Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part One: Phyllis Schlafly: The Mother of all Culture Wars

Part One: Phyllis Schlafly: The Mother of all Culture Wars

Tue, 25 Aug 2020 10:00

Part One: Phyllis Schlafly: The Mother of all Culture Wars

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Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioral discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Life on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's espr E Hey guys, I'm Kaylee short on my podcast. Too much to say. I share my thoughts on everything from music to martinis. Social media is social anxiety, regrets to risky text, and so much more. I have been known to read my literal diary entries on my show, and sometimes I do interviews with my crazy group of friends. So if you guys want to tune in, you can hear new episodes of too much to say every Wednesday on the national podcast network, available on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to him. You know how I start my introductions with like, a what's axing my Y sort of thing? A lot of the time people seem to like that it's become a little bit of a trend, you know? That's the thing that we do. Yeah, sometimes. What? What if I were to open the show by loudly shouting what's abortion mafia duses? Would that be a good idea? Would that work? For no, I was going to say something smart. No, just no, no. I shouldn't have done that. I shouldn't have started the show that way. That was a bad call. No, what's aborting my fetus is is not a winner. I would go. Not a winner. Well, that's a shame, because we've already recorded it. I'm Robert Evans. This is behind the ********. It's a podcast about the worst people in all of history. Today we're talking about someone who's relevant to the issue of legal abortion. Anyway, my guest is Theresa Lee. What's up? It's me, father. Long way I yeah, it's good to be here. I had no idea what we were talking about, and boy, am I excited. Theresa, how do you feel about me opening the show? By calling out what's aborting my fetuses? Was that a good idea? Do you think I'm a third opinion is necessary? It's 2020 and I don't know anything. Nothing surprises me. But I was. I said, boy, am I excited. I should probably have said boy or girl, but we'll never know. Because, you know, once it's aborted, you won't know. So exactly. That's the beauty of of abortion anyway. There's no beauty in abortion. Well, that's not true. That's not true. OK, OK. There's a lot of there's a lot of good things about it. It being it being available that are that are lovely people being able to take charge of their lives and a lot of 1 anyway, we don't need to. That's not necessary at the top of this episode. But Teresa, what, what, what, what, what are you, Theresa? In podcasts you are a maker. You create things no, like what do you, what do you, what do you, what do you, what do you want? What do you want the kids at home to listen to, to go, to go know about. I'm going to come in. Super hot because I just read an article, not about my podcast, but I was a guest on it and it described me as so tranquil she didn't know it was being recorded. I think he meant it nicely, but I was like, damn, that's who I am. I'm just, I just reek of RA energy. I was a former RA. I guess I'm a former RA. Let's leave with that. And like, like, you like in colleges and ****? Yeah, it's in college, OK? NYU was expensive. I needed to find ways to pay my housing. So you were basically a cop, is what you're saying? Well, no, because I was there for the support. Like, I I did a lot of the programming and, like, behavioral health and, like, one on ones. And honestly, I just didn't like to enforce the rules. I was all about, you know, supporting the emotions. Of the kids. But yeah, I guess technically that's what always do, is they are kind of cops, but there's actual cops in New York, so I don't have to worry about that stuff about crime. You know? I'm like sad I didn't have you as my area in college. We had a total NARC. I feel like I give off NARC vibes, but I'm not a NARC, I swear. I am also a podcaster. You can listen to my podcast, which is called you can tell me anything, which is kind of an Ari Podcast podcast where you interrogate people. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I just really like, people don't even know they're on it. I just kidnap them, put them in a regarding this suspect that Teresa is an undercover. Is this why you kept trying to get me to saw down those shotguns? Yes. I have no idea what you talking about, but, uh, I feel like I'm a few seasons late on your Twitter. Just a Ruby Ridge joke. We do those all the time when we're not doing, Waco jokes. Teresa, have you ever heard of Phyllis Schlafly? No, I don't think so. Ohh boy. OK, so the the names not ringing any bells, huh? Nope. Can't say I know any Phyllis is really that are in real life. I feel like I know the Phyllis from Monsters Inc, but she would hate my T-shirt that says feminism is the law now created by Jamie Loftus of the Bechdel cast. Hi Caitlin. She would hate the shirt. Hate? Yeah, it's she hates T-shirt. She would hate that shirt. It's not a fan of cotton. Or is it polyester or stretch that? Feminism. Feminism? Phyllis Schlafly was probably the most famous anti feminist in all of history. She's a one of the, I don't know. So like we have, we have a couple of different kinds of ******** on the show, right? We've got like the guys, we've got like the dictators, which is what our show kind of started to talk about, Hitler and Stalin and these these people who are like very famous, like mass murderers in history. And you know, those folks, it's really easy to tell. Like, you can usually, like, throw an exact death toll at them, right? Like, we're talking about Hitler. We can be like, and Hitler was responsible for roughly this many millions of people dying. And Stalin, you know, got this many millions of people killed and yadda, yadda yadda, Saddam killed this many people very easy. The first we're talking about today is someone who never ordered a single executioner invasion. But it is possible that in the long run of time, Phyllis Schlafly will wind up with a body count that actually eclipses a lot of our other guests, and with things going the way they are. She might be the person who gets a lot of the people listening to this podcast killed uh, that's a good there's that that. That's all still up in the air. Now, if you've seen or read The Handmaid's Tale, you're familiar with, have you watched The Handmaid's Tale? It's a little too graphic for me, but I'm, I'm very much know the content and the stories and the themes. There's that character, Serena Joy, who's like the main female villain of the series, like she's the lady who's married to the commander in her back story in the. Both the show and the book is that she was like a major political conservative political icon and author before the Dominionist Christians took over the United States and Margaret Atwood, who wrote The Handmaid's Tale, actually had a specific real person in mind when she wrote Serena Joy. And it was Phyllis Schlafly. So Schlafly, like, that character is based on Phyllis Schlafly. Yeah, not know that. Yeah. Serena Joy is basically like before. Before everything goes down is like speaking at colleges, being like the women's. Places in the house. And like, yeah, there is like, what's wrong with that? No, I'm just kidding. And it's just all of our places are in the House now that weren't. Yeah. Now everyone's place is in the house. Yeah. Damn, so she sounds real evil. So she cause for some reason when you started this I. The way you phrased it, I was like wait, so she 4 abortion or guess because I would say and anti feminists should be, would be against abortion, but then she OK. So I guess I'll hear your story. But I'm trying to piece this together. I know about Planned Parenthood and she's not around. That's not her. No, no, no, no, no. She's the opposite of all that. So, so Phyllis, the big thing she gets credited with usually is that she stopped the passage of the equal Rights Amendment, which she did what she's less. Often credited for is creating American conservatism, the Republican Party as it exists today as an as a meaningful political force, like she's the person who kind of invented the Republican Party strategy that led to them reaching the exact demographic that put Donald Trump into office. Without, without, without it. She goes back quite a while. So without Phyllis, we probably don't have President Ronald Reagan. We may not have either President Bush, the Iraq war, the push to ban abortion, the Trump campaign, or any of a lot of other terrible things that are currently pushing our country. The brink of a nightmare. Phyllis Schlafly is the person who took like straight up fascist Christian right wing politics and took them into the mainstream. Like, the Republican Party was not always that party. She made it that party. That's that's her accomplishment is she turned the Republican Party into the party of ******* Qanon, right? Like, that's that's what, what? Yeah, she's the person. There's also like the CNPP issue related to that at all. So I'm not sure if that touches CMP, that they're like Council on national policy. It's sort of in that shadow network with, you know, Koch brothers money and DeVos money and. Oh yeah. I mean, she was kind of in, she was in that vague universe of people who were part of think tanks and got paid a lot of money by sketchy Republican millionaires and stuff like. But her big affiliation was with the moral majority with the fall wells like, she had a lot of. She was a big player and all that. Yeah, the American Enterprise Institute. With Jerry, yeah. It's never good. Yeah, Jerry. Jerry kind of stole her ideas to make the religious right into a thing. In a way, kinda, yeah, we'll get into the whole story right about now, so let's do it. So, Phyllis was born Phyllis McAlpine Stewart on August 15th, 1924 in St. Louis, MO. Her mother, Dottie, came from a moderately prominent family. Her dad had been a successful like an in Phyllis's granddad had been a successful attorney. And unusually for the area, Dottie had both a bachelor's degree and a two year certification in library science. So she was a an educated. Even in an era when that was like, not the most common thing in the world, although it was starting to be more common, this is like right around when women are getting the vote. In 1921, Daddy met and married Bruce Stewart, a heavy equipment salesman for Westinghouse, which is the guys who made typewriters and along with a bunch of other stuff. Now, Bruce was 17 years older than Daddy, which I think we would all consider problematic today, right? Not always like there's definitely age gaps like that that are that that that have existed and have been OK, but as a rule. Something like, oh, that's kind of weird, but at the time, everything was terrible and it was totally normal that your husband would now 35 years on you. Yeah. You know you as a, as a man in his 40s. You know, you've got about 15 years left before your heart gives out. So you really want to marry a 20 year old so she can take care of you once you start stroking it was her name Daddy, Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Everybody called her name a girl Daddy. But now I want to. I'm not going to call. It might. I I don't think it was Daddy. And it makes me uncomfortable to call her that. The entire podcast. So we're gonna go with Dottie. You almost. You almost made a podcast joke. You almost said I was almost gonna call her daddy. Get it anybody? Ohh, I've I don't really know what that is. I've seen that meme around, but I I'm not well versed in in that. Yeah. Don't worry about it's over your head, Roberts. Fine. OK, that's good. So Dottie is married to Bruce, so Daddy gets married to Bruce, and Phyllis is born three years into their marriage. Which actually is kind of interesting to me that like, they wait that