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A Conservative Woman in the Arena

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

During a speech on citizenship that he delivered in 1910, Theodore Roosevelt stressed what decades later has come to mean so much too so many:

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

As our nation and our world spin more and more dangerously out of control because fewer and fewer people of substance, faith, and integrity are willing to step into that perilous arena, we need to pause every once in a while to acknowledge those who have.

One such person being Joanne King Herring.

Ms. Herring has just published her incredible memoir titled: Diplomacy and Diamonds: My Wars from the Ballroom to the Battlefield. It’s available now on and at every major bookstore in the country and really is a must read for all those who still believe in traditional values, or need to be reminded that one person still can make a positive difference, that risks need to be taken, that faith matters, and that you can still lead a full and even fun-filled life while defending liberty, the disenfranchised, commonsense…or even your hemline from the wandering hands of a major movie star.

Most people will know of Joanne King Herring because Julia Roberts played her in the hit movie Charlie Wilson’s War starring Tom Hanks. While that portrayal was noteworthy and captured some of the larger-than-life personality of Ms. Herring, it was still written and viewed through the liberal prism of far-left screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and out-of-touch-with-everyday-America Hollywood.

Talented, intelligent, beautiful and conservative women have always intimidated and frustrated liberals and the mainstream media. As such, they are either unfairly and viciously attacked to silence their voices, or simply flat-out ignored when they do dare to speak or write.

Neither Joanne King Herring or her amazing memoir can nor must be ignored. Hers is a voice and a story which speaks directly to the vast majority of Americans because she has personally experienced about all life can throw at one person.

Grow up dirt poor? She’s done it. Host a top-rated television show for 15 years? She’s done it. Get dressed in men’s clothes and then be smuggled across the border into Pakistan? She’s done it. Survive a Soviet gunship attack in the mountains of Afghanistan? She’s done it. Literally house and feed thousands of desperately poor and war-ravaged people? She’s done it.

Even with all of that real-life experience, what separates Ms. Herring’s memoir from most is that it’s simply great fun to read. It’s inspirational across the board and proves it’s never too late to start over, never too late to roll the dice, never too late to fight for a cause, never too late to chase a dream, never too late to volunteer, and never too late to start a new romance.

How many people can work day and night for years on end to fight with the Mujahedeen against the former Soviet Union on one hand, while being flattered and admired by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sean Connery, and Tom Hanks on the other?

While liberals and the mainstream media may be loathe to admit it, Diplomacy and Diamonds is a timely tutorial for young women especially on how to live a life of faith, ambition, sacrifice and fun with absolutely no regrets. As the book relates, she had a few doors opened for her along the way while forcing open the rest. Once open, she either walked or crawled through depending upon the circumstances and always took advantage of the opportunity.

Joanne King Herring dared to step into that arena time and time again and is anything but one of “those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory or defeat.”

Read the story. Get inspired. And then step into your arena to fight for your dreams, your rights, and our nation.

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