Monday, January 19, 2009

Guess what today is?


For those of us who did not shave a corporate-designed logo into our hair and dance like crazed teenagers on crystal meth at the sound of a certain name, tomorrow is Tuesday, period. The baby will poop, the carpool will be driven, the sun will shine (or here in Seattle, the clouds will, er, shine? What do clouds do?).

Do you think conservatism dies today? Nothing could be farther from the truth. ALL politicans break their promises. It goes with the territory. According to non-partisan, Obama made 510 documented specific promises during his campaign. They're developed an 'Obameter' (rhymes with thermometer) to identify which are kept, defied, ignored. So if you don't like Obama's promises, you'll be pleasantly surprised when they aren't kept.

The most important Obama Survival Strategy (OSS) I can give you is this: Don't give him more power than he already has. Don't allow him to get your knickers in a knot. Don't get mad, get even. Spend less time on outrage (which allows Democrats and the media to wrongly paint us as bitter extremists) and more time on productive counter-efforts (writing and calling Congressmen, writing letters to the editor, supporting positive, electable Republican candidates at any level).

Now. There is a difference between being positive and productive and being a pushover. If and when (probably when, but I will shock you by trying to be fair), IF and when things happen that you believe are wrong, focus your efforts on 1. Getting the word out (here and elsewhere), 2. Creating a positive community for like-minded 'Red State' thinkers so those of us in the minority know we're not alone and 3. Moving FORWARD. (It doesn't matter which of McCain's ads you liked most or least, or which speech could have been longer or shorter or whatever. It's only relevant in what it TEACHES us for the future. We will have new problems, priorities and tools at our disposal 4 years from now so we have to pace ourselves for a marathon, not a sprint.)

And the kids. Aaaahhh, the kids. Fifty years from now your kids will remember how you act tomorrow. Whether you keyed the car with the 'Hippies for Obama' sticker (or showed restraint, as I did). They will remember if you are a pushover and suddenly succumb to the Obama Cult Of Personality. They will also remember if you are a sore loser, and after suffering through 8 years of Bush-hating - justified or unjustified - our kids have suffered through enough partisan animosity for a lifetime. They have never seen that it IS possible to disagree and stand up for your beliefs without being an obnoxious, self-righteous jerk.

You have safe places to vent (for Moms, for women, for everyone) and share what you really think and believe. Don't lie about what you believe, DO explain what you believe and why. And do use this as a 'teachable moment' to explain to your kids that what's popular isn't always right.

So get it off your chest and then look to the future. Later this month, the RNC will pick a chair who will have a pivotal role in crafting who the GOP is for the future. I'll provide some more info soon, but in the meantime, consider: Saul Anuzis, Chip Saltsman, Michael Steele, Katon Dawson, Ken Blackwell, to name a few frontrunners. If you really want to ensure that an extreme agenda does not go un-checked, please consider focusing your efforts on finding and supporting good leadership for the GOP.

And last but not least, remember that the worst day in America is still far far better than the best day in most other nations on earth. America will have good Presidents and bad Presidents. And we will never, EVER all agree on which belong in which category. But we can't make progress in this country until we love our country more than we hate each other. No, I don't like Obama in general, or most of his plans. But I'm not going to cry in my patriotic soup. America has great challenges ahead and she doesn't need whiners and complainers, she needs loyal patriots willing to (occasionally) zip their lips and roll up their sleeves.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ACTION Alert: Georgia Senate runoff

Next week, Georgia Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss will yet again defend his Senate Seat - and, frankly, the fate of every bill for the next four years - against Democrat Jim Martin.

Statistically, everyone reading this knows someone in Georgia, or knows someone who knows someone in Georgia. If you don't want to call strangers (even ones with awesome accents and Southern hospitality), your assignment is to spend 5 minutes jotting down the names of anyone you know who might have relatives or friends in Georgia. Send them a quick email and remind them to make time in their schedule - carpool, babysitting, work, etc - to go vote Tuesday, December 2.

My Dad always said the world is run by those who show up. If you want something to hope for in the next four years, if any part of you has not given up on a balanced, accountable government please take action.

Give money or make phone bank calls if you can. But if you can't, commit at least to sending email, updating your Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace status to show support for Senator Chambliss and - perhaps more importantly - voting against a monopoly in Washington led by the Three Stooges (Obama, Reid, and Pelosi). Yes, you, shuddering at your keyboard. We need you.

If you're in Georgia, don't forget to offer friends - especially seniors or non-drivers - a ride to the polls. College students, young Moms who might need childcare for an hour to go vote, people who are new to the area are some folks to talk to.

Thanks in advance Moms, Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

10 Things Republicans Can Do Right NOW

Do you want to "get involved" but don't know where to start? You're desperate to "do something" but you don't know what to do? Here are 10 useful, productive things you can do RIGHT NOW. I'll be sharing the details in 'increments' so we can all pace ourselves.