long because like normally this time, especially like something like that, you you get married. You just start, you just start firing off kids. But but Dottie waits a little bit, which is interesting. Now, both Dottie and Bruce are very traditional religious conservative Republicans. But. Partisan politics at that point wasn't really what it is today. Like, there were a lot of political movements that had really divided the country, but they weren't like, they didn't fall along like Republican, Democrat lines and kind of the way that they did today. So Phyllis did not hear a lot of political discussion as a little girl like she doesn't. She never as an adult, never recalled it being a major part of her childhood. She was a precocious and happy child, at least according to the biographical interviews conducted by a Chicago journalist who studied her upbringing. It's hard for me to verify this for certain, because the most detailed picture I found of her early life comes from a very biased biographer, Donald Critchlow. His book, Phyllis Schlafly. And grassroots conservatism is not like it's not like just a puff piece. It's a pretty deeply. Reported book, but he's super sympathetic to her and as a result we get lines like this one. No tensions between the parents were evident to their children or revealed in correspondence or Diaries. Dottie was an attractive woman devoted to her family. Like, it's all very whitewashed, and maybe her childhood was like that. I don't know. Life does seem like it was broadly good for the Stewart family up until 1930. So the 20s did pretty well for them as they did for the rest of the city at Saint Louis, which was like had 800,000 people in it at that point. Like Saint Louis used to be a big city and then, you know. Uh, yeah. So in 1924, the year Phyllis's birth, Saint Louis went Republican, voting for Coolidge in that election and Hoover the next. This did not prove to have been a great idea. In 1929, the Great Depression hit and the city sunk into an apocalyptic collapse that it has still not recovered from. Saint Louis's population today is just a bit over 300,000, which is less than a about 1/3 of the population it had when Phyllis was born. So the city that she comes from kind of collapses. Lapses when she's about, you know? Six years old? Umm, yeah, and her father suffers along with the rest of the city. He loses his job as a sales engineer to Westinghouse, and this left him broken pension list at the age of 51 with a wife and two children. Now, thankfully, it wasn't quite as dire as it sounds because the the family actually had some money. They had a wealthy uncle, and Dottie and her kids were able to move to Los Angeles, where they lived with him for a while, while Bruce stayed back in Saint Louis to try to get a job. By 1932, though, he had more or less. Given up, the economic situation was pretty hopeless now at this point, Phyllis was in the 4th grade and her family's dire financial straits don't seem to have really gotten through to her. Instead, she wrote in her diary about the excitement of taking a three day train ride from Saint Louis to Los Angeles in an unairconditioned car. Again, Phyllis's biographer assures us that despite the dire circumstances, her family kept her safe and insulated. And again, I'm not really sure how much I believe this like the way the three day train ride is that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's what she had to do back in the day. Wow, I'm not sure I believe that. Her biographer, when he says that like this. She was kind of insulated from the stress just because I kind of have some, some personal. Background stuff that's in line with this. Like, for one thing, I was born in Saint Louis, too. But when I was a little kid, I saw my dad. My dad lost his job, and my mom had to move away to the family farm, which was like this tiny little house on by my grandpa. And my dad had to live thousands of miles away in New York, like living on a friend's couch, trying to make money. And my parents did their best to not make this, like, traumatic and anxiety inducing for me and I didn't really talk about it to them because I didn't want them to know how bad it was. But like it really ****** me up as a kid and I have to imagine, I have to imagine young Phyllis picked up on some of this being separated from your dad having to like move across the country. I I just can't imagine that didn't leave some sort of a mark. But that definitely is like whether or not you. I mean it seems like she maybe didn't process it, so she may not be aware, but that's the kind of thing as a developed it's you're not an adult as a child, literally that's the definition of child and you're developing. So any changes like that, that take away, pull the rug. Router challenge your sense of safety and security. Even if there's a reason and logic behind it, it is going to affect your patterns as an adult. And so I yeah, I'm with you on that, yeah. And like the specific way in which it challenges her security is, is, is kind of she becomes this big fighter, big warrior for like, traditional family order and all this stuff. And like her bet her childhood is very much not a traditional childhood at the time, and kind of the role that her parents take isn't very traditional because her dad is out of work for a huge chunk of time. Sort of a picture for it. So there is kind of this feeling you get throughout her life that maybe that maybe this was a lot more traumatic to her than she ever even realized herself. And it had an impact on why she why she became this sort of warrior for, for this. Like trying to kind of reset her childhood in some way that was almost like she's pinning all of her personal trauma onto this bigger issue as to not look within herself and deal with it and maybe like, oh, if everything. Stayed the same. I would have stayed the same and life would have been good. But it's like or maybe life is up and down. My family wasn't able to be traditional in the way that I think it ought to be, so I should force everybody else to, like, have this childhood I didn't get to, I don't know, whatever. In 1932, Dottie and the family moved back to Saint Louis, where they rented a house, and Dottie took a job selling yard goods at a department store. So in 32, she becomes the chief breadwinner of the family, because Bruce just can't get a job, and he's like old and not in the best health, and he can't find work again. Phyllis Schlafly's biographer glosses over some things here, but it does look like out, like the family was helped out by their relatives. So that they could all move back in together. So their poor family has some money though. So they have a safety net right? In this kind of. Where most people don't, you know, this is the Great Depression. So Dottie became the family's main breadwinner. She labored 9 hours a day. She had a 2 hour commute. She tended to work six days a week. And during this time, like Phyllis is in school and seems to be doing pretty well. She was an active and well behaved child. She edited the elementary school newspaper. If she took any particular pride in seeing her mother as the family breadwinner, we have no evidence of this. Dottie was clearly a very intelligent and ambitious person, and she moved quickly on to teaching English at a public school, and in 1937 she became a librarian at the Saint Louis Art Museum, where she worked until she retired. So by the time Phyllis was 14 years old, she'd lived in six different homes, her family had rented every single time, and her parents had never seemed to come particularly close to owning property. Dottie, who by this point wore the pants economically in the family. Decided that they should spend what resources they had on getting their kids the best education possible. She was able to get them free tuition at a nice Catholic school by volunteering to catalog and maintain the school's library. So Phyllis is very Catholic family gets to go to this Catholic school. Her mom is not just making the money, but like you know, volunteering on her day off in order to get them free tuition. So Phyllis is grows up with Dottie. This mother is like a very liberated figure, like female figure in her life. Now throughout all this. Phillip's father was unemployed. He didn't work regularly again until World War Two, when he got a job as an electrical engineer for the war production board. Now, after this point, things got a lot better economically. He went up building and patenting a new type of engine. At some point after this. Throughout the Great Depression, though, he refused to take any unemployment money from the government out of fear that his grandchildren would have to pay for what he called Roosevelt's War on the free enterprise system, this planned economy, and the welfare state he was building here. I'm hearing buzzwords already, yeah. Kind of being planted so early on and and associated with these other historical events or time about like war and the Great Depression like. Sounds like there's other factors. But then as you tie it all together, it's like, you know, future generations will be like, well, things are bad because of buzzword. Buzzword when it's like, well, things were bad because of historical event. Yeah. I mean, things were bad because, yeah, the economy had collapsed. And it's kind of worth noting that, like, as he's jobless for most of the depression, Bruce is refusing to take government aid. And that makes his wife have to work, you know, 9 hour days, really 11 hour days when you count the commute. Reporting the family. Which is like that, yeah. So but so he'll take family aid. He's he took us rich families aid and he did take his family aid, but not government aid. It's interesting because Phyllis will become this like warrior against the welfare state and all that stuff, and also a major advocate for like, the traditional family. Like, those are her two big things. But as a kid, her family is unable to be like, her mom is not home because they refuse. Her dad refuses to take government aid. So it's like the the as a child, the welfare state attempted to make it possible for her to have a traditional family life, and her dad wouldn't let that be the case. Now, that said, it seems like Dottie enjoyed what she was doing, said it really adds to the effect that his name is Bruce. Like the name. Yeah. He's definitely a brilliant. Yeah. And Dottie, see, I think Dottie would have probably wanted to be a career woman in any case. Like, she's clearly a very ambitious person. But, like, it's just interesting to me that the the thing that that Phyllis becomes a crusader against is the thing that would have allowed her to, like, have her mom at home when she was a kid. It's very, very fun. Well, it's also this weird framing because, like, the idea of, you know, like a traditional family. Often people talk about, like, the mother's places to be a home and or the woman's place. At home and be a mother. But if you frame it a different way, it sounds like Dottie did the extreme version of being a mother, like, she was like, alright, my child needs support and care, so I'm gonna work for her tuition. So like in a lot of different framings like that is doing the motherly job even more motherly. But I feel like that goes against this idea that the mothers at home, even though it's still driven by this motherhood, not a drive to work, it's driven by a drive to provide. Yeah, yeah, it it is. I mean, she's clearly is a great provider. And like is a I think most people would agree a really like like being a very responsible mother here, like putting in a lot of work and time and effort in order to take care of and give her kids the best possible chance. And Phyllis inherited her mother's obsessive work ethic. She was extremely competitive student and was actually like broken hearted. And her sophomore year when she failed to win the COVID had highest average award in her school because she had to stay home for a chunk of the year with the measles and