A Mama Warrior and real Conservative Patriot, Susan Swift is one of our California contributors for PolitiChicks. Since her impassioned call into Rush Limbaugh’s radio program during the Obamacare debates in 2009, Susan has been giving political commentary on radio and on several Conservative blogs, including Breitbart and PolitiChicks. Susan uses her platform at PolitiChicks to help other Conservative mothers spread the message of American values.
Yet, many of our viewers may also recognize Susan from her early film appearances.
A Texas native, this brown haired, green eyed girl made her film debut at the age of 12 in Robert Wise‘s supernatural drama Audrey Rose (1977), a story about reincarnation which introduced Susan as Ivy, a young girl who is plagued by horrific nightmares about burning to death in a car crash, which are believed to be her last memory in a previous life. Holding her own alongside Marsha Mason and Anthony Hopkins, Susan was able to convey childish innocence in the role of Ivy, and could also turn on the tears in the more intense scenes.
In an EXCLUSIVE interview, Susan told PolitiChicks:
“I was subject of a national talent search in 1974…they were making the movie Audrey Rose and they needed a girl who could perform the role of Ivy Templeton. They auditioned Christy McNichol, Brooke Shields and others. They couldn’t find someone who could perform what they needed so they started looking nationally. They called acting schools across the country and they’d go visit them. One of the acting schools was the Merry-Go-Round Theater. It was a children’s acting school that was satellite to a large theater in Houston called ‘The Alley Theatre’. The Alley Theater is a prominent theater in Houston that produces live theatrical stage productions. I started going to the acting classes at the Merry Go Round and I loved it, it was fun. Acting was pretending.
So, I had been there about two years when Robert Wise and MGM studios asked the director of the Merry-Go-Round to ‘pick out three or four of your actresses in this age range. We’d like to audition them for film. Pick out the best four and we’ll come in meet with them.’ I was one of the ones that they picked for that audition.
After auditioning for Robert Wise, I was invited to do a screen test in Hollywood…on a real set with the lights and the camera. After that screen test, I was offered the juvenile lead in Audrey Rose. That’s how I became an actress. I was introduced as Susan Swift, my maiden name, and I performed the role of Ivy Templeton in the film Audrey Rose. From there, I remember signing my name with my very best cursive on a contract with the Gersh Agency [now TGA] to represent me.”
The following year, Susan played Barbara Eden‘s mousy daughter Dee in the comedy Harper Valley P.T.A. (1978). Susan described the film, “The movie was really cute and it was so much fun making it. Barbara Eden is a consummate professional. It was full of good experienced comedic actors, professionals who showed up on time, and did their jobs very well.”
Susan did some television work in the 1980s, appearing in numerous television series, including: Simon & Simon, Amazing Stories, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Michael Douglas Show, and Magnum P.I.
Susan chuckled, “I got to go to Hawaii and ride in a red corvette with Tom Selleck.”
Susan also appeared in the TV Mini-Series, The Chisholms, which filmed the adventures of a pioneer family as they traveled west in 1844. Susan described The Chisholms:
“ The miniseries chronicles one family’s dramatic travel from the East coast to the West and the colonization of the West. Pioneers selling everything they owned to travel in covered wagons from St. Louis, the Gateway of the West, to build a new life in California.
The series starred Robert Preston and Rosemary Harris. Millennials might know Robert Preston from the play and film ‘The Music Man’ and would likely know Rosemary from the Spiderman movies. Anyway, she played my mother and Robert played my father and I was one of the children, ‘Annabelle Chisholm.’ I traveled west in real a covered wagon pulled by mules. It was a very small taste of the rugged, true-life experience of the American pioneer.
We shot at the locations pioneers had actually traveled. There was one time in particular where our wagon wheels were rolling in deep ruts in the dirt, the hard earth. Some of these wagon wheel trails were still there in the hard earth and we were actually in them.
This was really and truly America. I have traveled America in a covered wagon. In a small way, I have experienced the life of a little settler girl…I could understand the risk and struggle that these Americans went through to be free. That is what America is, to be free, to go on an adventure and to create your own life somewhere, to pack it all up and take a risk. Americans’ history is not about safety. We’re not about the government keeping us safe. We want to get into our covered wagons or our cars or whatever it is and we want to go and take risks…and at the end, we can say, “I succeeded, I survived, I did this, I built this.” That’s the American spirit.”
Susan then hit the BIG screen once again in 1995 in the movie Halloween 6. Susan described her experience in the horror movie:
“I played the role of Mary and I die very dramatically. Michael Myers, the bad guy, chases me, grabs me by the neck and then kills me by impaling me on a spike on the wall. So I have a spike coming out of my head and I’m hanging on the wall twitching… Macabre is the right word, I guess. So, I died very well in the first five minutes of Halloween 6 (Susan chuckled).”