1. Make a decision NOT to wallow. For a few days, even a few weeks, we all passed out in front of FoxNews with a box of tissues and a pint of Haagen-Dazs (yes, I can see you through your computer). That is okay. BUT it is NOT a long-term way to rebuild a party and a future.

If you have an hour to wallow, then I am personally asking you to spend that hour doing something productive. There are 5 stages of loss: please commit to not getting stuck on 'depression' when there is WORK to do.

2. Know who's representing you. Check out who represents you (keep in mind this can change before the next election - I campaigned for a local Congressman for six months and didn't realize till I saw my ballot that I was now in the other guy's district.) Also see how they're voting, and how they're spending your money.

If your local area is TRULY a lost cause, or for logistical or lifestyle reasons you can't work locally, use this time to read up on some of the "purple" states that have upcoming elections: Georgia has a crucial runoff election happening right now, Virginia has a Governor's race in 2009.

3. Show support for elected officials who ARE doing good things, whether they're your representative or not. In future posts, I'll introduce you to hard-working, right-thinking people in red, blue, and purple states who could use moral and logistical support. In the meantime, research politicians of interest at On The Issues.

4. Join social networks to connect with like-minded people. If you're concerned about privacy or hassle, register a free email (i.e. JaneSmithGOP at yahoo or hotmail, etc.) to manage your political stuff. For basic networking, check out Facebook, Twitter, CafeMom and even MySpace (the online equivalent of Claire's Boutique: you know it's cheap and tawdry but it's pretty and sparkly and you secretly can't resist). For political networking, check out Let's Get This Right, Moms in the Right, Team Sarah.

5. Get educated on the issues. If we want to energize our 'base' AND attract new voters, we have to know the facts: what a Republican is and WHY. Whether you personally agree with everything they have to say or not, familiarize yourself with the GOP's platform and think about which 'planks' make our party stronger and which should be thrown overboard.

6. Make activism a 'habit.' Supporting conservative candidates is not just phonecalling and doorbelling every few years. You can do little things every day that add up over time. Change your homepage to Yahoo Buzz or Digg so you can instantly 'vote up' fair or relevant news stories and 'vote down' sleazy attacks and biased drivel. Download the GOP search toolbar which donates every time you search. It is 30 seconds of your time every day and it can impact what millions see.

7. Help other Republicans 'speak up.' You know that Mom from your office, playgroup, the gym, school, soccer who saw your McCain sticker and gave you a secret thumbs-up? Make a list today (mental or written, or if you're a true junkie like me, as a OneNote list), so when voters and volunteers are needed you're not starting from scratch. We'll coach you on how to approach potential volunteers without being 'pushy' (really).

8. Keep the media responsible and in perspective. We must undo the media's hypnotic obsession with little things because of realities like this. You don't have to become a pundit overnight, but start familiarizing yourself with basic news sources online, on TV, newspaper and magazines. Feel free to share any comments on which sources you consider more/less biased, favorite columnists, talk radio hosts, etc. look

9. Live your beliefs. As a Catholic, I am often challenged by the desire A few years back, I made the heart-wrenching decision to leave my church community. (Our new pastor believed we should fund and encourage an illegal social justice initiative on the church's property. I didn't.) It was, and in many ways still IS, a hassle to cross town and attend a different church, and I do miss friends there. But I couldn't sleep at night knowing that I was part of something I believed was truly wrong.

10. Keep your chin up. Sometimes being right (or 'Right') isn't easy. And you do have to choose your battles (if I participated in every 'boycott' I'd have no food, clothes, or toys in my home whatsoever.) But when you stand up for your beliefs - especially when you're in the minority - you should be proud.

The most important thing you can do to share Republican or conservative ideals is to Lead By Example. If you preach responsible government, be a responsible citizen. If you preach support for the military, cross the airport concourse to shake a soldier's hand. Moms, this is important for your kids - and for our country. I hope you'll join us to make a difference!

Monday, November 10, 2008

FAQ: The "Red Mom, Blue State" Movement

Welcome to the Red Mom, Blue State Movement! Here are answers to our 'Frequently Asked Questions':

What is a "Red Mom"?

We are Republicans, Independents, conservatives, moderates, even libertarians and non-partisans. We believe in limited government, personal responsibility, voting and living according to our values. We are Christian, Jewish, Pagan, Atheist, and everything in between. We work full-time, part-time, all the time, from home, from an office, from a military base. We may not agree on everything, but we share a common belief that a Democratic-party dominated government cannot adequately represent what we value, financially and ethically, domestically and internationally.

What is a "Blue State"?

