I am pleased to feature this week’s Patriot Woman To Know: the multi-talented Lisa Mei Norton. Lisa is a retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant turned political singer, songwriter and activist. She’s had a passion for music her entire life, performing in bands and choirs at school, at church and in military clubs while stationed overseas.
In 1990, she competed in the annual Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Talent Competition where she won “Best Female Vocalist” and went on to compete in regional and worldwide competitions. From there, Lisa was one of the 28 cast members selected from over 200 world-wide finalists to tour with the Air Force’s elite Tops in Blue expeditionary entertainment troupe performing for military families at 137 bases around the globe.
While Lisa may have hung up her uniform, she still takes her oath to protect and defend the Constitution very seriously….and is now using her music to continue the fight. Along with her songmate, BigDawg she’s been composing and recording original songs since the 2008 Presidential election. Their songs have focused on the events that have transpired since then with the goal of motivating others to use their God-given gifts to spread the message of freedom.
Lisa has been very blessed and honored to have had the opportunity to perform at many local and National TEA Parties, rallies, conventions, marches, and political campaign events over the past two years including: an Independence Day Celebration in Charlottesville, VA; the Free Republic National Convention; the Prince William County Republican Committee’s Lincoln/ Reagan Dinner Dance; The National Organization for Conservative Women’s Inaugural Luncheon; The National TEA Party Convention in Nashville; the Code Red Rally in DC; the Stafford County and Washington DC Tax Day Tea Parties; 2nd Amendment March in DC, the Republican Party of Virginia Victory Convention; Keith Fimian Fundraiser with Gov. George Allen; Windows to Liberty’s “Rhapsody Concert”; Freedom Work’s “Take America Back” Convention; Michelle Bachman’s TEA Party (8/28/10); M.O.M. for America’s “An Evening with Michelle Malkin”; The Virginia TEA Party Patriots Convention; Thank You Vets March; Freedom Works’ 9/12 Tax Payers’ March on DC; Smart Girl Summit 2010; a Project Healing Waters Baseball Game; Freedom Ride Across America Rally’s final stop in DC; the Jackson Purchase TEA Party in Kentucky in honor of Rep. Rand Paul; the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2011; the Project Healing Waters Annual 2-Fly Tournament; We the People – An American Event; the American Grassroots Coalition’s Hold The Line Rally; The Columbus County Constitution Day Celebration in NC, The “We Stand With Gibson Guitars” Rally in Nashville, TN, the Richmond Tea Party’s Celebrate Liberty Festival; Tea Party Patriots’ Road to Repeal Rally; a campaign fund raiser for Congressional Candidate Chris Perkins and Virginia Senate Candidate Jamie Radtke; and most recently, the Project Healing Waters 6th Annual 2-Fly Tournament.
Having met so many great fellow conservative artists at these events, Lisa and her friend BigDawg saw a need to rally fellow grassroots, conservative artists to help ignite a “Conservative Pop Culture Revolution”. In August 2010, they launched BigDawg Music Mafia, a social networking site to help promote conservative artists and their messages, and to encourage others to join the “fight”. They’ve attracted some amazingly talented patriots and look forward to recruiting many more conservative culture warriors at upcoming events leading up to the 2012 elections. Their songs — ranging from blues to country and pop to rock — have been featured on numerous internet blog sites, local and national news sites, AM/FM radio stations, internet radio (regularly featured on Windows to Liberty), a virtual world called “Prototerra” (featured in the Lone Star Saloon), and in SPIN Magazine’s April 2010, 25th Anniversary Edition.
But that’s not all. Lisa, who resides in Stafford, Virginia with her husband Dan, stepdaughters Brooke and Kelsi, and son Joshua also works full-time as a Systems Engineer contractor for the Defense Department.
This is one busy lady patriot! Which is why I am so grateful she was able to take the time to answer a few questions for me about her career and the conservative pop culture movement and to offer her advice for anyone working to “change” our beloved country back to the vision of our Founding Fathers.
Analytical (I try to analyze everything and it drives folks crazy); Resourceful (when I want to do something, even if I’ve never done it before, I will figure out how to do it – mainly through internet research); Tenacious (once I set my mind on accomplishing something, it takes an awful lot to convince me it can’t be done).
2. Have you always been a conservative or was it something you embraced over time? What people/events influenced and/or continue to influence your political philosophy?
My dad was a Catholic Deacon and my mom is from Taiwan. I primarily grew up overseas having attended first and second grade in Bangkok, middle school in Tokyo Japan, and High School in Hong Kong…I grew up not only with strong Christian values but was also exposed throughout my childhood to a strong Asian work ethic from my mom and her family as well as neighbors and friends throughout my school years overseas. I saw how hard work brought success, happiness and pride in one’s accomplishments. I joined the Air Force after graduating from High School in Hong Kong and spending 20 years in the military further instilled that sense of pride and patriotism in me that most conservatives share.
3. For far too long, the right has ceded the arena of pop culture to the left, with disastrous results (i.e. an ill-informed, celebrity-obsessed electorate more aware of celebrity happenings than they are about how our government works, or about issues of vital importance to the USA). Tell us about some of the things you’re doing to turn that tide.
I was never really interested in politics until the 2008 elections when I started researching the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and knew he was bad news. I actually cried when he won the election and was depressed for a while…until the advent of the TEA party movement. That was when I decided to put my love for my country and my passion for music to good use and BigDawg Andrew and I teamed up and started cranking out songs about all the crazy things happening to our country. In doing so, we discovered there are many conservative artists out there doing the same…and we thought we needed a place for all of us to collaborate and network with one another so we created BigDawg Music Mafia and are blown away by the talented, passionate, creative patriots who have joined us. It truly is an honor to be in the company of so many great folks who share the same concerns we have about what is happening in our country and are doing what we can to help wake our fellow Americans up using our God-given talents.
