Published by The Conservative Diva on December 18, 2010:
Talk about coming full circle. With the birth of the Tea Party movement and the launch of The Conservative Diva, it feels as if I am finally at home, politically speaking, in South Florida.
As I mentioned in my bio, I grew up in a conservative home with a mom who was quite the political activist. From the time I was little, I accompanied her to various polling locations, where I’d hold up signs, pass out candidate literature and — when old enough to do so — help count votes at the end of the day. Most of the women I knew — from my peers to my female relatives — were conservative, and thankfully, most have remained solid in their convictions. So unlike many friends, I haven’t experienced any Obama-induced rancor in my familial relationships, or dreaded holiday gatherings for fear of a political fight around the dinner table.
When I moved to South Florida in 1994, I retained my conservative values, but wasn’t quite prepared for the onslaught of the pervasive, ingrained liberalism that characterizes Palm Beach and Broward Counties. While I found other conservative women through my participation as a volunteer on various campaigns, in the regular activities of daily life (at the office, in the nail salon, at a party) I was severely outnumbered. Unfailingly, in non-political venues such as business card exchanges and women’s business networking groups, it seemed nearly impossible to find a contrary opinion among the successful female entrepreneurs and go-getters. Worse, it was pretty much expected (with a few exceptions) of all female members to share the same philosophy, whether on abortion, gun rights, education or war — just to name a few hot-button issues.
Over the years, some otherwise nice women have said such things to me as:
I still love you, even though you’re a Republican.
Y-you’re a Republican??? But you’re so nice!
You voted for George W. Bush???? How could you?
Of course the tobacco companies should be sued. Those poor people didn’t know how addictive nicotine could be! (This one was in response to my noting that the Surgeon General’s warning about cigarettes and health had been around for decades, thus people needed to take responsibility for their own choices.)
You’re against abortion? Then don’t have one! (Never mind the fact that taxpayers are forced to pay for them, or that Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional.)
Of course your parents didn’t abort you even though they were struggling financially and not looking to add a fifth child to the family. They knew your father’s medical career would take off soon! (As if the sanctity of life has anything to do with how much money the parents have. I can assure you, even if my dad had been a trash collector, I would not have been aborted. End of story.)
And of course, throughout (and in the years following) the fiasco that was the Election of 2000, with its hanging chads, seemingly endless recounts and 24-hour news coverage, things only got worse. I remember at one particular women’s venue in 2003, right about the time the Iraq War had begun, a female psychologist made the incredibly inane statement that “if not for men, there would be no war.” She naturally followed this up with a lovely diatribe against President Bush to which every woman in the group, with the exception of yours truly, nodded along approvingly.
Following 9/11, some of these gals — in true liberal, self-flagellating fashion — blamed the USA, with one of my friends at the time actually longing for a quiet life in a thatched-roof cottage on a hillside in Ireland (never mind that this same woman loved making money and all of the designer trappings that resulted from such a pursuit). I’m pretty sure to this day, she still resides in glamorous Boca Raton.
Up until the worst attack on American soil, I relegated my commentary to “safe” places like Republican meetings, family gatherings and pro-US Military demonstrations where I’d be surrounded by like-minded people. But once I realized the rules had changed, that our very freedom was under relentless assault, I became more vocal even in decidedly unfriendly places. Not surprisingly, this did not endear me to theabortion-on-demand-Republicans-are-evil crowd, although at that point I truly didn’t care. If I could sway just one opinion, it would be worth taking the slings and arrows.
They keep me motivated, strong and optimistic. They pick me up when I’m feeling down. They inform me of important news events and local happenings. They stand with me for freedom.
Merry Christmas to Divas everywhere — and may you all enjoy a healthy, prosperous New Year!