By: Amy Lutz
About a year ago at this time, the GOP was rife with conflict as they dealt with the aftermath of the Todd Akin "legitimate rape," controversy. They IMMEDIATELY pulled funding from his campaign and called for him to exit the race. Not only did very few, if any, Republican officials stand by Todd Akin's comments, they were also very vocal about their opposition to what he had said. I can say, as someone who made countless phone calls for the GOP in 2012, that were didn't even mention Todd Akin's name when phonebanking until the last week or so of the campaign. There was no question about where the GOP stood on Todd Akin.
Too bad I can't say the same about the Democrats and Bob Filner. Although there have been a few Democrats here and there who have spoken out against Filner; the San Diego Democratic Party "voted to ask Bob Filner to resign" (really strong condemnation there, guys); the upper echelons of the party remained silent, while still attacking the GOP's supposed "war on women." Just last week, in fact, the DNC sent out a tweet on twitter reviving the Romney "binders full of women" gaffe and turned it into an attack on the GOP. Yet, when it came to Filner, silence. Until now.
The DNC, after weeks of allegations of sexual misconduct have been laid against Filner, have finally decided to stop dragging their feet and "vote on a resolution calling Bob Filner to resign." Now that doesn't mean they actually are going to ask him to resign. It just means that they'll vote on it. At some point. Eventually.
Think about it. Which party reacted in a way that was more "respectful" of women? The one that immediately jumped on a candidate's dumb statement about rape, or the one that waited weeks to condemn a sitting mayor accused of sexual harassment?
Perspective people. Perspective.
By: Amy Lutz
Can someone please alert the DNC that the 2012 election was 9 MONTHS AGO? According to the Democrat's twitter feed (@TheDemocrats), they have yet to get the memo.
While the Democrats are still giggling over Romney's rhetorical snafu, a real "war on women" is raging on the West Coast. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner was accused of sexual harassment today by yet another women. If you're counting, this is number fifteen. While Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" wasn't more than a simple gaffe (*cough* Phony Scandal *cough*), Mayor Filner's "binder full of women" is all too real. Let's recap.
1. Laura Fink: The political consultant claimed that Filner made inappropriate jokes while "patting her posterior."
2. Morgan Rose: During a private meeting, Rose claims that Filner attempted to kiss her at least four times.
3. Joyce Gattas: Recalled of times when Filner would make her feel uncomfortable with 'kisses on the cheek and lingering hands on her knee."
4. Patti Roscoe: Claims that Filner put her in his "famous headlock" and she felt frightened.
5.Ronne Froman: The former Chief Operating Officer of San Diego accused Filner of "blocking a doorway, running a finger up her cheek and asking if she had a man in her life."
6. Sharon Bernie-Cloward: She claims Filner "groped her backside" following an event in 2010.
7. Lisa Curtin: Although Filner was well aware that Curtin was married (he grabbed her left hand and touched her ring), he asked her to go out with him and then preceded to give her a kiss on the cheek, which "included tongue." EW.
8. Michelle Tyler: Filner promised Tyler he would assist her in getting help for a US Marine (Katherine Ragazzino) if she went on a date with him.
9. Irene McCormack Jackson: Filner's former aid recalled a time when he asked her to "get naked and kiss him." She has since filed a sexual harassment suit.
10. Eldonna Fernandez: Military veteran Fernandez claimed Filner bluntly questioned her about the specifics of her marital history and later left her a "creepy" voicemail in which he stated he had "fallen in love" with her.
11. Gerri Tindley: Tindley, another veteran, accused Filner of verbal harassment and outright groping.
12. "Stacy": A city employee, known only by her first name, claims Filner forcefully grabbed her by the waist and asked her on a date.
13. Renee Estill-Sombright: While at a church in La Jolla, Estill-Sombright says that Filner approached her, told her she was beautiful and proceeded to question the specifics of her marital history before asking her out (I'm sensing a trend here).
14. Emily Gilbert: Gilbert claims that Filner grabbed her tightly in front of her husband and proceeded to slid his hand down her behind. *shudder*
15. Peggy Shannon: Filner asked the 67-year-old great-grandmother if she thought he could "go for eight hours," and even so far as grabbed & kissed her.
Now THAT looks more like a "binder full of women" than a rhetorical gaffe from a former presidential candidate. Meanwhile, @TheDemocrats are seemingly more concerned with living in the past. Priorities anyone?
By: Amy Lutz
I was bitten by the political bug when I was 5-years-old. In 1996, I sat in front of the television in my parent's living room. It was election night. Sure, I had places to be, people to see (I had new Pocahontas figurines to play with for upstairs). For some reason, though, I sat on the floor in front of my dad and watched the election results roll in. The only thing I knew about politics at the time was that Bill Clinton was our president, and as a 5-year-old whose days consisted of finger painting and dress up, I honestly couldn't care less about his policies. Which was why, when the election results were announced, I was confused why my dad groaned and walked out of the room. How could he be disappointed that our president won? He was the president for crying out loud and we were supposed to support him 100% right? I grew out of that mentality eventually, but at the time, my curiosity was piqued.
