I remember walking home one day from my university American Heritage class and feeling so inspired! “The United States of America is an amazing place to live,” I thought, “not just because of the freedoms we enjoy, but because of the miracle of how it was formed.” As I walked, I recalled moments of the semester. We learned that the Founding Fathers managed to work together and pull off, against all odds, an impossible feat that would launch us forward as an independent nation. It took courage. It involved great risk. But the Founding Fathers knew that life could not continue on its present course. Something needed to change.
Since that inspiring class, I am sad to admit that the fire within me fizzled and died. I saw the realities of the political environment and concluded that there was no place for me. Things seemed to move along fine without me.
Years went by and I found other ways to make a positive impact on the world. My life journey eventually took me overseas where my husband and I worked to help other countries improve on their democratic ideals. And then a few years ago it hit us that we might need to focus on the democratic ideals at home.
Coming home to a divided country has been interesting. I have family all along the political spectrum, all equally passionate about their positions. I haven’t had the luxury of an echo chamber, or a group of like-minded individuals who simply reinforce what I already think. I have had some tough conversations that have stretched me and required me to reach deeper within myself and my personal beliefs. I have found myself understanding my own ideals better. I have made some adjustments when a conversation has shed light on areas where I had more to learn. I have found connections with people I never thought possible.
And through this whole process, I find myself getting inspired again! I find myself eager to learn and eager to express hope for the future.
Democracy is not easy. I have come to appreciate that more as I’ve worked with countries that go for the easier, tyrannical way of running a country. Democracy requires effort. We can’t force other people to just go along with the things we believe are right. It takes work to recognize true connections, true and lasting solutions to our problems that lead us to a path forward — together. We have to especially do our best to not leave anyone behind.
Looking back at what it took our Founding Fathers to unite the colonies and bring about our independence, I hope to have that same courage regardless of the odds. I have hope for the future and believe we can bring about lasting change for the better. Because looking at the way things are going, something needs to change.
So here I am, running for Senate District 7 with the United Utah Party (UUP). Let’s see what great things we can do!