trolling. Through Phyllis's biography in this. She seems like the Platonic ideal of an ambitious 1940s girl. She graduated valedictorian. All of her friends were these wealthy, gifted children of aristocratic Catholic Saint Louis families. Her grades earned her a four year scholarship at Maryville College, which was a local Catholic school, and Phyllis went there for a year. But she was disappointed, finding it too easy. So she enrolled instead at Washington University, where she would have to pay her own tuition. I should note here that at one point in the past, it was possible. Their students to pay their own tuition to college without, you know, being rich. Like that was the thing that you used to be able to do. Now, World War Two was in the middle of, like, happening at this point when when Phyllis starts doing college and in the middle of happening, yeah. So she needs a full time job in order to pay for college. And thankfully, there's this horrible war going on. So it's actually really easy to find work. And she gets a full time job at the Saint Louis Ordinance plant, testing ammunition by shooting machine guns all day, which is a pretty sick job. And also nontraditional in the like in the old timey gender roles sense. Like, yeah, totally. Only bringing that up because it sounds like she she's going to get worse and I'm like, hmm, interesting. Yeah, it's a pretty cool gig. She gets $12150 a year to shoot these machine guns, which is about the equivalent of about 20,000 a year now. But that was a living wage back then. Like that was enough for her to live and pay for college. Because it was just a different time. So Phyllis like was working constantly between school and her job. She didn't really have any free time, but she seemed happy, happy and she was able to live independently working for the government. Phyllis earned her bachelor's degree and she went to Harvard and got a graduate degree and and to talk like I want to at this point kind of zip ahead 60 years to elderly 87 year old Phyllis when she was giving a speech in 2013 because she brought up this part of her life, her time at Harvard during a speech. I don't have a bunch of white right wing activists, and I want to tell you I want to read this to you so you can see kind of how she framed her time in school. Quote, let me tell you, I worked my way through college and got my college degree at a great University, Washington University of Saint Louis, in 1944. No discrimination of any kind. She's highlighting that she liked there was there was no discrimination of women before feminism. I then went to Harvard Graduate School and competed with all of the guys. No discrimination whatsoever. Got my Harvard degree in 1945 and my mother got her bachelor's degree at a great Coed. University in 1920. So all these opportunities were out there before you were all born, and the feminist said absolutely nothing to do with it. So that's the way she frames this is like frames no discrimination, as if discrimination is like as long as you are, as long as you make it, there's no discrimination that exists at all. Like, it's like, well, if you didn't get in or you didn't get something, it could be discrimination, might not be. But that doesn't imply that there's none at all. Like, how many people were, like, how many women were, you know, in the class versus men? Or was it just that you. Sounded like you did really well. And then you're like, well, it doesn't exist. Yeah, yeah, and there's that whole statement. Is is a pack of lies, and I'm going to quote now from a write up by journalist Adele Stan to kind of break down why. In truth, Schlafly would have been barred from entry to Harvard's undergraduate programs in 1945, as well as from its law school. And while she studied with the men, Harvard, under pressure from feminists, had just begun admitting women to some of its graduate programs. Her degree was conferred not by Harvard, but by the Women's College with which it was affiliated, Radcliffe. Schlafly also failed to mention that at the time her mother earned her degree. The 19th amendment to the Constitution, which thanks for the efforts of first wave feminists granted women the right to vote, had not yet been ratified. So like. Like she, she leaves out a lot here, like the fact that she wouldn't have gotten to go to Harvard at all without pressure from feminists, and the fact that Harvard was so bigoted it would not give her a degree. She had to. She did the studying at Harvard, but she had to be given a degree by an affiliated college because they didn't want Harvard, didn't want to be seen as giving degrees to women. This is a little like Stockholm syndrome, like the way she is, because it's almost like the the lady doth protest too much. Like, I don't go back and talk about all the times I haven't been discriminated against, but if you're going to bring that up. In your speech. And it's like, hmm, perhaps you're defending something you know in your heart to be true that you don't wanna look at. Yeah. Yeah. And I yeah, exactly. So, Robert, let's get back to it. Yes, before you get back to it. It's time for, yes, a thing. Sophie. That's not how we do things here. We have to start by saying something horrible, and then we use that to lead into a podcast ad like Teresa. How often do you think about the Armenian genocide? Where are you going with this one, buddy? Is this rhetorical? That was not a good way to lead into Sophie. 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Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with speaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart. We're back. And boy howdy, I botched that last transition. I was expecting you to go full way to go and then you just, like, didn't. It was weird. I you know, I'm fighting a cold maybe. I don't know. I just. I don't have the Waco in me today. You're doing great, Robert. The spirit of Koresh is not. It's OK. Thank you. So here we go. Let's get back to it. So Phyllis, you know, goes to Harvard, gets her degree from an affiliated school because Harvard doesn't want to give degrees to icky girls. Phyllis does not seem to have been particularly political at this point in her career. When she did write about politics, it she didn't really exhibit a hard right bias. Like, we have some of her essays from this. And she was actually really into the idea. This is again, right. Then the end of World War Two to the creation of the unit, she was really into the idea of the creation of the United Nations and, like, establishing a national order which could act as a bulwark against the aggression of dangerous countries, which is like, so it, you know, in 1945, she's like, Oh yeah, of course there should be a United Nations that helps, like, keep the peace internationally. Now, obviously, as Phyllis Schlafly, you know, when she became a major activist, she would reject any hint that there should be an international order or, like cooperation for peace. But in 1945? He wasn't like a nativist, hard right cynic, yet the shift in her seems to have started after the end of World War Two. Without great global threats to confront the US, the government began to disassemble the various agencies that had created to like, build them the army that was necessary to fight World War Two. So in an instant, the job market went from this wide open place flush with cash to a contracting market where returning veterans got preferential treatment and young women like Phyllis were unable to find work. And I'm going to quote now from a segment of her biography that highlights what I think is probably the clearest first evidence we have of her embrace of right wing ideology. In November 1945, Phyllis Stewart won a readers essay contest sponsored by the Washington Daily News, declaring the cards are stacked against the enterprising and ambitious person and in favor of the mediocre adults or the unqualified veteran. So she's basically talking about, like, the fact that the government is giving preference to to people who aren't like her for employment and like, that's the thing. Sounds like a lot of people on Twitter right now in 2020. Yeah, but also just the idea of like, calling. Unqualified. But like, it's like they fought in a I don't know. There's so many layers to this that I'm. It's interesting. I'm seeing your brain kind of like, ohh go into OverDrive. And I feel like at one point it just crashes. Like it's like, too many things and thoughts. And she's like, I don't know what to believe. I guess we'll just reset it. Yeah. I don't know. I don't. I I don't know about that. In terms of like, what's going on in her head right now. I think there's actually a pretty straight point. Like, she seems to start at like, like, like her issue here is that. Like the government is giving actual preference to veterans and stuff like there are a bunch of different kind of like job benefits that they got, but she's trying to get work right now, right. So she's still kind of pro working woman at this point. Yeah. She's it's more that she's anti, she's anti like these the the people who are coming in and like taking the jobs that she wants to get. Like, even though they're kind of like veterans and the people you'd think are supposed to be heroes, like she she developed this kind of issue because they're they're they're, they're taking the work that she wants and she sees it. Was like, well, the if the government wasn't, like, sticking its business, sticking its nose in business and, like, trying, giving these people a leg up, then I wouldn't be having this problem because I'm clearly very qualified. Like, yeah, I think that's kind of what's going on here. And she. So she starts to get angry, like, really angry kind of at the government's, you know, at its meddling in the economy. And she winds up finding a group of conservatives who seem to be angry about some of the same things. And she gets a job. With this think tank they've organized called the American Enterprise Association, which later becomes the American Enterprise Institute, this is still around today, so you may not have heard about the AEI or the American Enterprise Institute. Today. They're just one of a bunch of conservative think tanks in DC arguing that schools should be open. And like, a bunch of their more recent arguments have been like, we need to reopen schools and also Taiwan needs US fighter jets and like a bunch of like, standard kind of conservative stuff, but the AEI? That's the Taiwan. Taiwan is a conservative. Yeah, yeah, because they were like they they started out as like exactly. They didn't used to be. I mean well I don't wanna get too into it, but the US like literally armed the communists in China and were pro splitting China in half, which helps. Yeah loose and now they're all anti China. But it's like you guys made this happen. Yeah. I mean that's that's the US foreign policy in a nutshell. As we aim, we arm everybody involved and then it comes back to bite us in the *** and we're like how could this have happened? That's that's like 70 years of US foreign policy summed up right there. So the AEI was was like, OK, so the the AI today is kind of like a pretty normal right wing think tank. In 1943, though, they were kind of the very first, like the very first sign of what would become the organized conservative movement in the United States. Yeah, prior to World War Two, there really wasn't a conservative like movement in the United States. There were a bunch of different right wing groups and had been like a lot of different right wing like political organizations. But you had sort of these, this smattering, like a mix of anti new Deal groups, so like right wing groups that thought the New deal was creeping communism. You had these like nativist organizations, you know, like supporter Lindbergh, people who hadn't wanted to get involved in World War Two. So you kind of had like this, this disorganized chunk of different. Different and very separate kind of right wing political organizations. You had anti