you so much for joining and anything that you would like to share.

Ed Martin: No, no, it's great to, it's great to be with you. You know, if people go to Phyllis schlafly.com, I tell your viewers and all, and your people, if you go to Phyllis schlafly.com, my email addresses ed@phyllisschlafly.com, but we, we took great pride in publishing. A lot of Phyllis's writings over the last couple of years, we published, I think, five volumes and people look at that and want a copy of those things. Just email me. I have, we have some great donors who recently bought a bunch of copies and said, I want to get these out further. So I'd love to give a copy. One of them is, is a book that is very, it might be very interesting to some of your viewers called how the Republican party became pro-life and it catalogs it's Phyllis's description of how the fight from the rinos that wanted to go pro choice on abortion, tried to infiltrate the Republican party and how Phyllis and others fought them off.
And even some of the great guys, Henry Hyde, who was a great, was a great fighter and rehired at one point, wanted to do a tolerance statement because he was great friends with Bob Dole. And so even our best friends, we have to hold close and give them the courage they need at key times and not be, and not be too judgmental about it. Right? I mean, people, we all make mistakes. And so it's a great book, how the Republican party became pro-life both from the standpoint of what happened, but also an encouragement when, when the odds seem long,

Jerry Ewalt: I know Phyllis Schlafly a true American conservative and someone we need to emulate moving forward. Ed, thanks for having coming on the show.

Ed Martin: Yeah. Great to be with you guys. Thank you very much. God bless you All

Jerry Ewalt: Right. Well, that's our show for today. Thank you so much tuning in and supporting conservative media. You'll never forget that by working together and staying diligent, we conservatives can bring our country back to true greatness until next week. Let's all keep praying that God will continue to bless America

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