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An Exhibition of Conservative Paranoia

Exhibit 1: Phyllis Schlafly vs. the Census

By Terry Krepel
Posted: 4/15/2000

In her April 5 column, Phyllis Schlafly seems to have slipped off whatever meds she had been on, for she takes extreme offense at the questions on the Census 2000 "long form."

She joins the crowd attacking the questions as intrusive, then slides straight into delusional psychosis as she ponders the ulterior motivies for the questions, noting that "the answers to these questions would have been very useful for policy making under Hitler's pre-World War II regime."

And then she completely loses it:

Do you speak a language other than English at home and, if so, which one? Many people believe that English should be declared our official U.S. language, but no one has ever before suggested that government inquire into the speaking of other languages inside the home.

Census 2000 wants to know if you have difficulty learning, remembering, concentrating, dressing, bathing, or getting around inside the home. What do you suppose is the purpose of these questions? Some speculate that gathering this type of information is the start of going after lawful gun owners. Clinton's press secretary Joe Lockhart said on Meet the Press on March 19 that "mental records" should be checked for gun ownership.

How did you get to work last week, how many people rode in the vehicle with you, how many minutes did it take you, and what time did you leave home? Is this question designed to facilitate Al Gore's plan to eliminate the internal combustion engine?

Finally comes a really personal question. Who else lives in your home and how are they related to you?

What Schlafly doesn't bother to inform the reader is that all of these questions appeared on the 1990 census form. I don't recall Schlafly or anyone else getting their panties in a knot about it then.

My diagnosis: Get back on the lithium, and maybe try doing a little research.

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