communists, corporatists, you know, anti Semites, anti Catholics and all of these people. Like they're they, they had they never really come together in an organized conservative movement before. And that's kind of why the Democrats like are consistently winning presidential elections and dominating politically during this time because there's really no organized right wing movement and there is an organized left wing movement or at least kind of liberal movement. So what became the organized conservative movement? What we know today is like the right wing got it start by opposing FDR's run for a third term. This is the kind of the first thing that united. Anti New Deal Republicans with like conservative Democrats in the South who were on the edge of flipping parties because of racism. It brought in a lot of anti interventionalists like people who had been with groups like America first and the Mothers anti war movement. So yeah, this was Umm like all these groups start to come together and there there's some pretty nasty people in them, like the mother's anti war movement. Sounds like something that you'd see. It's like it sounds like it would be a left wing group today, but the the war they were against in the 1930s, like they didn't want to go to war with the Nazis, which meant that there was a lot of anti-Semitic propaganda kind of. They were pro Nazis almost, yeah, broadly pro Nazi and that like that's true of like the whole genesis of the conservative movement, all of these people. They won't all say it. And after World War Two, everybody gets very careful about their Jewish conspiracies. That's like mothers against drunk driving. But instead of being against drunk drivers, they're just like, no more cars. Like, we don't like cars and you're like, what? That's not the point. Yeah. Yeah. And the the these different groups are all kind of the different conservative groups that kind of, like, come together to form like the nascent right wing and the post war period. They are all kind of sprinkled with anti-Semitism and. And the way that they have to kind of change it, like prior to the war, you could say Jewish people are trying to like Jewish influence, and Jewish money is trying to keep us, is trying to pull us into war. And after the war, you have this, like, it kind of changes to people saying that, like, well, there's all these secret Marxists in the United States and they're trying to, like, make a Communist takeover. And they're still talking about Jewish people, but they've gotten a lot more careful because of the Holocaust. Yeah. And Phyllis's biographer insists that she. At this point in time, when she gets involved in the American Enterprise Institute, like knows nothing about like sort of the racist, anti-Semitic chunk of the of the right wing. And that's a lie. But we'll we'll talk about that a little later. Just like she knows nothing about discrimination. Maybe she's just bad at observing things around her. Yeah, so in the wake of. In the wake of World War Two, she she gets, she's working with this American Enterprise Association. And in the wake of World War Two they focused really on economics, in part because like there were a couple, like the battle again for international against internationalism had been lost. Like the right wing prior to the war had really wanted the US to like, stay on its own and not get involved in global politics. The ******* that should that cats out of the bag by the end of World War Two and it had also been super anti-Semitic, but you couldn't be that. Anymore, at least for a while. So it focused instead on like, economic conservatism and like corporatism. And that's kind of the thing that it starts to to build from. And, uh, yeah, the American Enterprise institutes, uh, like statement of purpose. The thing that it is sort of like rallied around, like the single statement that it's rallied around at the time when Phyllis gets involved is was quote, the tide of radicalism may be receding momentarily, but this certainly does not mean that America has returned to sound fiscal policies, put it into deficit financing, to economic experimentation, and stopped making utopian plans for the future, which I find is interesting. They're like, yeah. At the end of World, like, the FDR is out of the picture and people aren't, you know, pushing for as many socialist policies anymore. But, like, that doesn't mean that they won't try to look into a utopian future. You know, at some point in the like, that's our goal. That's what we're stopping. Yeah. She's like, don't worry. What if I was in charge? I would not be trying to make things better. I would definitely try to make things worse, as they were before people tried to make things better. So just trust me on that. Yeah, well, that's kind of what? That's kind of the core of this, uh, conservative movement. That that that starts to come about is like it is impossible for things to be better. If you were trying to make things better, you are a communist. The best that we can do, like literally anti communism is kind of the the entire center of this new right wing that forms because it's the that you can be anti communist in this. You couldn't, you know, and and that's like, they're there. Their existence is entirely in opposition to something, right? Like there's nothing. Yeah. It's always anti. Yeah. It's just an attempt to destroy things like I'm a, you know, I'm very liberal and left and radical in that way. But like, I've always just grown up being like, **** conservatism. But hearing this I'm like, that's not even really act. There are some people were like truly American conservatives who kind of believe more like. Well it's all muddled up now, but they're they're let's say there are a few people who are more like the idea of like less government intervention more like old traditional values without the racism, without that like plus human rights. You know like yeah let's do progress for humans but like less the government economic meddling that to me I feel like gets so lost now because it's been Co opted and I'm like as a liberal I have been brainwashed to hate all conservatives when I'm like you know what there are versions of conservatism that would make sense if you added human rights and. Reason to it, well, it's like there's versions of like, I don't know, there's there's aspects of like how people frame their conservatism, like when people say, I just think the government should leave people alone, that's there's that's not a bad thing to want. The problem is that you generally what they're saying is that I feel like I'm kind of in at a top position or a good enough position in this society that if the government stays out, nothing will happen to me and I don't really care about the people who actually need. Help right now, but this is when that, this is when. So that's always been an aspect of American politics, right? There's always been people who have been like, **** you got mine. But what kind of never existed was a a movement that could stitch kind of that attitude together with social conservatism, which with this idea that like things should go back to the way they were and we should have these more traditional values. Like this is what's that's what starts happening right now. So yeah, the American Enterprise association. Phyllis works for them for about a year, and by the time she finishes her affiliation with them, she's like a ******** right wing fundamentalist. When she'd started working for them, she'd actually been a member of the United Nations Association and supported the new organization. And all of that ends for her during her time with the AEA. By the end of it, she is a dedicated right wing partisan, as her biographer notes quote her religious faith. Now, combined with a well formed conservative ideology created a formidable political outlook. Equally important, she learned from her work experience at AEA how to articulate complex issues and arguments into a simplified form easily understood by an average reader. Much of her early political writings and speeches were derivative, based on an extensive reading of conservative books and periodicals, government reports, and liberal newspapers. Her originality lay in the way she framed issues. Sounds a lot like someone I can think of in the White House. Yeah, he speaks. Yeah. Just simplifying it. But getting to the emotion of the thing, yeah, that's gonna prove to be her. Her strong suit is like kind of cutting everything away. But yeah. Anyway, we're building it. So she moves back home after her time with the AEA to Saint Louis, and she reaches out to a congressional candidate named Claude Bakewell, who was running in the 11th district. So at age 22. She she reaches out to this guy and offers to be his campaign manager and she's so impressive, like the the the way that she's able to kind of like call up facts and statistics of of local politics. Just, like, shocks this guy into hiring her immediately, even though, again, really uncommon for women to be campaign managers and congressional campaigns in this. As Bakewell later recalled. I had to keep looking at her to remind myself I was not talking to a fat old cigar chomping ward healer. So, like she she's she's this young, 22 year old woman girl who talks to him like an old Politico. And she she had never done any nitty gritty politics. She all of this, all of her knowledge, came from just reading. Of the newspaper very closely. But she clearly pays attention. Like, pays attention well enough that she's able to kind of mimic the way these old Republican, like, political, you know, ****. Fighters talk and she's able to kind of convince this guy that she has what it takes to be one of them. And it seems like she does. She does well with the job. And Bakewell gets elected to Congress in 1946. Now, he gets kicked out of Congress in 1948, when when he loses his next election. But Phyllis, you know, runs a campaign and gets a guy. Into office. And so by 1949, she had a real career going as a political operator. She was unmarried, you know, and 24 years old at the operator. She was unmarried, you know, and 24 years old at that point. And at at about 24, uh, yeah, she meets this guy named Fred Schlafly. So she's like this unmarried politic, like independent, making money on her own, running a major political campaign on her own. And she meets Fred Schlafly in 1949. And Schlafly is a conservative activist and a devout Catholic, which is kind of phillis's too big qualifications that whoever she marries needs to have money and needs to be connected. He came from wealth. They moved right into a mansion as soon as they got married and he had a high-powered job representing a bunch of major businesses, including several banks. And he heard about Phyllis through the Republican Grapevine and Saint Louis because she was really the only woman doing what she was doing at that period of time. And he was like, that sounds hot to me. I want a woman who sounds like a cigar chomping old Politico. So he reaches out to flirt with her. Donald Critchlow, her biographer, writes about what happened next quote. What followed was a rather unusual. Courtship, in which they usually saw each other once a week on the weekends, while the rest of the time they exchanged poetry and letters. These letters were intellectual exchanges about political and theological questions, written as much to display the authors intelligence as to convey knowledge. Fred and Phyllis Schlafly married on October 20th, 1949, in a ceremony at the Saint Louis Cathedral, duly reported on the society pages of local newspapers. On their honeymoon in Mexico they took an extra suitcase full of books. So she finds a guy, you know, why not? I would do that. Yeah, they're big nerds. They're big to **** on or just, I think it they probably ****** on the books. They were probably ******* on like a bunch of like different. Yeah, I don't know. ******* right wing economics textbooks and **** because that that is kind of what gets them both ***** is right wing politics. So they find each other's perfect match and they stay married the rest of their lives, so that's great for them. They they they had a loving relationship while they ****** to the world. I don't know. Well, I will say I do think we should bring back poetry in courtship. I might be alone on this, but look. Oh no, look where it got us here and * **** *** sent it. Send a send a poem, send a poem. Or in lieu of * **** *** a suitcase full of books that could be the new. And you can you can have a note with it. Because ** **** is like this suitcase full of books. Filled with knowledge I don't know. So from this point forward, Phyllis Stewart began to live under the name she'd have for the rest of her life, Phyllis Schlafly. Now Phyllis shot through the turgid waters of mainstream Republican politics like a speedboat. After this point, her obsession was anti communism. And when I say anti communism, I don't mean like she just hated actual communists. I mean like, she was deranged. She was convinced that Harry Truman was a dyed in the wool communist. Like that's the, that's the level of right wing. She is like the guy she thinks the guy who dropped. Atom bombs on Japan to scare the Soviet Union was secretly a communist infiltrator. So the people with a lot of money living in the mansion that are anti communist, like, yeah, it was like they're just scared you'll take their money. Yeah. And she, she becomes, I don't know, like she kind of goes from somebody who seemed like she was a pretty reasonable person at like age 2021 to Harry Truman is a secret comedy and the space of like two or three years, which is I guess it's just because she kind of finds herself in this far right. Political world where all of these people are like passing around these these pamphlets on politics and stuff and it just takes her over. I marriage will drive you crazy I guess. I don't know. I don't know. I think it happened before the marriage. I think the marriage happened because like she had she had really like and her parents were clearly like very anti new deal and stuff. But like she's it's not clear to me exactly why she gets to this this kind of unreasonable unreasonable fringe of the movement but by 1940. Being a comic that's so that's like that change is just, it's so extreme. Yeah. I'm sure it didn't seem that extreme to her. Like, she ends World War 2 horror. Yeah. Like, yeah. I I can't tell you exactly why it happens, but she's she's not alone in this. There's this growing right wing movement. And again, this is the period where there's still no concerted conservative movement in the United States. It's starting to form at this time and one of sort of like the big Nexuses. That conservatism forms around is what's known but to historians is grassroots anti communism. And this is, this is not like just opposing the Soviet Union. This is a like grassroots anti communist were kind of associated with like they would pass around all these books that would detail like how communists had come to power in other countries and like sort of starting to we're starting to make these different conspiracy theories about what commies were trying to do in the United States. Like it was this. It was this specific fear that communism was was like actively attempting to take over their lives. And there was a lot of things that were wrapped up in this. First off, there was a populist appeal against the elites, who even the the elites in the Republican Party were seen as being, like, members of this, this Communist conspiracy. And there was this, there was this growing belief that communists centered in the Kremlin had infiltrated agents into the highest levels of American government. And so a lot of the stuff that you you see today in like, qanon, right, where, like, there's this supposed to be the secret battle in the United States governments and all of these bad actors who are like Marxists. Satanists and stuff who have gained power in the, the shadow government or whatever, that this is where that all really starts. Like, yeah. And so Phyllis is on the ground floor of this kind of thing. Wow. It's it's kind of bizarre because I feel like it is true that all countries have, like, agents everywhere, but when they're tied together like this, it doesn't make sense. Like it's it's, I wouldn't be so bold to say, like, no suspicions are ever true and there's no shadow dealings because of course there are, but this idea that there's like a. Concentrated nucleus of very coordinated, like shadow dealings. Just to go against you and your family specifically is like just right that nobody spends the time and money to do that. But yes, there are hints of shadow dealings and I think that's enough to get these Q Anon people going and excited even though the reality is just like not that big. It's not what they think. Yeah, there's definitely like Communist spies, just like there were, you know, spies, capitalists or whatever that we had over. We got like and some of those. Eyes like you've got like the Rosenbergs, who give the Soviet Union information on the atomic bombs, like that kind of **** is going on. But Phyllis and her fellow grassroots anti Communist are convinced that like the whole government has been infiltrated by by the commies and that like they're they're working in concert to to carry out a takeover of American Society. Running. Do you know what? It won't take over. The American Society was so bad. Do you know what is a secret Communist infiltrator? Trying to replace our capitalist system with them? With a I don't. What is these products love communism. I ****. It's an ad break. Yeah. So by now we imagine that you've seen the theories on Tik T.O.K. You maybe even heard the rumors from your friends and loved ones. But are any of the stories about government conspiracies and cover ups actually true? The answer is surprisingly or unsurprisingly, yes. For more than a decade, we hear at stuff they don't want you to know have been seeking answers to these questions. Sometimes there are answers that people would rather us not explore. Now we're sharing. This research with you for the first time ever in a book format you can pre-order stuff they don't want you to know now. It's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read or wherever you find your favorite books. Hey guys, it is Bobby Bones from the Bobby cast, Nashville's most listened to music podcast in depth interviews with your favorite country artists. They tell stories behind the biggest songs in country music and share personal stories that you won't hear anywhere else. Reba, Chris Stapleton, Luke Combs, Dan and Shay Kelsea Ballerini and more. Long form and all from the comfort of my own home so it gets a little more laid back. I also talked with the biggest songwriters. The producers in Nashville find out about the process and how it goes from being an idea in a writing room to a song that you hear on the radio. And if you're looking for new music, I share my top five new music releases on every week's episode. So if you love country music, I think you'll really enjoy this podcast. And there are so many episodes to binge. Literally hundreds. Listen to new episodes of the Bobby cast every Friday on the Nashville podcast network, available on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Hey y'all, this is Caroline Hobby, the host of get real with Caroline Hobby, honest women, honest talk. I love podcasting. It is so much fun because I have the most in depth, spiritual, soulful, real, honest conversations with women who are mothers, who are entrepreneurs, who have started their own businesses, who are married to celebrities, who are celebrities themselves. These women are juggling motherhood, being a career woman, starting their own businesses, taking leaps, knowing when to jump. These women are incredible and the conversations are so real it will hit every nerve in your body. As a woman, a little bit about myself, I was a country music artist and a trio. I traveled the country open for every celebrity you can imagine in country music. I also been on The Amazing Race twice, and I'm married to Michael Hobby, who is the lead singer of 1000 horses. And we have our precious daughter Sonny, who's two listen to new episodes of get Real with Caroline Hobby every Monday on the Nashville podcast network, available on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcast. Alright we're we're we're back talking about Phyllis Schlafly and her fringe beliefs about communism. So running on this grassroots anti so like Phyllis adopts grassroots anti communism it gets like really into this subculture that's forming and she runs for Congress and she actually wins like a really shocking upset victory in the Republican primary and this so she defeats like the Republican candidate. To go run against the Democrat. And this might be the first time in modern political history that like a normal conservative ran up against like a fringe far right candidate that everybody just kind of thought was a was a Nutter and then suffered a shocking loss. So like the kind of thing that has happened a bunch in our lifetimes that happened with Trump. It it happens with Phyllis Schlafly's campaign. And this is kind of like the first time it happens to the Republican Party where you've got like the folks who are sort of the the money elites who have been running the party since forever. Looking at this person that they never would have supported, beat their candidate and go, like, what the heck is happening here? And what you're saying is it's very traditional what happened here? Just pure tradition. This is the start of the tradition. Yeah. Now, the good news is that at this point, things were not so far gone in our society that Phyllis Schlafly could actually win a general election. So she gets beaten in the actual election, but the fact that she'd won the primary earns her a place in the Republican National Convention. For the rest of her life. So she's a voting member of the Republican Party for Forever. And this starts her, her kind of being a part of the Republican institution she hadn't won. But she had effectively grafted herself onto the mainstream of the party. And over the next 50 years, she and her ideas would grow like a cancer inside of it. So Phyllis Schlafly was one of the very first people. Yeah. Or a fetus inside of it, which, you know, again, if only there'd been. If only you could actually was one of the very first people, yeah. Or a fetus inside of it, which, you know, again, if only there'd been. Finally, you could first people who like starts writing literature, pamphlets and stuff to provide intellectual framework for what we today know is just like the right way. The like the religious right in the United States, like the antique, the, this, this. Like this is she's one of the first people who starts like thinking in a concerted way about that and providing reading material for people. And again, initially it was really focused on anti communism. Her first big book was a called a reading list for Americans and it was just a bibliographical guide to anti Communist books that people could read. And Phyllis kind of promised that if you read the different anti Communist books that she had put together in this, you would come to understand quote American, the American failure to grasp that. They are already engaged in a Total War with the communists. So that's that's the angle she's really pushing at this point. Now that book was published in 18 or 1958. And in the early 1960s Phyllis gets involved with a group called the American Security Council, which is another right wing think tank that had been initially started to quote help corporations avoid communist influence in their companies and had over time expanded. Yeah, fighting unions basically, but it overtime expanded to a dedicated group of right. Big military industrial complex folks obsessing over communist dangers to the United States. So Phyllis gets involved with these, like, defense