You Matter

What is your value?
What is your purpose?
What sets you apart?

These questions enter the minds of most people during their lives and cause them to introspect and take stock of their goals in life. Everyone will answer the questions differently because no one has the same life experience, the same advantages, or the same ambition.

The same questions are asked by political junkies, but it’s less introspection and more general critique of one another. I’ve seen this especially in the conservative political set; we all seem to be measuring one another’s effectiveness by different standards.

There is the activist that believes true effectiveness is “boots on the ground”: knocking on doors, making calls, writing letters. The blogger believes in the advancement of ideas through media; making the case to support a cause or policy with thoughtful, well-researched articles. There is the pontificator that thinks gaining ground happens in the real-time free flow of ideas online and in person, the media maven who believes videos will reach more people in our entertainment-loving society, and the quiet soul that wishes only to stand in solidarity with his conservative brother and strengthen one another’s convictions and arguments so that they can better defend their positions.

So who is most valuable? Which one of those subgroups have more impact or purpose in the conservative movement?

According to many, I’m pretty useless as a political tool in the conservative shed. I haven’t worked on a campaign staff, I don’t knock on doors or make calls, and I rarely even blog. What value do I have? I don’t question my own value, but I know many people do. They may not know they’re talking about me because they’re usually speaking in very broad terms about another group of people that they feel aren’t doing as much as they themselves are, at least according to their own standards of effectiveness.

I don’t have to wonder if I’m making a difference because I know that I am. My life has pretty well been dedicated to my kids. I gave up many of my own ambitions to focus on being a mother. I have been blessed to explain current events and politics to my children in a way that they can understand and engage their minds in a topic that, quite frankly, not many adults can comprehend. I know that I have a duty to inform them so that when they are able to vote they can do so with some measure of understanding, giving serious thought to the gravity of their choices. I also want them to be able to make a compelling argument to their peers and be able to defend their positions to their teachers. We often talk about the heavily biased education our kids receive from public schools and universities, so I’m actively preparing my children to go out into a world that is not friendly to their ideas and to engage that world and hopefully change it.

Does that have no value?

I have changed minds about gun control and abortion through simple conversation. I’ve encouraged other conservatives by being bold enough to shout down the bullies. I’ve strengthened my friends’ arguments just as they’ve strengthened mine through discussion of ideas and the sharing of information. I know this because people have told me that I’ve made a difference in their lives.

Does my chatter have no purpose?

I don’t have to wonder if my small efforts within the arena of politics have value. I know they do. They may not be big, or public, or acknowledged, but they have gained us ground and have strengthened us as a group. Do I think I’m better than any other blogger or activist? No. We’re all working for a common goal here, or should be, so I’m happy to let you do what you do best while I make small improvements in the world around me. Your efforts help me, just as my efforts help you. If I can change a person’s mind, that’s another reader for you. That’s possibly another person knocking on doors. That’s another person to have your back when you’re under attack for defending the Constitution.

So don’t lose heart when you wonder if you’re making a difference. If you are making a case for conservatism, in whatever form it takes, then you are making a difference. You are helping others find their voice, you are encouraging your conservative brothers, and you are getting the message out one small voice at a time. A multitude of small voices is more resounding than a single person yelling into the void.

You matter. You have value. No go be awesome.

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Blog Challenge, Day 22: You Didn’t Watch That

Yes, America, I am aware that there was a presidential debate tonight. No, I did not watch it.

I know who I am voting for, and every time I sit through an hour of Obama lies I feel my blood pressure increase like the national debt, so it just ends up feeling like torture.

Instead of watching a genial Mormon and a lying socialist face off over issues that the lying socialist has proven himself to be horrifically unqualified to handle, I watched “Last American Cowboy.”

“Last American Cowboy” (LAC), for those of you who don’t know, is a reality show about 3 ranching families in Montana. The show sheds light on the difficulties of ranch life, the grit and determination needed to be a rancher, and the methods ranchers use to care for thousands of head of cattle over tens of thousands of acres of land. It’s interesting and scenic, and kept me from wanting to throw a brick at my tv. Each family featured on LAC talked about how their ranch was passed down from one generation to the next, and the narrator pointed out that the ranches were settled and established after the end of the Civil War, and have continued to thrive through the efforts of each new generation.

That… hold your horses there, cowboy, that would mean these ranches were begun before Montana was a state!?

That can’t be….

How on earth do the families on LAC have successful ranching businesses when their ranches were begun before federal roads and schools?! After all, if you’re successful “You didn’t build that.”

I bet the owners of the Stucky, Galt, and Hughes ranches would be shocked to know their ancestors didn’t build that. All those days in a saddle herding cattle in sub-zero temperatures… yeah, they didn’t build that. There had to have been a road involved somewhere…. only I didn’t see any highways or interstates. It’s possible that the roads maintained on the ranch were made and maintained by the efforts of the ranchers themselves, their tractors, and possibly a road grader. I’ve seen my dad make a decent road with a tractor, so it’s possible.