My second brush with politics occurred on September 11, 2001. I was in weekly mass with my classmates when Father Gerard, our priest at the time, announced that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. I only knew the World Trade Centers by the more common name, "The Twin Towers," and to be honest, I wasn't paying attention anyway, so I just went on with my day. It wasn't until I got home that I really understood the tragedy. As my mother unfurled the Atchison Daily Globe, and I saw the image of burning buildings on the front page, I realized what had occurred. An act of senseless violence scarred the nation's heart and changed my perception of the nation, politics, and the world, forever. Of course my 10-year-old self didn't completely understand the ramifications of the attack. Over time, however, I did. In the week following the attack, the Globe, instead of printing their normal ads on the back page, printed an American flag. On the opposite side of the flag was the following quote:
"These acts have shattered steel, but they will not dent the steel of American resolve." - George W. Bush.
For the first time in my life, I felt patriotism. No, not fireworks on the 4th patriotism; real patriotism. I wanted to learn more about what made our nation tick and why a tragic event like 9/11 even occurred. (And I still wasn't entirely sure why my dad was so angry about Clinton's re-election.) If you know me well enough, I can't stand not knowing "why," so I learned. A lot. When most of my classmates got hooked on The OC, and later Laguna Beach, I stayed at home at watched Hannity & Colmes. I read Atlas Shrugged, Michelle Malkin, and Ann Coulter. Yes, I was a geek, a nerd, but that geekdom and love of learning got me where I am today. It's who I am, and I'm proud of it.
I became passionate about politics and making the nation and the lives of those around me better. My heart ached after 9/11 and I began to research and support policies that would hopefully prevent senseless, horrific tragedies in the future. "Peace through strength," became my motto. My passion didn't stop there, however. I learned the values of hard work and entrepreneurship from my family. My father grew up in a large, poor family, but because of personal initiative and hard work, most of his (11) siblings own a small business. Our family is thriving (if you want to read more about my family's story go here). I learned about the free market, about capitalism, and about small government policies that helped my father and my aunts and uncles succeed. In short, I became passionate about small government policies because of my family. I want everyone to achieve success like they did.
When my younger siblings were born, I learned to value life. My younger brother didn't "become" my younger brother when he was born in the Atchison hospital. I knew him as my baby brother long before he was born (read more about the story here.) Over the years, I learned to value life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and it wasn't long before I really started to fight for them.
When I was 15, I took a leap and started participating in speaking tournaments through my high school. And by "leap," I don't mean hop. I mean, "jumping into a dark abyss, not knowing what I'll find below." As a teenager I was shy and scared. It wasn't until late high school when I actually started to speak up in class. Public speaking competitions changed that for me (and I made state every year, by the way). I learned to speak publicly about issues that ignited my passion. All the while, I still made it home in time to catch the news. By the time I was a senior in college, I was known as "that girl who knew waaay too much about politics." But honestly, there are worse labels I could have received.
Then I entered college. Here's where I'll fast forward a bit. If you want to know about my journey as a conservative in college, check out the blog archives on this site. In short, I took on liberal academia, rose the ranks in College Republicans (I was Chair of my campus chapter & Vice Chair of the state chapter) and finally graduated. I haven't quite adjusted to the "real world," but, hey, it takes time. However, I've reached a point where I'm actually looking back (perhaps not that far back) on my college life and asking not only "why" but "how" I got so involved in politics. Sure, anyone can read my resume, but that's not the whole story.
I started thinking about writing this blog a few days ago when Dana Loesch posted a piece titled "On the 'Lady Bro.'" If you haven't read it, do so now. I'll be here when you get back. I was awed at how accurate the label "Lady Bro" described a large segment of young people, including those in politics. As a baby College Republican, I was shocked at how important the "bro" culture was to an individual's success in the organization, or in politics at all for that matter. You want to be taken seriously as a young conservative woman? The overwhelming mentality is that you have to "be one of the guys." Getting drunk at your first CPAC is basically a right of passage. However, it was a right of passage I did not partake in. And yes, you're probably saying "that happens in college, whether you're in politics or not." True, but it's a valuable part of my story. Stay with me here.