industry people who are obsessed with the idea that a communist attack is coming. And one of these folks was a Rear Admiral named Chester Ward, and he and Phyllis hit it off. And so the two of them became research partners and writing buddies. Now, the ASC had a bunch of different files on communism. And again, this is like a library of, you know, they call them credible sources. Who knows what's actually in there? But it's supposed to be kind of outlining how all these different communist movements around the world and different. The countries had like, organized and gained power, and so they they spend years reading through this **** and warden Schlafly get become convinced of two central principles. Number one, that the Soviet military threat is real and inescapable. So the United States must have superior military strength to avoid war and #2 that the Soviet Union seeks to bleed the resources and morale of the United States through satellite wars of attrition, while Russia tests its weapons and bides its time to confront a weakened United States. So Phyllis begins calling on the US to have a first strike capability. She's one of like the people who's who. She's one of the conservatives who's who starts in like the 1950s being like, we need to be able to into the world with nuclear weaponry before the Russians can in order to to stop there from being a war. Yeah. So she calls for the United States to maintain superiority of military striking power and for a few years, like she and ward are just like writing these books. About how the only thing the US can possibly do at this moment is to continue is to build up this massive omnicidal nuclear arsenal. Right? Like, that's her first big political issue is that the United States needs to build, like, a wall of nuclear missiles to protect it from Communism. Wait, so I know you haven't gotten to the abortion part, but I'm already hearing contradictions in her belief system. Like you, she believes in order to feel safe, she needs a button she can press at any point to literally abort the entire world. But yeah. She feels safer if no woman, no matter what her case is, is allowed to abort a baby, even if she's at risk like that already. I'm like, it sounds like she's maybe dealing with more trauma than beliefs. She her argument would be that the Communists are so evil that the only thing that can keep them from taking over this country and killing millions of people is to be able to kill basically the entire world with an enormous nuclear arsenal. That's the only way to have the babies are communists, though. Is there a clause for that or I think. She then she supports throwing them in prison or having them executed or. Well, have the birth and then throw both mother and child in prison after the baby is born safely. Yeah, after the baby's born safely, then they can die in prison. OK, gotcha. Her initial big political charge is that, like, there should be this eternally spiraling cycle of armaments where the United States just throws more and more money into building an impossible nuclear stockpile. Does she have money in this? Because you said she was hanging out with. Rich, yeah. No. So it's like the more that they go make arms, the more money her and her friends would make, right? Like there's more more manufacturing. She definitely has friends. And like the defense industry. Sure. I'm not sure. Like they're already rich. I don't know how much personal financial interest plays into this for her, but she and her husband do use some of their family money to establish the Cardinal Minsi Foundation, who was like a Catholic anti communist guy. And yeah, this foundation. Max is a mouthpiece for anti communist pro nuclear propaganda through say though a mouth anti communist pro nuclear propaganda. Yeah. Didn't you just say that one more time? Yeah. So among other things, she uses this foundation to put out propaganda trying to convince Americans that nuclear weapons were, quote, a marvelous gift given to our country by a wise God. Which kind of makes you wonder, well, the Soviets have them too. What were they to the Soviets? Like did God give them to the communists or was that the devil? Like how does how does this work in your cosmology? She described communist. Because, I mean I'm already getting, I mean I know like the anti communist movement and it's kind of coded, but like is it? Is it, does it ever really describe, like what does she mean by that personally? Because it's obviously not just what, you know. It's not just the idea that people should have access to resources. It seems like it's specifically anti. Is it anti Soviet or just anti fascism or she's just anything but her? Anything that any anything that is the government trying to enable people to help each other. Is communism like it? If it involves the government and it helps people? It's communism, and she wants no part in it. But nuclear weapons are OK. Yeah. The the only thing the government should be doing in Phyllis Schlafly's mind is building new, threatening people. Yeah. Welfare. Terrible idea. Going to kill us all. Nukes. A gift from God. That's Phyllis Schlafly. Everyone dies. There's less people who need welfare. So, yeah, it's a Communist Pro nuclear property. Look like what? Yeah. She's ******* unhinged, and she and Admiral Ward wrote a series, but but also so is the whole the the birth of the conservative movement is in this, like, wild overreaction to communism that leads us into a bunch of horrific things. Now, she and Admiral Ward wrote this series of very bad books about the Soviet first strike that all Americans ought to fear every day. That's always here. Like focus in these books is to convince Americans that the Soviets are going to get the drop on us, that they have better technology. And so we have to keep building better and better missiles, otherwise we won't be able to kill them first. So titles of the book she and Ward wrote include strike from Space, A Megadeth mystery, which is a hell of a title. That sounds like a cool sci-fi movie. Yeah. Then there was Kissinger on the couch, which was a very anti-Semitic psychoanalysis of Henry Kissinger, who she hated for his interventionalists leanings. That I was going to say that that's a terrible description that you said, but I was like, that could be a fun **** I mean, but. Yeah. I mean, yeah, it could be like, I I'd watch a Henry Kissinger ****. He's hot. We all know that casting couch, you know? Yeah. Nobody disagrees with that. I disagree. Yeah. So and one of the areas in which she is right in this. Is she's very like, anti. Well, I mean, I think her feelings on Vietnam are Korea and Korea were more like we should just nuke them. But she certainly thought that the policy LBJ was, like following in Vietnam was a bad idea. And she wasn't wrong about that. Like. Obviously JFK and LBJ made a whole like everything they did in Vietnam was a horrific mistake. Does is there anybody on any side that Kissinger still thinking well like really like. I don't know. I watched good morning, Vietnam. It seemed like things were going pretty well there for a while. It had. They had Robin Williams. So, like, really, what's the complaint about? So yeah. Anyway, she other Schlafly ward books, book titles included ambush at Vladivostok and the Betrayers. So they've got all these like this and like ******* Robert Ludlum novels, but they're all basically making the point about like, the Soviet Union is better armed than us, and if we don't spend all of our money? On better nukes, like, we're ******. And I found the betrayers. I found a copy of it on Amazon. And so I went ahead. And I just, like, read through some reader reviews because I wanted to get an idea of, like, how the people who read this book have interpreted it. So in the interest of journalistic balance, I pulled one positive review and one negative review. And I'm going to reduce because I wanted to get an idea of, like, how the people who read this book have interpreted it. So in the interest of journalistic balance, I pulled one positive review and one negative review, and I'm going to read you the four-star review. Right now. Whatever impression this book made at the time, 1968 is, it is an astonishing read today. Written by Eagle Forum president and founder Phyllis Schlafly and Admiral Chester Ward, the thesis of this book is that key members of the Johnson administration, in particular Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, had actively sought to weaken and impair the defenses of the United States, motivated a belief by a belief that the cause of freedom was doomed, that the Soviet Union would surely win the Cold War, and that preparing for the eventual, inevitable surrender was the best means for survival. So she's arguing that Robert McNamara is a secret like the what are the architects of the Vietnam War is a secret communist agent trying to weaken the United States. Which I guess is one way of trying to, like, settle in your head how the United States could do something as dumb as the Vietnam War is like, oh, it must have just been. We must have been trying to **** ourselves over because it was such a bad idea. I do think that's kind of funny. The review continues, regardless of the validity of that position. Uh, the information used to make the case bears examination. Schlafly and Ward walked the reader through a panorama of Johnson administration defense and foreign policy positions compellingly, outlining a defensive disaster. The astute reader will recall without reminder that in 1960 the United States possessed overwhelming military superiority over its Communist opponents, and that by 1968, just eight years to 2 presidential terms later, that had turned into mere parity and, in some cases, inferiority. If nothing else, this caused extreme, needless problems for American diplomacy over the following two decades. And of course, it had the potential to cause far, far worse. So basically what's going on here is the United States makes a bunch of very dumb decisions that are in many cases motivated by extreme paranoia over communism. And this leads extremely paranoid people like Phyllis Schlafly to assume these couldn't just be that these people made a horrible mistakes because they were bad at their jobs. They have to have been part of a communist conspiracy. Yeah, it's almost like, I mean, I always think about it. Comes razor. I know it doesn't always apply, but it's sort of like when the easiest, like, explanation often is the true. Like what you're saying is like they just made some bad decisions that had bad consequences. But even in the wording of this review, he says Amir, 8 years, like there's like kind of leading wording like Amir, 8 years. Well, eight years isn't objectively a mirror. Like 8 years. A lot can happen, especially if you've got a lot of money and people in armies involved, like in a person's life. Eight years, like eight years ago, I'm like was like 22. Years old, you know what I mean? Like, I I think I was straight when, you know, so it's like a lot changes in eight years. So I feel like the fact that he's already leading in the review makes me feel like the book has a lot of language like that, too. Yeah, it's it's it's frustrating and it it's like it's OK. Here's the bad review. On the other side of things, here's this like, yeah, one star review. And yeah, uh, quote. Phyllis Schlafly, associated with extremist, xenophobic John Birch society we'll talk about them in a second, puts together a paranoid, phylo nuclear diatribe here that completely ignored the situation in the 1960s. The idea that a ballistic missile defense is somehow still useful is sold like as snake oil by right wing crackpots and defense contractors. But back then, as now, it simply doesn't fly. The recent remarkable advances in missile defense were only made by incorporating GPS transmitters into targets. Engineers speaking honestly without a financial stake in the outcome have known this and spoken about this. For decades, it's a big