Living in the Past

by Dan Quinn

Eagle Forum — whose founder, Phyllis Schlafly, the Texas State Board of Education added to curriculum standards for public school social studies classes this year — doesn’t orbit the fringes of the right just on issues like opposition to evolutionary science and gay rights. No, the group is also still fighting the Cold War, which ended nearly two decades ago. And Cathie Adams, the former Texas Republican Party chair and former Texas Eagle Forum president, is leading the group’s march back to the past.

An e-mail to Eagle Forum activists from Adams, who apparently now serves as the group’s national “Sovereignty & Security Chairman,” screams that a treaty to reduce nuclear weapons is a “tremendous threat to U.S. national security.” The e-mail urges activists to demand that senators reject ratification of the New START, or New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

President Obama and Russian President Medvedev signed the treaty earlier this year. The agreement requires the United States and Russia to make significant reductions (by nearly a third) in their stockpiles of nuclear weapons. That seems to make sense even to conservative Republican senators like Richard Lugar of Indiana, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Johnny Isakson of Georgia, who voted in committee for ratification. But Adams and other extremists at Eagle Forum hate the treaty.

Our point isn’t to support or oppose ratification of the treaty, an issue that is outside TFN’s mission. We simply mean to point out that the far right in this country continues to live in the past, whether that means pushing education policies based on ideology rather than modern scholarship, promoting legalized discrimination against gay people, limiting reproductive rights for women and sex education for students, or trying to revive Cold War hysteria. And Eagle Forum (along with its Texas chapter) is one of the leading pressure groups pushing this backward-looking agenda.



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