Interestingly, Susan has recently been invited to attend the Monster Mania Con this year, which celebrates the characters in horror films. She explained, “There is a huge fan base. Characters from all the scary movies get together in various forums around the country. For the first time, I’ve been invited to Monster Mania this year August 12-14th in New Jersey, and then again at the end of September. Fans like to come and meet people who have been in the scary films. And I get to go and sign autographs. It’ll be fun to do that.”
While still working in film, Susan also attended Occidental College. She told PolitiChicks, “My mother and my grandmother graduated from there. My family connections to Occidental go back a long way. So, I went there for one year and then I transferred from Occidental to UCLA to the theater department there.”
However, Susan lamented the mistake she believes she made at the time:
“Because of the nature of my film career, I was in a fine minority of people who didn’t need to go to college. What I should have done, is delay college to continue working in the industry while I could.”
Susan turned down many opportunities to work in college because she was worried about her college career. She said, “I didn’t have anyone to advise me to tell me to delay college…My parents put a very high value on an education believing that what you have learned is the one thing no one can take away from you. My earnings in television and film, that’s what paid for college and law school. I paid my own way. I didn’t get grants or college loans or anything like that. I paid every dime myself. Not my parents or anybody else. I paid for my education.”
Susan attended and graduated magna cum laude from UCLA’s famous Department of Theater Arts. She described, “The funny thing was that I was a professional actress and I’m actually getting real jobs while I’m in college. Yet, the Theatre Arts Department wouldn’t let me into the major until the last opportunity to declare a major and graduate. The Theatre Arts Department finally let me in after three years.”
Susan also shared her personal thoughts on college education: “Most people need to go to college to gain skills they will need to work in the world. It depends on what you want to learn and do. I object to the whole notion that everybody needs to have free college…not everybody was made for college. Sometimes, you don’t need a college education to achieve your goals — some of the most successful Americans made their dreams come true without a traditional college education. We should not be forcing people through a “one-type- fits- all” free government education plan. I disagree with that. Pay for the education you personally want to acquire with your own money. Don’t make taxpayers fund four more years of college like we already fund K-12 public education — how’s that working out anyway? More and more people are opting for homeschooling and private schooling options precisely because public education isn’t serving parents’ desires for their children”
After graduating from UCLA, Susan attended Pepperdine Law School where she graduated with honors and served as an editor of its Law Review and has authored law review articles on entertainment law and federal civil procedure. She worked as a lawyer at a prominent international law firm in Los Angeles, and later joined the LAPD legal defense team in the Rodney King federal civil rights lawsuit, for which work she received a special award from the LAPD Booster Association.
Susan detailed her experience in representing Officer Powell during the Rodney King Trial and how it relates to what we are seeing with BLM movement today:
“Like these police officers who are under attack by Black Lives Matter today, he (Officer Powell) was doing his job and upholding the law. I volunteered to represent him. After L.A. riots, the feds got involved to make sure that “justice was done.” What is justice? Well, when the Simi Valley verdict jury determined the officers were not guilty, the Los Angeles riots followed. So, for the federal civil rights trial “justice” was defined as a conviction of these policers officers at any cost. The federal prosecution’s goal was to mollify a political, racial agenda.
So I’ve seen first hand how much power and money flows from the federal government. And if they want to come get you, they have an unlimited resource. Fabulous exhibits, lawyers in the most expensive suits and they lined up to crucify police officers. All over a felon who was speeding, who was high on drugs, had all kinds of alcohol in his system and who fought with the police. The federal prosecution had to crucify somebody to mollify the mob… they trotted out racism, they trotted out hatred for cops, they got the conviction that they wanted and put these police officers in prison for doing their job.
I think it is from the Rodney King incident that we are still seeing the rippling effects of the disrespect for law enforcement…I think this current ‘Black Lives Matter’ hysteria comes from the effective use of mob tactics that flowed out of the Rodney King case. I saw it myself in the courtroom. It was scary. Everyone wanted these officers’ heads on a plate. They got it…I saw the power of the federal government coming against men who had just done their job as well as they could.”
Susan met her husband while she was in law school. And when they both decided they were ready to start a family, she left the law firm where she had been working to stay home with her children. Susan walked away from a career as an actor and she walked away from a career as a lawyer because she wanted to be a mother. She wanted to be married to her husband and have children. They now have seven children.