welfare program, plain and simple. The idea of a winnable nuclear war is hideously immoral, and the strange loves in their consorts such as Schlafly should be consigned to the ash heap of history pronto, which I find really interesting. So this guy is basically being like the, you know, the thing that this she's she's this right wing firebrand. But the thing that she always is arguing for this like massive nuke focused defense policy, is just welfare for a specific group of grifters because, like, none of it's ever worked, right? That is kind of the deep that the ugly secret of like. All missile defense is that, like, none of it would would do anything. Yeah. Yeah. You keep stockpiling and then, like, it's, I mean, it's almost genius if it didn't cost so many lives. But it's like, instead of trying to fix problems that you can because you may fail. Like. Right, like solving poverty and all this, like, I think we can make a lot of progress, but we haven't done it yet, so we don't know for sure. But you if you solve a problem that doesn't exist, which is like to just keep stocking fear, you can never fail. Because the problem doesn't won't go away. Like, it's continuous. So it's almost like, I feel like they're projecting a lot of their own insecurities onto the government. They're, you know, what they're trying to do is take money that ought to go to helping to build up our society and to help people. And because they hate that idea, but they don't want, they don't want to give up the money. They just want to throw it into something that could kill the entire world instead. That's Phyllis Schlafly's conservatism. So that last review mentioned the John Birch. Society. And I guess we probably ought to start talking about them now because they are really crucial piece of of what's happening here, this kind of coalescing, sociopathic right wing movement. And the John Birch Society was founded in 1958, again, very crucial year there. You're hearing about like a bunch of stuff happened in 58. It's one of the most important years for the right wing, and it was founded by one of the guys behind the Welches Candy Company after he retired from the business of making sweet things and decided conspiracy theorist was a better gig. So Welch, the founder of the John Birch Society, believed a lot of very wrong things about communism. But his most famous claim, and the one that like, made him a controversial figure, is that he was obsessed with the idea that Republican President Dwight D Eisenhower was a secret communist. And I've mentioned this a couple of times on the show because it's very silly. Like when you think about, like, the idea that Dwight ******* Eisenhower was a Communist infiltrator is it's absurd, but. I think when I mentioned it kind of in the past, people assumed I was referring to like like well should just sort of like drop this in a couple of lines in his book or maybe like put out a pamphlet. The reality is that he was so obsessed with this idea that he wrote an entire 287 page book titled The Politician laying out the case that Ike was a quote dedicated conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy who had been serving communism all of his adult life. the United States, Welch believed was a 1958 under the operational control of the Communist Party. So that's what these people believe because, like, Ike is building highways, right? Like, because he thinks that it's a good idea to spend national money on a highway system. He's he's literally an infiltrator from the Kremlin who's become the president in the United States is completely a communist controlled country because we have highways and like the GI bill, like it's kind of wild because I do feel like if you strip away the labels of left wing and right wing, I hear a similar. Conspiracies from the left now of you know, the White House and I'm not even just, I'm not even get it, get into any of that. I'm just pointing out how sometimes we like project a little bit. I don't know. I just think there's something really interesting in the way that they they they are like trying to create this fear. And then meanwhile you said fill us, really knew how to study the politicos and then became one. She stuck kind of studying the Communists and becoming obsessed. Like perhaps there was a moment when the right wing almost took on these tactics. Who knows? No, they absolutely. Yeah that's actually that's actually exactly what we're getting to here because the the John Birch Society we'll talk about them because that that that's you predicted something here. The John Birch Society was named after the guy after The Who what was claimed to be like the first American combat death against communists that's who John Birch is and it kind of in 19 in the late 1950s early 60s it it's occupies a cultural place that's kind of similar to the Alt right mainstream Republicans considered them really toxic because their founder had slandered. Eisenhower, but a lot of Republicans, like a shocking amount, secretly agreed with a lot of core Bircher tenants. They just didn't want to be like super identified with the John Birch Society and the like, because they were sort of. Because they were sort of politically toxic to be associated with, they had to be careful about how they organized and solicited funds and handed out propaganda because they didn't want to necessarily be identified doing that. In order to figure out like, how to get around this, they actually studied communist movements that had succeeded in foreign countries in order to like figure out how they should organize the John Birch Society in order to like get their propaganda out. And so, like a lot of communist parties in other countries. Had secret membership roles, they would have these, like secret cadres who would set up in different cities and operate out of front organization so they could hide donations and people wouldn't be like tied to helping out the John Birch Society. So they actually do look at how Communist movements succeeded in other countries and deliberately go out of their way to imitate them. I'm going to quote from a write up in The New Yorker that kind of explains this process. In the 1960s, Welch became obsessed that even the communist movement was but a tool of the total conspiracy. This master conspiracy, he said, had four runners in ancient Sparta and sprang fully to life in the 18th century in the uniformly Satanic Creed and program of the Bavarian Illuminati, run by those he called the insiders. The conspiracy resided chiefly in international families of financiers such as the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers, government agencies like the Federal Reserve System and the Internal Revenue Service, and non governmental organizations like the Bilderberg. The Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. Since the early 20th century, they had done a good deal of the their evil work under the guise of humanitarian uplift, 1 Broad Ave down, which these conspiratorial forces advance, was known as progressive legislation. Welch declared in 1966. The very same collectivist theories and demagogic pretenses which had destroyed earlier civilizations were now paraded forth in a disguise of new and modern concepts. This is really interesting to me for a lot of things. For one thing, you go through that, a lot of that you could graft. Get on to qanon right. Qanon followers believe that what they're fighting is this satanic conspiracy. They talk about how it goes. Like one of the things that is is a big part of Q Anon is the idea that it goes back centuries. In a lot of cases, there's this ancient, pedophilic satanic cabal that they're fighting against. You know, they call it the cabal. He called it the insiders. But it's in a lot of ways, the same conspiracy. Another thing that's really interesting to me here is that Welch is again doesn't identify as an anti Semite openly, but the you can graft a lot of what he's saying directly under the **** Hitler was saying. So Hitler was obsessed with the idea that any sort of like social welfare or social justice like in the idea that it was starting to be conceived of in the 30s in any I like moves towards anti discrimination you know anti racism, anti colonialism, these like any any sort of. Social movement that was based around empathy was Jewish infiltration, attempting to bring on Marxism that like that, that was a big aspect of what the Nazis were saying is that, like, if if you were, if you were encouraging a society to be more empathetic, you're making it weaker. And that's going to lead to it getting wiped out because you know, the world is just this cold competition of different races. And so you have to fight against social justice sort of like ideology with extermination, like that's what one of the reasons we have to kill the. News is that they're going to, like, infect our society with this stuff. And Welch is saying the same thing. He's just not saying the Jews. But he's saying that, like any humanitarian policies being pursued in a society are part of a satanic conspiracy to bring it down. And that's yeah. In the very worst case, Welch believed that military action might be necessary to dislodge the totalitarians. But for the moment, I'm not question. Yeah, absolutely. Does he like their whole thing is that there's secret infiltration? Right? Like, they believe that. Yeah. Infiltrated the government and their secret, right. So yeah. Did they at any point consider, like, OK, let's say they actually believe this in good faith. And it wasn't just a demagogue approach to control people. Do they ever at any point consider, like, if they can infiltrate the Communist, they can infiltrate America. Couldn't they also infiltrate the Conservatives? No. They believe that the Conservatives have been infiltrated. They think the mainstream Republican Party has been compromised. But too right. Yes, right. Like they don't believe that they could be. Provident I I think they think that they're this like small part, like cell, of real of of true believers. But like part of why they organized themselves the way they do is so that they can't be infiltrated, right, like that's why they, and ironically enough, Welch kind of adopts a Marxist Leninist model of a fan of having a vanguard revolutionary party so like. He builds a series of small cells that work in secret to agitate the populace and elect, you know, candidates to office who were in line with their beliefs. It is he, he was quoted as saying. It isn't numbers we have to worry about, but the courage on the part of our followers to stick their necks out and play rough, the same as the communists do. So they're the the the John Birch Society hates communism and explicitly patterns its organization off of communist vanguard parties because they see that it works. And Phyllis Schlafly was a member, a secret member, of one of these. Vanguard parties. She was a dedicated member of the John Birch Society from the beginning, and she held to its principles her entire life. Now she denied this publicly, and her biographer argues that she was never a member of the Society, but this is factually inaccurate. Just this year, researchers gained access to letters written by Phyllis Schlafly herself, where she blithely refers to her own membership in the John Birch Society as starting back in 1959. And it's become clear that at a certain point. And the John Birch Society got toxic. She stopped openly admitting her membership and became a secret member, denying her affiliations in public because she could do more good by working within the Republican Party and making it change. So she was an agent of the John Birch Society embedded in the Republican Party. Now she started the process of trying to change the Republican Party into the the party of John Birch in 1960 at the Republican National Convention. And Nixon to give you an idea of how ****** ** things. They're here. Richard Nixon, that years candidate is going to be the good guy in in this part of the story