4. Why do you think so many modern-day celebrities — as opposed to yesteryear’s Hollywood patriots (e.g. Clark Gable, John Wayne) –are avowed liberal/progressives?
Indoctrination….in our schools, our news media, and our pop culture. If you read the Communist Manifesto and Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals everything we see happening now is textbook Alinsky and straight up Marxism/Communism. All that is evil is considered good…and all that is good is considered evil…by the progressives. The radicals from the 60s are now in our administration and are hell bent on destroying this great country. Ultimately, I believe this is a fight between good and evil.
5. Tell us about your vision for Big Dawg Music Mafia. How did it get started?
See answer to #3…what started out as a place for conservative musicians, singers, songwriters to collaborate on projects has grown into a one-stop-shop for all things conservative when it comes to the arts and other creative endeavors…everything from music to artwork, to film, radio, and books and blogs like yours!
6. What are your top goals for Big Dawg?
We want to encourage ALL freedom-loving Americans with any kind of creative abilities to join us and use their craft to get engaged in the fight to take our pop culture back from the left…who really only represent a small percentage of our population. We want to make such a loud noise for freedom that they will no longer be able to ignore us or discount us. I am frankly fed up with hearing folks say Conservatives have no talent. I would argue that we have more talent at our site than what I hear on the radio these days. It is our hope that folks will stop supporting liberal artists – especially those who use their celebrity status to bad-mouth our country – and start supporting artists who love this country. And we appreciate all who help spread the word about our site and our mission at BigDawg Music Mafia. We will be launching our own internet radio station, BigDawg Music Radio that will stream music and pop culture related shows 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will even have DJs doing their shows live and are very excited about it.
7. How do you plan to make an impact on the outcome of the 2012 Election in terms of the pop culture scene?
Just keep doing what we are doing. Pop culture has such a huge influence on our society and we believe we can encourage more fellow Americans to get engaged in the fight and head to the polls by spreading that message through our music, books, films, artwork, radio shows, blogs, and more. A lot of people don’t pay attention to politics, don’t read political blogs or listen to conservative talk radio or watch Fox News…but they do listen to music, watch TV and go to the movies…and that is the best way to reach them…so that is what we aim to do.
8. Unlike the 2008 Election, conservatives appear to have caught up — and even surpassed — the left in their savvy use of social media platforms like twitter. Does Big Dawg have an active presence on these? Do you think social media will play a big role in the outcome of the 2012 Election?
Absolutely….it’s the “new school” way of doing business. We are on many conservative NING sites, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Google+ and many more. I just read an article the other day about how the left is whining about how conservatives have pretty much taken over Twitter. I love it! Since the State Run Media won’t report the truth any more…it is up to us citizen journalists to get the word out on what is really happening…and to help folks learn about which candidates are truly conservative and which ones are not.
9. I first heard about Big Dawg Music Mafia via your excellent single, “Get Off The Stage” which features you and Jana Seantelle sending a clear message to President Obama. Tell us about the evolution of the song.
Fellow BigDawgers Mick and Jon Statham were introduced to us by radio host Alana Burke (another fellow Dawger). They have a song called We R Drinking Tea that is great. Mick then wrote Get Off The Stage and invited BigDawg Andrew and I to be a part of the project. I sang back up vocals and Drew added the keys to the track. Basically we had Mick and Alana out in California, Jon Paddington on lead guitar and Jon Statham on back up vocals, both from Nashville, and Drew did his part from Florida and I did mine from my music room here in Virginia. I love how the internet has enabled us to collaborate on such cool projects. Drew and I have been collaborating this way, for the most part, on all our songs (well over 30 songs now) for years and have worked with other artists at the site in the same way.
I think the biggest misperception is that conservative women and conservatives in general are prudes and/or boring sticks in the mud. The racist label we get from the left is nothing more than Alinsky tactics to try to silence us. We are showing at BigDawg Music Mafia that not only are we NOT prudes OR boring but that we are fun, creative, talented and determined to turn this ship around.
11. How do you stay inspired to keep fighting the good fight in an era when conservatives — especially conservative women — are constantly under attack by the left-wing media, pop culture and prominent progressives like Bill Maher? What’s the best advice you can offer to everyday conservative women involved in the effort to take back our country?
What keeps me pressing forward is my unwavering belief that God has our backs….and good always trumps evil….that and the fact BigDawg Andrew happens to be a retired Marine. Whenever I start to get negative or feel like giving up…he gives me a good swift kick in the pants and tells me to knock it off. I am always inspired by fellow conservative women I see running for office…and winning….speaking out on TV and radio…writing great blogs and books (like you!)….and it all started with Sarah Palin when she first arrived on the political stage. She has been attacked more than anyone in recent history and still stands tall…and proud…and Undefeated! Michelle Malkin is another one who inspires me. She said in her keynote speech at the very first Smart Girl Summit in Nashville in 2009, that if you are going to get engaged in this fight, you have to have thick skin…and when they attack…you just have to “man up” and let them know they can’t silence you. If they do, they win. And to that I say…Not on my watch!
Thanks for the opportunity to share a bit about where I’m coming from and what Drew and I hope to accomplish with our music and with BigDawg Music Mafia.
Thank you Lisa — it is privilege and an honor to have you in this fight and I appreciate all that you’re doing for freedom!