*Let me add here that I'm not against drinking socially, even in college. It's the perception that "you must get wasted to fit in" that I fight against. Seriously, we don't want a generation of drunks leading our nation in 10-15 years.*
I was never a "Lady Bro." At the time (we're talking freshman, sophomore year here), however, I didn't think I stood a chance of making it in politics anyway. Sure I could write; sure I was reliable and hard working. However, I didn't ever see myself as "making it." I was still at that point in my life (and still, to some degree, have yet to outgrow) where self-doubt was a large part of my thinking. I was an awkward, sci-fi geek who happened to know a bit about politics. I didn't see myself as a Michele Bachmann, Ann Coulter, or Michelle Malkin. I was told right and left that "conservative women are hotter," but I never thought that concept fit me. I never thought I'd be in the esteemed group off College Republican females who would someday grace the screens of FoxNews or the stage at CPAC. There were times, honestly, where I considered giving up politics because I didn't think I was "pretty enough, thin enough (or whatever the standard of the day was)" to be noticed. I lacked confidence, but I didn't lack a desire to succeed. If, like me, you've faced similar demons, don't let them stop you. The night is darkest just before the dawn. (I knew I needed to fit a Batman reference in here somewhere...)
There's a reason why the Star Wars quote "Do or do not. There is not try," has stuck with me all these years. I wasn't always the most confident young conservative and I didn't spend my weekends "bro-ing" it out with the guys, but I "did things." I went to every College Republicans meeting and when they needed volunteers, I was there. When there was a policy or issue I wanted to fight, I wrote about it. I spoke about it. I busted my ass in college, to say the least. Whether it was an internship or a position in a club, I learned to ask for what I wanted. I lost count of the sleepless nights I spent either writing and researching or worrying about what I could do to make my organization better. I fought both literal and symbolic bullies, both in my personal life and in the political realm. Despite my doubts, despite my shortcomings, I was a fighter. And I succeeded because of it.
I'm writing this article for two reasons. One, it's therapeutic for me. (What can I say? I'm still a bit selfish.) However, I really wanted to write this article because I know there are thousands of young women in the conservative movement right now (and outside of it), who are "stuck" in the same spot I was just a couple years ago. You don't have to put yourself in a box. Sure, we all can agree that the pro-abortion, birth-control-obsessed feminist movement isn't the place for us. Seriously, we have more self-respect than that. However, I know that we're still trying to find our place; find how we, as strong women, and as conservatives, can make a small impact in the world. You don't have to be a "LadyBro," and you don't have to let your own self-doubt stop you from doing what you need to do to succeed. Ghandi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." If you see something at your school, in your city, or in the nation that you want to change, do it. It's simple, but it's not easy. It takes LOTS of hard work and drive to succeed, but it's possible. All of the blood, sweat and tears are worth it. Trust me, I know. If a socially awkward, self-doubting recent college grad can make it, you can too.
A big reason why I love being a conservative is the fact that my like-minded peers and I fight daily for the individual. We talk about policies and philosophies that personify personal responsibility and individuality, but why not exercise this fight it in your own life? "Be yourself" is a cliche, but it's true. You don't have to be a "bro" or drop-dead gorgeous to make an impact. Let your individuality shine, for you know, we all have something unique to add to the fight. All you need is ambition and a dash of talent, and you'll accomplish wonders.
By: Amy Lutz
As a recent college graduate, I've been asking myself this question quite often lately. Was burying myself in student loan debt worth it? Could I have gotten an equivalent education elsewhere, or should I have even gone to college at all? I began to ponder these questions, and others, this morning, after it was reported that 53% of college graduates under the age of 25 are either employed or unemployed. That's dangerously high, and it certainly makes me wonder why college students still vote in droves for the party (*cough* Democrats *cough*) whose policies help cause this unemployment. That, however, is a blog for another time. What I'm more concerned with now is whether or not my time (and money) was worth the education I received over the past four years. Was yours?
Overall, the education I received in college was acceptable. I maintained good grades and was fortunate enough to be one of the few grads to have a job upon graduation (I AM THE 47%!). But, could I have gotten the same benefits without a university? And without the debt? Let's explore.
It's difficult to deny that I did in fact learn a lot while I was in school. Whether or not "Drugs We Use & Abuse" and "Theology 101" (Taught by a Glenn-Beck-hating Marxist) will ever come in handy is unknown. Yet, I did in fact learn quite a bit while I was in college. However, again, was taking classes at a university 5 days a week really necessary for my education? With a little bit of ambition, I certainly could have taught myself just about everything I learned from a professor in college. Considering my major (History), perhaps more. Without a few liberal professors here and there, I would at least had to deal with less bias and prejudice.
Conversely, a large benefit of a classroom education is the challenge of meeting course standards. In other words, "making the grade." The pressure on students to receive an acceptable GPA does boost learning, considering grades and intelligence (and/or time spent studying) are directly related. Deciding against higher education does eliminate this benefit, but that doesn't automatically mean that it's impossible to educate yourself without the external pressure provided by professors, tests & grades. You just need the internal drive to succeed, which for some people is enough. Others need a little push.
