President’s Message – January 2018
A glass bead necklace caught my eye while I was walking around an open-air market with my daughter Kendall. Before inquiring about the necklace Kendall noticed an etched brass cuff with an inspirational message in an unusual font. Wondering if the artist accepted commissioned work I asked the young women, dressed in 1940’s era clothing, if she would be interested in creating cuffs with my organization’s initials. I handed her my T.F.R.W. business card so she could write down the cost and, she hesitated for a second, but, continued with the quote. Looking up after she handed the card back she said she did not peg me as a Republican and, by the way, she exclaimed, ” I hate Donald Trump and he is not my President”. Turning to my daughter she said, “You and your mom must argue about politics a lot”. Kendall politely answered, “Well actually, I voted and supported Donald Trump during his campaign and my mom and I agree about 80% of the time on policy”. A look of disgust came over her face, I am sure she was wondering how a young, hip, 20 something can possibly be a Republican? Kendall explained to her that while she never agreed with President Obama she never would denounce him as her President, as he was her President for eight long years and she does not understand the level of disrespect for the office of the Presidency that has taken hold of the country. The artist then said, “Trump hates immigrants”. Kendall replied, “Really? You do know his wife is an immigrant” The artist answered, ” … that’s debatable”. Kendall sassily responded, “Nope, not really, it’s pretty well documented”. The conversation on different media driven topics went back and forth for a while, with my daughter always intelligently and calmly debating the artist’s uninformed comments. I admit as much as I enjoyed the tête-à-tête between two young, and very politically different women, I wanted to purchase the necklace and make our dinner reservation.
I asked the artist if she was still interested in selling her prized piece to a Republican woman and, of course, she said yes. Eager to get to dinner and thinking our transaction was complete and political conversation exhausted, I turned to walk away when the young woman off handily said, “You know, as women, we are oppressed”. I saw a roll of the eye on my daughter’s face as she calmly turned around and slowly replied, “No, we are three white women, we live in the United States of America and we are NOT oppressed.” The artist replied, ” Ok, well, black women are oppressed.”
I had been quiet most of the conversation because I knew it was a never-ending battle, but at this point, I needed to interject for two reasons. One, I was hungry and two, I needed to ask her what she wanted out of our current administration. I asked her to look at my business card again and I explained that I was President of one of the most powerful political women’s organization in the country and if she had an opportunity to ask a Republican to change one thing what would that be? She said, “Black lives matter”. Seriously? No mention of women’s rights, legalizing marijuana, or increasing taxes on the rich? She simply said, “Black lives matter”.
I told her all lives matter and we need to stop putting each other in categories. It was then that I felt sorry her, she, along with so many women, have bought into the media lies that their lives in this beautiful and bountiful country are awful. The Democrats and the liberal media tell women every day that they are second-class citizens and the uninformed believe it.
I bought the necklace and told the woman to stop watching the news and stop believing the lies. I was certain it fell on deaf ears.
The following morning I was reading my emails and noticed one from the young artist, I thought it was my e-receipt but, it was a note thanking me for the conversation and asked how she can find out more about the Republican party. Do I think she is going to change parties and start voting Republican, no, but she wanted to educate herself on political matters and not believe everything she hears and sees in the media. Even if we don’t agree with each other is it important to keep the conversation going with love and respect for our fellow Americans. I know it can hard at times, but for the sake of this great, ever-changing, diverse, Nation, it is more important now than ever before. Start a respectful conversation so we can inspire more young women to join our fight to keep our country the greatest country in the world.