The Tea Party movement has served as a vehicle to take that information and put it into action. Mel Aben, a working mom in Raleigh, North Carolina who had "never even organized a birthday party" volunteered to organize a tea party in her area. She not only organized a protest attended by an estimated 6,000 people, but coordinated the 2009 Tax Day tea parties across the state. Aben got her introduction to political activism though Smart Girl Politics. She is just one of many Americans across the country who have used blogs, social media, and talk radio to provide organization and structure to the grassroots movement.
That is a partial explanation of how so many women have come to be participating in the political process, even running for office, today, but it doesn’t explain why. The problems we see today are not just ours. We are facing problems that will affect our children and grandchildren – staggering debt, a shift from private to public sector growth, weakened national security policy, etc. Dads and moms both have a strong instinct to protect their children, but women have that “Mama Grizzly” reaction when their children are threatened.
I am currently working for Renee Ellmers, candidate for Congress in my home district. When asked why she, a woman who has never been involved in political activism, much less ever run for office, is running, she answers, “I am running for Congress because as a mom, I want the same opportunities for my son as I had growing up. I am concerned about the direction our country is heading and I want to help get us on the right path.”
Dads want what is best for their children, as well, but it is difficult to run for office and hold down a full time job. That is one of the reasons so many wealthy people have traditionally run for office. When looking at today’s citizen activist/candidate, it makes financial sense that Mom would often be the one best able to jump into the political ring. There are plenty of full time working women who are becoming politically active these days as well, but speaking from personal experience, it does make it easier to spend time on political endeavors if your family does not depend on your salary as the main source of income.
A new film from Citizens United looks at the women who are making an impact in the conservative movement today, both as activists and candidates, and at the history of the conservative women that preceded them. The women who may indeed “save our country” today, had a lot of groundwork laid for them. In November we may reap the benefits of several generations of conservative women.