The American Song
by Sarah Wilson on August 29, 2010 at 11:41 AM
Life can be tough as a young conservative woman. Sometimes all I want is a stronger, louder, older voice to proclaim my political ideals, my contempt for today’s status quo, my vision for America, its economy and its people.
I didn’t hear Ronald Reagan’s First Inaugural Address until 28 years after he spoke those 2,457 legendary words. I still cannot remember what compelled me to watch his inauguration; I wasn’t even a Republican at the time. But I watched in awe, and I remember how quickly his words brought me to tears of hope, joy, and approbation for a man I knew literally nothing about. I listened to more of Reagan’s speeches, oblivious to politics in almost every way, but educated enough to draw parallels between the America he addressed 20 years ago and the America in which I live today. Soon after these revelations, I found myself starving for knowledge, so I dug into some political cuisine. As I began to examine the sad state of our nation, I was amazed by the depth of my ignorance. For years in college, I had been listening to mindless liberal prattle about “a better life for the American individual,” but just a few hours of doing my own research opened my eyes to the principles of common sense and true compassion encompassed by the Right. As I listened to and read the works of my new Conservative mentors, I channeled my lifelong passion for writing and recently discovered love of politics into a blog I titled Lady Liberty. And I fell in love.
It didn’t take long for my family, especially my father and brother, to express their pride and excitement about my project. Of course that was rewarding, but even more rewarding was the opportunity to learn new things daily. I learned why Reagan rocked, why FDR’s New Deal disappointed, why Keynesian economics don’t quite cut it, and why socialized healthcare sucks (the life out of a country).
For months I was unstoppable, expanding my political influences from current commentators to Claire Booth Luce, Ayn Rand, Nonie Darwish and Alexis de Tocqueville. I loved that for first time in my life, when a Democrat posed an argument, I could rebut with a plethora of information to support my stance. Gone were the days of repeating what Daddy had taught me. I was teaching myself, and I was teaching others.
However, I soon found out why Glenn Beck wrote “Arguing with Idiots.” It is no easy task. Despite my dearest efforts, I learned that liberally indoctrinated minds do not change even after the most irrefutable facts are presented. For example, to defend Reagan’s impact on our economy, I would compare and contrast Census data from both 1980 and 1990. I was sure that my hours of Census research would suffice in converting a college graduate from a Keynesian supporter to a supply-sider, but apparently history isn’t as persuasive a teacher as your local university’s Professor Leftie. My opponents simply did not take me seriously.
Perhaps the biggest deterrent to my blog was the voice of those, including my then-significant other, who claimed I was “too political” for a woman. I suppose they thought my outspokenness would have been better utilized discussing fashion and celebrity gossip. At the time, I hated that they thought I was annoying. So I shut up. I buried Lady Liberty and changed my tuner from Talk Radio to Top 40. I ceased my daily visits to politico.com, I avoided Fox News, and with that I gave up on a very brief, but very real passion.
Soon after my last post in December 2009, my father asked why I was no longer blogging, I told him that my voice was not big enough, that nothing I write can make a difference, that there are too many things that need to be changed, and that one 22-year-old woman’s words might be delivered with effort and precision, but they’d be just as effective if they were left unsaid.
When I received a unique opportunity to write for texasgopvote.com, I was apprehensive to pursue it. I worried about the time commitment, the hours of research involved, the pressure of generating interesting and original post topics. Mostly, I worried about my futility as a young conservative woman whose voice is rarely considered and seldom appreciated.
Facing the dilemma of whether to recommence my political journey on this site, I turned to Reagan once again for wisdom, inspiration and guidance. I came across this passage from the 1992 Republican National Convention:
My fellow citizens […] I want you to know that I have always had the highest respect for you, for your common sense and intelligence and for your decency. I have always believed in you and in what you could accomplish for yourselves and for others.
And whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way.
My fondest hope for each one of you – and especially for the young people here – is that you will love your country, not for her power or wealth, but for her selflessness and her idealism. May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will make the world a little better for your having been here.
Perhaps my voice is humble, easily overheard, and at times “too political” for some of my peers’ tastes. But as an American—not as a youth, or as a woman, or even as a Conservative—as an American, I have both the privilege and the duty to protect our liberties, to fight for freedom, and to use my gifts to defend what I know to be right.
With that, I hope you all will welcome me to the team. I look forward to working diligently with texasgopvote.com bloggers and readers to improve our state, our nation, and our world. We may accomplish our work one post at a time, but together our words resound powerfully, and they are never bestowed in vain.