Promoted from the diaries.
When I moved to small-town America in high school, I was immediately struck (dumbfounded if you will) by how many people openly supported the Republican party. “How could they all be so fooled?” I thought. They were mostly farmers and no one was wealthy; they were the furthest from my definition of a Republican. I couldn’t understand how they could vote for a party that was so selfish and certainly didn’t care about their needs.
Upon graduation, I drove as quickly as I could back to the city for college. I chose a small, private, Christian-based school because I benefited from the small class sizes that small towns afford. I had accepted Christ in my small town too, but not the Republicans. I was not surprised to find many Republicans at my college; they fit the profile – they had always attended private school and were just continuing on in that tradition because they could afford it. I aligned myself with those that had attended public school and were there on scholarship. I only talked politics with those who agreed with me.
My first real discussion on politics was when I met my husband-to-be. He was the first person to really challenge what I thought I knew and it was one year after college. He introduced me to the word Conservative and accused me of being one. Our discussions were tense, to say the least, but he was hot and smart so I stuck around. My conversion, that wasn’t really a conversion, was gradual. I’d give him my opinion of a topic and he’d enlighten me to the fact that the Republican party agreed with me and the Democrats did not. In other cases, maybe more than I care to admit, it was simply a case of following logic through to conclusion. Thinking logically took some getting used to; it’s not as pretty. After many, many discussions I was finally ready to admit that maybe Bush was not the anti-Christ; and I stepped forever away from the child I was when I voted for him in his re-election.
Two children and many happy years later, I have found my perception of reality challenged once again. Not long after my original awakening, I began to deal with the continual slap in the face of my oh-so-open-minded friends and family who were not so thrilled about my “going over to the dark side.” Having been a Christian, Conservative for at least a little while now, I’ve come to expect a certain amount of hatred being thrown my way; and I’ve learned to appreciate the humor in the irony. Being a woman and a mother has never entered the battlefield until now; and now I find everything I thought the other party stood for under attack by those very people.
I always wanted to be a mother, there was no higher calling or greater honor in my opinion. As a mother, I have, of course, worried about the world I’m tasked with in which to raise my children. I have, however, prayed almost daily in thanks to God that I am so blessed to raise my family in the United States. At the very least I could rest assured that our family values, of Christian origin, would not be challenged by the establishment. My husband and I had worked hard to achieve the American Dream and looked forward to providing for our children not only the luxuries our parents hadn’t been able to afford, but a solid foundation upon which they could launch their own dreams. The freedom to live and achieve as we pleased was a right which we didn’t think twice about; until 2009.
I followed the Presidential election with an ever-growing sense of doom. How could anyone beat such a charismatic, young, inspiring man? The field of choice on the Republican side was pathetic, to be blunt. It was a given that the Democrats would win and the future was too depressing to consider. Before the election I wrote about the large part Barack Obama played in allowing newborn infants to die after “accidentally” living through abortions in his hometown of Chicago. I knew the kind of “man” I was dealing with. I sat back for a while, too overwhelmed with the task of how to save my country from the grip of Socialism I watched growing more everyday.
However, hell hath no fury like that of a mother. At some point I realized that it wasn’t about me and my dreams that had been disrupted; the change that I saw may well be endured by my children. Quietly trying to keep the dream alive in the suburbs would no longer do. I took to the streets, quite literally. The tea party my husband and I attended was a launching pad. It was reassuring to know we weren’t alone and a relief to see a family-oriented crowd. I even found another pregnant woman wearing the same t-shirt I was, describing our unborn babies already in debt. I began to research U.S. history for the first time. I found the rights I believed I had did indeed exist and I found a new appreciation for the genius of our forefathers. They were every bit as great as I was told and even more. When not changing diapers and learning to balance a much tighter budget, my husband and I attended more functions, discovered local politics, gave to candidates and blogged.
Recently we attended the RedState Gathering in the great state of Texas; which is, incidentally, a really great state. I hadn’t known we’d be previewing Fire From The Heartland at the Gathering, but I knew once I saw the trailer that I might cry during the movie. While I’ve learned a great deal about the history of my country and what I have to fight for, I’ve also learned that the rules of engagement are different for a conservative woman in the fight. I’d never seen a family viciously attacked before Sarah Palin came on the scene. I’d never heard of threats of death and rape for speaking out politically until I met other conservative women. The message had been received and my biggest concern was how to protect my family while working to protect their future.
Watching Fire From The Heartland was a renewal of the spirit for me. I learned there are inspirational women of the past that I know nothing about who paved the way for me. I saw familiar and unfamiliar faces of women across the country fighting the same fight as me. We share the same values and struggles. Most importantly though I saw that the Conservative American Woman has not been defeated. From the women of the past, washing clothes by hand (washing clothes by hand!!!) to the women of today, still standing tall after being ripped apart in the media; our spirit is still so very alive. The American Dream dies without us. We are an integral part of our country and freedom is indeed not free. I look forward to sharing this film with every woman I know and, someday, sharing it with my daughters. It’s a celebration of a beautiful creation by God that, like the history of our country, should not be glossed over. It’s an awakening, or a re-awakening, of the strength we as American women have within us to fight the fight we have always been fighting. The fight for freedom is not only off in far-away countries, as many have been led to believe, but right here in the heartland.