because Nixon and his allies in 1960 were fighting to add a new plank to the Republican Party platform, one that enshrined anti segregation and anti discrimination as fundamental Republican values. Now again, Nixon himself very racist guy. You can listen to hours of him using the N word and being just like a horrible racist. But Nixon was also like kind of a. As political operators go, he was more of a politician than he was an ideological Republican, right. Like he was a guy who wanted to do certain things in power but also wasn't like he he, he. His kind of assumption was like, oh look at how things are trending socially. Americans are fed up with segregation and like with racism. We should at least nounce, we should at least make it a plank of our party that we we don't support segregation because that's clearly where the wind is blowing. And Fillis saw this as pure communism, like the fact that Richard Nixon was like, yeah, we probably shouldn't support segregation anymore. She thought this was communism because, again, any humanitarianism is is communism. That's like, that's what she believes. So she leads a revolt of what she calls moral conservatives. And remember that line because this is the first time anyone starts talking like this. This is before Falwell and the moral majority starts. She has her organization of moral conservatives, and they they run an insurgent. Fight against Nixon to stop anti discrimination planks from being added to the Republican Party and they win. And like, not coincidentally, Nixon then loses the election to JFK. Now. Like all good extremists, Schlafly didn't see the fact that Nixon had gotten his *** kicked by Kennedy to be at all emblematic of, like, conservatism being unpopular and needed to change. She decided that the party just hadn't gone far enough in the right direction yet. And that was fine for her. She had a plan to wrench the Republican Party in the American right out of the hands of men like Nixon forever. All she needed was a man to help her with that. Because of course, a woman could never be a presidential candidate. In 1964, Phyllis Schlafly found her man in Senator Barry Goldwater. You ever heard of Barry Goldwater? Yes. Big Barry G yeah. A lot of people call him the first Trump. He was a lot smarter than Trump, but also a lot less successful. So I don't know, the times were different. Like most of America's greatest nightmares, Barry Goldwater comes from Phoenix, AZ. He was born there in 1909. One side of his family was Jewish. They'd fled from Poland during the Revolutions of 1848. The other half of his family were Episcopalian and Barry stayed Episcopalian all of his life. He joined the military as a pilot in World War Two and he spent most of that conflict delivering supplies. Goldwater got into politics once he left the military, and like Phyllis Schlafly, he was a rabid, anti New Deal crusader. He was initially elected, though, on an anti corruption platform, sweeping the Phoenix City Council meetings of 1949 as part of a nonpartisan coalition. Dedicated to cleaning up the city and you see this a lot with these guys is like they come into power planning to fight like, like, like. Promising to fight corruption. Like you know that. That's the story we hear today. They have the power. They're the one in power. It's like the whole idea is paradoxal to begin with. The reality is situation is that you can't come into power and fight corruption because power corrupts. But whatever. Yeah, he used this as the baseline to bill to rebuild Arizona's weak and ineffective Republican Party. Arizona used to be a solid democratic state. In 1952, he won election to the Senate. Now the young senator from Arizona quickly gained prominence for his willingness to attack the head of his own party. White D Eisenhower, sealing some some some similarities here. Obviously, Goldwater was not an open member of the John Birch Society. He didn't call Eisenhower a communist. But he criticized Eisenhower's budget proposals, which he saw as unreasonably wasteful. Financial criticisms of Eisenhower soon gave away to Barry's real issue, which was that Eisenhower supported forcibly integrating schools. So Eisenhower said, yeah, we should send in the military to make these Southern states integrate their schools if they won't do it themselves. And that was Barry Goldwater's big issue is and and and the way he and like his defenders. So conservatives today you know will defend both he and Phyllis Schlafly who was also anti integration like her biographer Critchlow will defend them both as saying that like they didn't oppose integration they just opposed the federal government and federal troops being used to integrate schools. Now they also they oppose enforcement of it. Yeah kind of what they cause whenever people argue for like state school rides for charter schools and things. They're basically saying they don't want to have to force integration. They're not against it. But given the choice, they're not going to do it. It's like, yeah, it is. It is one of those things where it's like, Oh well, we're just against forcing people to do it. And it's like, OK, but we still want schools to be integrated. And then you ask them, OK, well, how do you integrate schools? And they never actually have an answer because they don't want schools to be integrated because they're just racists. But they know you can't run on that anymore. It sounds like a lot like another argument about choice. I can't quite think of it, but it just making me think of something, this idea that you just want a choice, not that you want. To do that, I can't think of it. It's off the top of my head. But you know, just at the tip of my tongue, it's freedom. Yeah. So OK, so Goldwater and Schlafly were both virile and anti integration crusaders and the reality is that this isn't because they were angry at federal overreach. They just knew that their ideal constituency was white men and white women. And again, this was actually something that Phyllis Schlafly was pretty consistent about admitting. You know, her biographer likes to hide this. A lot of folks who will support her, or folks who will like support Goldwater will, will try to defend them on this. But Schlafly was very consistent about the fact that she only gave a **** about representing white people and white people's political interests. In 2012, after Mitt Romney's defeat, the Republican Party conducted an autopsy to determine why they had lost. That autopsy advised them to seek to engage with black and Hispanic voters more effectively, and Schlafly was one of the few prominent Republicans at the time to reject this openly saying the people, the Republicans. Would reach out to are the white folks, the white voters who didn't vote in the last election? And there are millions of them. The propagandists are leading us down the wrong path. There is not any evidence at all that these Hispanics coming in from Mexico will vote Republican. Yeah. So this was exactly the same way she felt in the early 1960s because once she became a conservative, she never ever changed again. And she and Barry Goldwater again wanted to get wanted to get the white people's vote. And they were specifically kind of organizing an insurgent campaign against a more, you know, mainstream appealing Republican presidential candidate Nelson Rockefeller. And Rockefeller started out as like he seemed like the guy who was initially about to win the 1964. Nomination for the Republican candidacy and back in 1960 he'd actually been the guy who had proposed the anti segregation plank and the Republican Party platform that Schlafly had organized against. Meanwhile, Senator Goldwater had voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. So this guy in 64 Rockefeller is running and he's like, Republicans should be less racist. And Barry Goldwater is the no, no, no. We've got to go whole hog into racism. That's my entire thing because I'm literally a fascist. I should note here. Like, there was never any chance of either of them winning the election, right? 1964 is right after JFK was gunned down by a young Bernard Sanders, and the Vietnam War was, like, not yet at its fever pitch. So LBJ, who did like one of the most masterful pieces of American political maneuvering, is kind of like how LBJ handled the immediate wake of JFK's death. He's extremely popular at this point, and he's just the war on poverty has gotten started, the Voting Rights Act has been passed. There's like, all this progressive stuff that's being slammed through Congress. You've got this incredibly popular and effective Democratic president who has taken over from this tragically murdered young Democrat. There's no way the Republican Republicans are going to win in 1964. So it's something of a lost cause from the beginning, but it becomes kind of this fight over what the future of the Republican Party is going to be. So on one hand you have Nelson Rockefeller, who's like, who's like Michael Bloomberg, actually. He's a very, very wealthy guy who's popular with the elite of the party, but normal Republicans hate him. As much as, like, normal Democrats hate Michael touch with reality. Yeah, I was gonna say he sort of, yeah. In history books, he's sort of. I mean, he he reeks of someone who's just another rich guy who bought his way into good graces. Yes. I remember reading about him as a philanthropist. And you're like, that's not his first thing. He didn't get his money by being a philanthropist. Yeah, he got money. And then he decided to pay his way into being remembered as a philanthropist. Yeah. Yeah. And so, like, the right, the fact that the right wing hates him, they all wind up hating him for the wrong reasons. As they weave him into these conspiracy theory theories. But like he was, he's he sucks. And yeah, the John Birch Society considered him a communist agent and he still winds up in right wing conspiracy webs. To this day you'll find him in a **** load of Q Anon stuff. They can't stop talking about the guy. So Phyllis Schlafly is among was probably the most influential of a cadre of right wing organizers who in 1964 throws their support behind Barry Goldwater during this. That's going to determine what the Republican Party becomes in the future. The 1964 elections are where the Republicans voted on, like, what are we going to do next? What are we going to be next? We're going to be this more kind of technocratic corporatist, but open party where we try to, you know, appeal to a wide variety of voters or are we going to just go straight for white people? And like, that's us forever is just getting white people to back us up and ******* over everyone who's not a white person. Yeah, straight for white sounds like a really ****** dating app. And Phyllis Schlafly decides, like she wants the Republican Party to be the party of white people, and *** **** it, she's going to fight to make that be the case. And we will talk about what happens next in Part 2 of this episode. But Theresa, you know what it's time for right now. What time is it? It's time for you to to do some pluggable rules. Pluggable? Plug them out. OK, cool, cool, cool. Plug up with your bugs up, plug up your holes with by following me online. Alright. Larissa Tee on Twitter and Instagram and I think I'm gonna be selling some limited hats that say cancel me Daddy because enough people told me I should make them so if you guys like those. They'll probably be out by the time this is out, but yeah, yeah, yeah. And I'm not Larisa T, but you can find me elsewhere on the Internet, or so the legend goes. No one's ever proved it one way or the other if I'm on the Internet, so. Go seek me out and if you find me, uh, listen to my teachings and we will. Become lovers. Sophie had a way in this you call Robert on Twitter and I write OK you can follow us on Twitter and Instagram at Boston's body. You can buy something from our chief public merch store. You can listen to Robert on worst year ever. 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