I titled this blog after watching the Glenn Beck interview with Sarah Palin. Glenn put forth the premise that George Washington was reluctant to take on the Presidency…and how that was a good thing. Hmm…..interesting…..especially here in Iowa, where we are exactly three years from the Iowa Caucuses and the candidates have already started picking up the tab for coffee and doughnuts throughout the state!
As a college student, I was described by one of my professors as being very reserved…but once I became familiar or comfortable, I would become involved. It took my husband two years to persuade me to marry him and move to Iowa (that is a post for another time). Can you see the pattern here?
After the election of Barack Obama in November, 2008 (which I realized was going to happen in September of that year) I thought that I would just go underground for a few years; watch to see what would happen, look forward to the 2010 elections and just sit it out for his Presidency.
As I began to realize the transformational change that was about to occur, I knew that I was not going to be happy with what was to come. I had pretty much sat out the last two years of the Bush Administration. I saw how money was being spent throughout the government with no accountablity. Earmarks, Homeland Security, cost over-runs, entitlements, pay raises for public sector employees, government workers and elected officials, it was out of control. As I was struggling to keep a small family business running, and living what I thought was my version of the American dream; government at all levels, municipal, county, state, and federal were writing checks that they were never going to be able to cash and expecting me, the unsuspecting taxpayer to pick up the tab.
In the Fall of 2008 the Federal government had to come in to “save” the financial instituions because they were “too big to fail” and all that I could think to myself was that they were too “connected” to fail. My small stake in the stock market tanked, people around me were losing their jobs, my local and state taxes were going through the roof , but these people who were supposed to be the financial wizards who could not keep their balance sheets to the positive, needed me–along with 300 million of the rest of my brethren, the “little guys”, if you will, to bail them out.
When the stimulus package was passed in record time because President Obama proclaimed that if it wasn’t done by the prescribed hour on the prescribed day unemployment would surpass 8%, I became even more engaged, contacting my elected representatives and questioned what they were doing, to no avail. And as unemployment topped 10%+ in November, 2009 I was outraged.
Tea Parties started up in Spring, 2009 and I took more notice. Longtime friends attended their first ever protest rally as they went to a Tea Party in their state capital–hardly reactionaries are these two! More and more of my Twitter friends posted their experiences with the Tea Parties and then in September, many of them went to the 9/12 Rally in Washington DC. The pictures, videos, and blogs describing this event were inspiring!
In October, I attended a women’s leadership conference in Jefferson City, MO with some Twitter friends and 250 other women. A statistic that stayed with me from that day was that women had become the majority of the electorate and those issues formerly known as “women’s issues” were just a small part the feminine electoral mystique. But more importantly post-2008 election polling of women indicated that women of all ages had across the board concerns from the economy, healthcare, national security, jobs, education–and that there was no such thing as a specific “woman’s issue”.
What could I do with this new information and energy that had from this event? I was able to find some like-minded women who agreed that there should be such an event in Iowa and plans are underway to have such an event here later this spring.
As popular websites such as Smart Girl Politics and As a Mom have proven, women are engaged, involved and need to be encouraged and empowered to become active in the political process. The next election will be decided by women–and the candidate who chooses to not to acknowledge that fact does so at their peril.
I have watched from the sidelines so to speak, I have surveyed the landscape and decided that the time is now. My father always told me that it is the responsiblity of one generation to leave the world a better place than the one that they were given. I saw that we were failing miserably at that, so for the sake of the next generation, I have joined the revolution.
My weapons will most likely be my keyboard and computer as I seek to learn and write about what is happening in our nation and the world. I will also commit myself to help elect candidates who will partner with those of us who understand that we must leave this nation in a better place than the one we were left by previous generations but more importantly, that the government that governs least governs best.
I know that I am not alone in this endeavor. Finding Americans who feel the same way that I do, who have shared similar experiences, has diminished my reluctance to become engaged and work to restore the America that so many of us felt that we had, but sadly has started to slip through our fingers.
So, I have to ask. Those of you who have been reluctant and can not yet decide if it is time to make your stand: Are you with me? Are you ready to join in and say that this will not happen on my watch? It took me a while, but the time is now…my reluctance has subsided, and I am fully involved, and I am ready to share the experience in this forum. As I provided the link to read my first post to my husband, I told him that the name of my blog would be “A Reluctant Revolutionary”. He laughed out loud and told me, “That would be you, Dear!”
Hope to see you at the Revolution.