Well then, education! You know the government has to get a little credit here somehow. Surely those ranches couldn’t exist without state schools… except that ranching is taught through hard work and experience, and not learned in a classroom. Being so isolated they likely homeschool. Hmm… guess that argument isn’t going to work.

It seems that some success stories are, in fact, built by individuals.

Too bad those successful individuals have to pay taxes into a system that not only rewards the unproductive, but mocks those who make it possible for others to live comfortably with little effort at all.

Blog Challenge, Day 11: Frustration

Frustration reigns tonight.

I’ve only just watched the VP debate and I AM FRUSTRATED.

Martha Raddatz is a HORRENDOUS moderator. She didn’t control the time well, interrupted Paul Ryan, and kept Biden from going completely off the rails, which I was rather looking forward to.

Paul Ryan was infuriatingly polite through it all. He answered questions, stated facts, quietly listened to the lunatic sitting beside him, and explained complex math in a way that even I could follow. With a smile.

Joe Biden was quite simply INFANTILE. He was smirking and smug, condescending and rude, and he continually interrupted Paul Ryan. ALL NIGHT. He jumped in to speak when questions were directed to Ryan. He sat there and chuckled when serious issues were being discussed, such as the death of our ambassador to Libya and the stagnant economy. 

So, yes, frustration reigns supreme.

It shouldn’t get to me. I know that our current leaders can’t run on their record of failure. They’re allergic to truth. They have taken no responsibility for anything, rather blaming everyone else for the “mess they inherited.” They have no plan for recovery other than “tax the rich!”.  My dad always said “Debt is the hardest taskmaster.” and I have never seen anyone pay off a debt when they keep adding to it.

The Democrat strategy, it would seem, is to be an insufferable asshole.

It’s very Alinsky. Attack, mock, try to rattle your opponent and point out when they don’t live up to their principles even if you don’t have any. I suppose it was best that Ryan was insanely polite. Anything less would have been fodder for more Alinskyite propaganda.

I’m terribly glad it’s over. I have no desire to speculate on who won the debate. Ryan won cerebrally, Biden won emotionally, blah blah…

I’m more concerned with America winning, and it’s clear that if we are stuck with Obama/Biden for 4 more years America is going to lose irrecoverably.

We can’t afford not to get this right.

Let’s roll. 

Blog Challenge, Day 1: About the birth control…

I have decided in what is literally the eleventh hour to challenge myself to post to my blog every day. Either this will result in me becoming more comfortable with publishing and make me a better writer or it will bore you to tears. I apologize in advance.

To kick off this new challenge I’ve decided to share a couple of thoughts I have about this whole war-on-women-birth-control-healthcare issue.

As I see it, there are 2 major flaws with the premise that not providing birth control coverage or subsidies is somehow a war on women. First of all, you’re working with the assumption that all women of child-bearing age want or need birth control. Of the total number of women of child-bearing age, only a little over half of them would want birth control. Of that number, less than half of them would need it. I don’t have links or statistics, if you demand them I will look them up. I’m just pointing out that the number of women who would want birth control compared to the number of women for whom the left feigns to speak is divergent.

The second major flaw as I see it is the assumption that all women who want or need birth control are insistent on having the government either subsidize it or force employers to cover it in their health plan. I’m almost positive if you looked beyond the end of your nose you’d encounter women who are free-market capitalists who also purchase birth control. They’re not so keen on paying more taxes because politicians wanted to paint an entire sex with one broad victim brush stroke. No pun intended.

So while Obama and his band of victims’ advocates try to pander to a large group by declaring the right has waged a war on women, I do wonder if they’ve stopped long enough to even consider that the group they’re advocating for is considerably smaller than they had assumed. Note to leftists: you aren’t fighting for women. You’re fighting for socialist-minded perpetual victims who just happen to have a uterus. Real women aren’t buying it.

Order up!

There has been so much happening in the world of politics lately, that I’ve been unsure how to categorize my thoughts enough to write anything sensible. From ‘slutgate’ to the latest in presidential haute cuisine (a nice rice pilaf, with a side of dog) to the shocking news that the media-hungry K. Kardashian is considering a career in the political arena, I’ve had a difficult time deciding what is the most interesting or ridiculous topic to write about. Seeing as how I’ve been dieting, you would think I would go with the dogmeat angle, however, as obsessed as all dieters become with food (since we can’t have much of it), the idea of eating man’s best friend makes me deucedly happy to have broccoli and carrots, so I’ll leave that one to the late-night comedians. Likewise with K.K.’s political aspirations, I do not feel qualified to comment on that topic because I don’t have the comedic skill to eviscerate it properly. That leaves me with the current War on Women turned War on Moms. I’m a woman. I’m a mom. Very well, then, I shall try to frame this issue as best I can.