Very simply put, a 'Blue State' was carried by Barack Obama in the 2008 election. It's an area where Democratic and liberal candidates and ideals dominate elections, media, and popular thought. For some of us, we're in a "blue city" or a "blue community" (college towns, union strongholds, etc). Red Moms in Blue States are often the 'fish out of water' in their local political communities. With increasing number of states turning blue, it's important that we have a non-geographical community to share ideas, resources, and support.

What are the goals of this group?

Your zip code shouldn't prevent you from making a difference in your government! Many of us have felt frustrated with our government but didn't have the resources or the encouragement to get involved. My goals for this group are:
- To provide "Red Moms" across America with community, encouragement and resources
- To provide first-time volunteers with ideas, support, and answers to their questions
- To provide 'matchmaking' between willing volunteers and political efforts needing support
- To increase the online presence for conservative women
- To increase voter and volunteer support for conservative-leaning candidates among moms and women

I'm in a "red state." Am I welcome here?

Of course! Those of us who are conservative 'islands' in a sea of blue frequently feel isolated and helpless and unable to make a difference. And even in a red state, you may feel that way at times too. We can't take any race, any seat, any district for granted, and we know that we in the blue states can learn from your successes. Our goal is to make sure that anyone who wants to make a difference has the training, resources, and motivation to do so.

What candidates are you endorsing?

Right now, this site is focused on organizing and building a network for future candidates, many of whom are yet to be named. In general, we will support Republican and conservative-leaning candidates. My hope is to develop a 'Core Team' representing a variety of backgrounds, home states, and interests who can help make those decisions. We'll also have an ongoing 'Discussion' on the site forum to suggest candidates and 'action items' where volunteers may be needed.

We are not a PAC, a 527 or an advocacy group - at this time, the long-term vision is to focus on Mom- and family-friendly volunteers and resources for them.

As a Republican in the minority, my vote never seems to make a difference, why should I care about local or state politics?

California and Hawaii - deep blue states - have elected Republican Governors. Seattle suburbs - among the most liberal in the nation - have just sent a Republican Congressman back to Washington DC. There are strong and deserving candidates all across America, we can help ensure they have support no matter where they choose to live and work.

Okay, now I care. But why should I get involved?

The world is run by those who show up. Not those with a fancy degree, or those with buckets of money or a sparkling personality (although all of these are welcome!). Each person only gets one vote. But we can influence the hundreds or thousands of people we know, in person and online, and even reach people we will never personally meet.

But it's awkward to get involved when everyone around me has different values!

In a perfect world, every local Congressman will 'represent' your values and priorities. In the real world, there are over 500 seats in the Senate and House, 50 Governors, hundreds of mayors and other elected offices. We all have limited time and resources, but we can make an impact on dozens if not hundreds of these races if we think bigger.

Getting involved online gives you anonymity when you want or need it, and it broadens your potential reach, people-wise and geographically.

But even if I WANT to get involved, I can't. I don't have cash to donate, I can't do phone calling or doorbelling. I'm not a techie. Help!!

Fear not! There are many creative ways to be involved. We'll have ideas to share and we welcome you to ask questions and share your ideas.

My head is spinning. How do I decide what to do first?

We'll provide Action Alerts regularly, so please consider "Following" this blog or subscribing to the ATOM feed (see the bottom of this message).

RIGHT NOW there are tight races still being fought in Georgia, where Senator Saxby Chambliss is defending his seat in a runoff election. Minnesota's very Democratic leadership is "recounting" repeatedly until they pull out a win for Al Franken, and gigantic buckets of money are being spent to take Norm Coleman's seat for a guy whose election would be less comedy than tragedy.

So please volunteer your time, write letters to the editors of Georgia papers, help coordinate volunteers from your area to fight for this seat. Also see what's happening in Minnesota to ensure that votes are counted ethically, without unfair DIS-advantage for Republicans.

In the long term, there are needs for all kinds of volunteers. What are you good at - are you a good writer, artist, networker, researcher, footsoldier, organizer, behind-the-scenes person, public speaker, tech expert? What are you passionate about: a certain issue, a certain group (youth, seniors, etc)? If you live in a 'navy blue' area, do you have ties to a 'red' or 'purple' state? We'll be providing 'matchmaking' between volunteers and opportunities as the site grows.

Email me at redmombluestate at yahoo dot com to receive continued updates, and don't forget to subscribe to our updates! Watch for rollout of a deluxe Red Mom, Blue State site next month.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Welcome to the Oasis!

Are you a "red state" Mom living in a blue state? Did the job of your dreams (or your husband's) suddenly transplant you into uncharted territory full of organic arugula-eating, latte-drinking composting strangers? You are not alone.

We are the Moms whose voices will no longer be silent.

We are the volunteers who don't fit into the "box."

We are the people who would rather light a candle than curse the darkness.

We are the secret weapon for a better, fairer, stronger America.

JOIN US! Join our mailing list: Email redmombluestate at yahoo dot com.

Watch for our launch in mid-November!