Yet, the benefits of having grades to monitor your progress also be achieved in a community or technical college, where the format is similar, but the cost (and time spent) is lower. Why spend $35,000 a year on a 4-year education you could just as easily receive in 2 years for a fourth of the price? In some cases, you might be missing out on the networking or opportunities provided by a larger university, but in others only the prestige factor is missing. It's really comes down to a case by case basis.
While I might often rail against the negatives of university life (liberal academia, overbearing student loans, etc.), I do honestly believe that college provided me with opportunities that would be difficult (or impossible) to find elsewhere. I served as the Chair of the St. Louis University College Republicans and the Vice Chair of the Missouri College Republicans. I took part in multiple internships, from which almost all of my post-grad opportunities/positions have stemmed. On another note, I can't deny that I made great friends and grew spiritually, emotionally and educationally during my 4 years of undergraduate education. Yet, I keep coming back to the same question, was it worth it? Was the experience of college worth $35,000+ a year?
Personally, I wouldn't change my college experience for anything. I can't yet say it's actually worth the money I put into it, for that's something that I will not be able to address for years. Could I have possibly learned more at a less expensive institution? Probably. Could I have still made great friends and lasting connections without spending 4 years stuck in inner-city St. Louis? Perhaps. However, I wouldn't be *exactly* where I am today without my college experience (Translation: Hindsight is 20-20). That's my personal decision, though, and that's what counts most. College worked for me, but it doesn't work for everyone. The assumption that "you need a bachelor's degree to succeed" is simply a myth. I know multiple people (both older and younger than I) who are much smarter and are much more successful than I am, and they decided against going to a traditional 4-year institution. Clearly, university life isn't for many, considering that 53% of us (college grads) can't find a job to fit our diploma (Here's looking at you Women's Studies majors), and most of us are up to our eyeballs in debt. Determining college's worth is not up to the collective. It's up to the individual. Unlike those t-shifts that scantily-clad cheerleaders toss our at Cardinals games, college is not one-size-fits all.
By: Amy Lutz
Recently Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced a "grassroots" initiative urging women to blog about Obamacare. "Many uninsured Americans know little about how the law will affect them," said Sebelius. She couldn't be more right. Unfortunately for all Americans (women included), the "facts" (Or FACT as @BarackObama would put it) aren't all that accurate, given that they're filtered through the administration that passed the law in the first place. So, I urge real grassroots activists to fight back. The battleground is here and the time is now. We can not longer wait until the law goes into full-effect before we really work against it. The time is now.
Want to join #WomenAgainstObamacare? Take the following steps:
1.) Tweet under the hashtag #WomenAgainstObamacare the reasons why you're against the law. Here are a few suggestions
3.) Is your Representative or Senator dragging their feet when it comes to fighting Obamacare? Then contact them! The more constituents they hear from, the better. Dana Loesch provides a great list here.
Remember, you have to be the change you want to see in the world. Tired of the Democrats treating women like shills for their party (even though they can boast members like Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner)? Then do something about it. If you're a woman against Obamacare, then
By: Amy Lutz
During President Obama's speech in Warrensburg, Missouri this past Wednesday, a group of 10 College Republicans were not allowed to witness the President's speech because they were deemed a "security threat." The group had been peacefully protesting in a "public speech" zone set far away from the location of the president's speech, but had put their signs away before they got in line to see the president. The were however wearing patriotic and "tea party" garb. The horror.
Be sure to read MOCR Secretary Lindsey Kolb's write up on the event here.
In response to the outcry and coverage of the controversy from various media outlets including FoxNews, The College Fix, National Review, and Campus Reform, the University of Central Missouri, where the even was held, released a statement.
*Note that they didn't actually answer my original question*
So instead of valuing the concerns of their students, UCM chose to reject their tale. If students (with tickets) are being turned away at a university event because of political affiliation, shouldn't that be..you know, addressed? It's utterly disrespectful to respond to claims of discrimination with "you're lying." Switch out political affiliation for race, sexuality, or gender. Do you really think UCM would be ok with discrimination then? Again, the students HAD tickets and were still turned away. See below:
In this case, "you lie," isn't an acceptable response. The College Republicans and the UCM student body as a whole deserve more. Until then, however, CRs don't plan on backing down. Treasurer Courtney Scott appeared on the Laura Ingrahm Show and Chair A.J. Feather appeared on Fox News' America Live. Unfortunately for UCM and the president, this controversy isn't going away anytime soon.
By: Amy Lutz
Detroit has seemingly found the perfect solution to solving its bankruptcy woes. It worked for Michael Scott, right. RIGHT? After all, this is about as brilliant as the liberal policies that got Detroit into this mess in first place.