There is no War on Women.

“The hell you say?!”

Yes. Yes I do say.

There is no War on Women, ladies. It’s all a lot of political theatre to make you feel like a victim so that big daddy government can step in and take care of you. That may sound delightful to you, to be taken care of by big daddy government, but remember: “As long as you live under my roof, you’ll obey my rules.” Life is peachy when big daddy is buying you birth control, but along will come a day when big daddy will tell you that you must do something that you disagree with and when you try to rebel, he’ll cut your allowance.

Now go to your room! Your pretty, pretty room that suddenly feels like a cage.

I know that simplifies things to a point that is hard for some people to understand, so I will try to elaborate. Women have not been ‘second-class citizens’ since they won the right to vote. You may say “But the civil rights movement of the ’60s! Unequal pay! Glass ceiling! Reproductive choice!” Let us take these issues one by one shall we? Civil rights were voted on by our representatives whom we voted for. Women had 40 years of voting rights between suffrage and civil rights to affect how Congress operated. The representatives they helped choose passed the Civil Rights Act, which granted them the right to equal pay. You could say they had won the right to pursue happiness in the workforce. The thing about pursuits is that you may not always achieve your desire, but no one can stop you from trying. Also, there is no glass ceiling. That was a ploy by the women’s rights movement to try to seem relevant after the movement stagnated in the early 80s. If you consider the fact that women typically have less physically demanding, safer jobs and get maternity leave as opposed to men who get no ‘paternity’ time off (and are woken by the same screaming infant at 3am) and do more laborious work, I’d say women have it pretty darn good. {I imagine feminists burning me in effigy at this point} Reproductive choice, likewise, is yet another attempt to make the women’s movement seem relevant. I don’t even want to hear about “cases of rape and incest” as we all know the primary focus of women’s rights is not to prevent or protect women from those acts. If it were, NOW would faithfully demonstrate at every trial of rapists and push for tougher sentencing of the despicable people who violate women. “Reproductive choice” is really about abortion, and ironically denies the same right of choice to men since babies must grow inside a mother’s body. Men may want desperately to be fathers, but have no say over whether their child may live or die. In the battle of “reproductive rights” men are the real victims, as their ability to reproduce rests in the wombs and whims of women.

Now that I have your attention (and most likely your seething anger) let me broach  the subject of the War on Moms.

Recently mothers got their hen-feathers ruffled after a sneering remark directed at Ann Romney. The remark was something to the extent of “she never worked a day in her life” and in its greater context was meant to imply that she has no concept of how the poor economy affects women because she’s wealthy. Again, I shall address these issues separately. Motherhood is very hard work. If it isn’t, you aren’t doing it right. Stay-at-home-moms (SAHMs) are nurturing, teaching, and guiding the future leaders of our world. They sacrifice time, wealth, and social interaction with their peers to devote themselves fully to their family. To acknowledge the hard work and dedication of SAHMs is in no way derogatory towards working mothers. Working moms often wish they could be home with their kids, while SAHMs often wish they could speak to someone who doesn’t say “poop” and “Elmo”. If you would pay someone to watch, feed, and teach your children, then staying home with them (sans paycheck) is work. Now that we have debunked the myth that SAHMs do no work, let us address the greater context of the statement made by Ms Rosen, shall we?

Ann Romney clearly lives in a beautiful, extravagant bubble. The economy has no power over her. She’s a fairytale princess in a castle with a car elevator and she frolics with the unicorns aaaaall day. [/end sarc] To say that wealthy people aren’t affected by the economy is ridiculous. Of course they don’t feel the pinch of it as much as us peons do, but they still feel it. To sneer at Ann Romney because she is a wealthy SAHM managing a household budget is to willfully ignore the fact that 100 wealthy Senators have yet to pass a budget for this country. At least the Romneys have a budget. I also have a budget, and while I’m working with way (WAY) less than the Romneys, I’ve chosen to stay home with my kids. It isn’t easy and at times I’ve had to choose which bills got paid, but it’s a choice I don’t regret. (When money was really tight, I would take a look at the budget and cut the ‘unnecessaries’, which is something that our government should learn.)  So much for the idea that only the wealthy have the option of SAHM-hood, and as for the notion that wealthy moms aren’t affected by the economy… well, none of us live in a bubble. It isn’t so much a War on Moms as it is derision of those of us who choose to forgo careers for what we see as our higher calling, sprinkled liberally with a bit of class warfare.

So there you have it. Your heaping helping of political theatre and rhetoric, all served up hot and fresh. Oh, and here’s your side order of roasted mutt. I’d hate for you to miss the fabulous flavor pairing of faux war and dogmeat.