She described how marriage elevates a woman:
“My husband elevated me by marriage to the position of wife. Marriage is the highest honor a man can bestow upon a woman and marriage is the greatest gift a woman can give a man. I do not mean to say that men are somehow superior to women; they aren’t — women also elevate men to their positions as ‘husband’ as well — They elevate each other to partnership status in marriage. The titles of ‘wife’ and ‘husband’ are nobel and rightly honored in our culture because they require fidelity and sacrifice.
Through marriage, I was promoted by God to the position of mother. My job as a mother is to raise the children God has given us to become good citizens, good representatives, to become citizens of the goodness of God. The most important thing is that my children learn to be sensitive to others, to care about and to help others. It’s about giving back to the world.”
Susan also explained how her decision (to stay home) is a threat to the Left:
“Conservative women are a true danger to the Left, women with accomplishments who choose to marry, choose to have children and to raise them with conservative American principles to be independent from government. I’ve chosen to be at home and defend my home. And I’ve put my children and my role as mother ahead of anything else. That is such a threat to the message of Hillary. I am the antithesis of what the Democrats want to sell women.”
Susan describes herself as a “Cradle Conservative.” She said,
“I was raised right. My parents were conservative and I would watch the news with them and we would talk. It’s not like I studied anything particular when I was growing up. I was just a regular kid. I grew up in Texas and that probably helped a lot. I knew a lot of nice, good people there. I just grew up this way and anytime I saw anything that was Liberal, I could, if an idea was laid out in front of me, I could evaluate it.
When I was going through the schools in Texas, I was probably educated in the neutral way so I learned to ask the right questions and actually analyze and look at an issue. And I don’t know in today’s schools if I would have gotten that same background, which is to analyze different points of view. I had really good teachers.
But our parents are our first teachers. Who God gave me as my teacher was my mother and my father so I credit them. My dad really understood politics very well and he would always tell me when I asked about it, he’d say, “The most important thing, Suz, is the Supreme Court. And the president will appoint justices who are either Conservative or Liberal.” That is the most important thing that he pointed to, a president who will appoint judges who will apply the law, not rewrite it. That’s the litmus test at the end of the day in a presidential race because the courts have so much power over us.”
Susan shared some thoughts about Democrats Versus Republicans and the 2016 election:
“Democrats, at the end of the day, are ideologues. The most important thing is their set of ideals. Party is everything. People don’t matter. They immediately unite behind one personality who will advance their ideological agenda of big government population control by promising ever more money and government involvement or ‘help’. Individualism and independence from government is the hallmark of the Republican brand. Ironically, it is harder to unite Republicans and conservatives because of their individualism. They support principles of individual freedom and limited government. So the government itself is the enemy for conservatives and so they will not simply fall into lock step behind a personality promising better, more effective government like Democrats do. Republicans are more circumspect and will more readily support a platform of principles to restrict the government’s action in their lives. Selling a reduction of government growth and a restriction of power is a harder sell.
Conservatives are about God and life and individual liberty and freedom and restricted government—so that no big government can hurt the little people. That is our platform in truth. We should all be rallying around these principles, not the person. We should all be uniting around the core of our Republic, which is our Constitution.
And, isn’t it ironic that everybody in the DNC, they are all united to beat the Republicans? They understand this because they are ideologues. They rally around their core principles, which are big government, population control, and control of everything–of the money, healthcare, food, energy, business, they want to control everything. They will rally behind that control concept and endorse whomever it takes to make sure their ideology trumps the Republican vision, the Constitutional vision, of what makes America an exceptional nation.
Democrats know what they are doing. They are standing up for their ideals and their principles. At the end of the day, they don’t care about Hillary’s emails or any of her other scandals because they don’t care how Hillary got her nomination. They just don’t care. She’s just the best that they’ve got right now and she’s their standard bearer who will make government great. Republicans ought to unite behind our ideals, which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the Constitution. Those constitutional principles are what will make America great again.”
However, Susan concluded,
“God bless most Democrats. Most people vote democrat because they just don’t know any better. They really don’t. They don’t know the truth of what and whom they are voting for. A lot of people make decisions with imperfect knowledge and they just don’t understand.
I really believe that we conservatives have a job to truly teach people, to inform people…it just breaks my heart that people make a lot of decisions because, as my dad would say, ‘They don’t know what they don’t know.’
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is a great example. A lot of people don’t even know the email scandals have been going on. Why? Because the media has been burying the story. The media has a responsibility to present the facts but they are not because they are not neutral in this battle of ideas for the White House. The media is repainting Hillary’s past and obscuring the facts and they are the ones who are going to bear the responsibility for this election. I hope the mainstream media fails.”
Susan has a very strong passion to teach the public and to inform them on the issues and to remind them of the importance of our American values. She has been inspiring many Conservative mothers to speak out and to spread the message. It is truly a privilege to have a Mama Warrior like Susan on our PolitiChicks team.
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