I’m On America’s Side


To be honest, it’s never been something I’ve been interested in. Like…at all. No thanks. Not interested in the slightest.

The first time I voted was in 2004 at the age of 29 because I wanted to vote for Dino Rossi as Washington Governor. And I voted for John Kerry for president. That was it. Oh wait, and Rob McKenna for Washington AG…because I was working for an organization that had a PAC and did a lot with politics for business. I was the VP of Finance (don’t ask…if you know me, you know that’s probably the job I am least suited for)

And then I was mad. Dino Rossi won the first count, the second count, but by the time we got around to a THIRD recount, Gregoire managed to eek out the win. And I was done. Something smelled rotten and I didn’t want any part of it. I felt like my vote didn’t count and my time had been wasted.

And then 2015 came. I was in Spokane when Donald Trump came to town. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see him. At that point in time, I thought the idea of Trump as president was laughable but made for interesting news anyway. It drew me into the presidential race of 2016. And then I saw it all…all the Hillary Clinton mess. I saw what was going on in the democrat party and it scared me. It scared me as a patriotic American who just wanted to be left alone to live my life and provide for my family and enjoy our freedoms. It scared me as a mother. For the first time ever, I became scared of the future of America for the sake of my children and my future grandchildren.

The corruption was obvious, even to a “non political” person like myself. You couldn’t “unsee it.” The lying, which wasn’t new of course, was now blatantly obvious, on display for all Americans to see…whether they chose to or not.

More disturbing than the lying was watching the 2016 election cycle realizing, the democrats weren’t just going to “live and let live.” I could see the agenda they wanted to push on my children, my family. That scared me.

 As I tuned into Donald Trump’s rallies, I was drawn in by his love for this country. He was unfiltered and abrasive and, to be honest, it was a refreshing change from the politicians that were very scripted and inauthentic. It seemed like it was the perfect time to bring a political outsider into the White House.

Here we are in 2020 and I’m leading a group called Conservative Ladies of Washington. The last few weeks I have done a lot of reflecting about where we are as a nation as well as my vision for this organization. I am not a “political” person. CLW is not a “political” group. This organization doesn’t align with a party, we align on values and issues. We are Americans who may not always agree or see eye to eye on things but can have love and respect for one another regardless.

I don’t believe that “conservative” and “republican” are synonymous. I am sad that there are many within the republican party that do not uphold what I consider to be republican values. It frustrates me to see the “dirty politics” in every party…because I wish that all people in public office should truly be serving “FOR the people”. So where does that leave a gal like me?

I love America. I want to be free to make decisions for my children. I don’t want the government telling me what I can and cannot do.

Julie Barrett

I love America. I want to be free to make decisions for my children. I don’t want the government telling me what I can and cannot do. If I feel like opening a business, I want to be able to open a business. If I want to conceal carry a firearm, I want to be able to do that too. I want to go to church and sing….and sing LOUD (sorry to those around me). I want to pray on the steps of city hall. I want to decide if I will take a vaccine or not. I want the lives of unborn babies protected…because I know that an unplanned life can be God’s greatest gift (she is 24 now and while I did not plan her, God sure did!) I want the saving of the women and children who are sex trafficked all over this country and world to be a priority.

These don’t seem like right versus left issues. And yet here we are: American-loving women like me and maybe you, too, who now have no choice but to stand up and fight. I don’t want to be “political”. The word itself seems to carry such a negative connotation because we have watched for so long as people in politics did not do the right thing. Is that too much to ask? We don’t want to be political, we just want people to do the right thing.

As I continue to put together our Conservative Ladies of Washington  mission statement and defining what a “conservative lady” is, I realize that it’s not about party lines. It’s not about republican or democrat. It’s not right verses left. It’s about God. It’s about being in alignment with God’s plan. It’s about community and connection. It’s encouraging each other to be the strong, courageous woman we were designed to be.

And as each party calls for “unity”, I realize there is really only one way for us to truly have unity, and that’s through the Good News of Jesus Christ. Unity is about winning souls for Jesus. And I am so glad to have such a wonderful group of ladies – whether you are a “believer” or not – on this journey, during this amazing time in our nation’s history.

Give Thanks…And Fight for FREEDOM

In a year that feels like the “upside down”, I’d say that 2020 has made me acutely more aware of the blessings in my life and the things that I have taken for granted. It’s been easy to get discouraged this year, no doubt about it. As I look back, though, I see blessings and abundance in a way that I didn’t before.

I’ve always taken my freedom for granted. I guess I felt like it was a “birth right.” I was born an American citizen and freedom is all I know. I can go to church. I can say what I want. I can own a gun and use it to protect myself. I can pray to my God on the steps of city hall. I’ve always been “grateful” for the men and women who fought to give us these freedoms, but never before have I really had even a remote understanding of what they were really fighting FOR.

As we’ve progressed through 2020 we’ve seen shutdowns for a pandemic that really made no sense or had any rhyme or reason. We watched as our leaders enforced restrictions on us that they did not follow themselves. They’ve shutdown our churches and our gyms and our small businesses (which are primarily conservative/moderate owned). They’ve closed our public schools. This sure doesn’t feel like freedom.

Freedom is on the line.

Freedom is on the line. We have felt it coming for several months. With the current state of our elections, we’re very much aware that the country we know and love is hanging in the balance. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt so compelled to fight for my country like never before.

As conservatives in Washington state, we’re used to losing. In fact, we’ve become pretty apathetic about it. But this time is different. We can feel it. We know that if we don’t step up now, we stand to lose it all. Possibly for good.

America has been so blessed. We have had warriors go before us who paid the ultimate price so that we could have the lives we enjoy so much today. I am not willing to go down without a fight. I am not willing to let those lives lost be in vain. I am not willing to let my children and my future grandchildren pay the price for our complacency.

On this eve of Thanksgiving 2020, I encourage you to reflect on the liberties and freedoms we have as Americans with gratitude. Give thanks for the 4 years of President Donald J. Trump and the huge progress he has made on behalf of conservative policies and issues, both here and abroad. Give thanks for the blessings that I believe God is going to continue to bestow upon our nation in the future.

And CELEBRATE this Thanksgiving  in an act of civil disobedience. Is that would our founders would do? I believe so!

Courage is Contagious

It’s time. We have sat back in our “polite silence” for too long. We have been afraid to offend the easily offended. We have been afraid to lose friends – cyber and IRL (in real life). For many, we have been afraid to lose jobs or clients or promotions.

As a result, we’ve walked on eggshells. We haven’t bothered to pipe up with our 2 cents on really important matters…like sex ed, for instance. We’ll just be quiet and polite and we will vote. And in a state like Washington, that doesn’t get us very far.

The loud voices on the democratic side of our country have made us feel unwelcome in our own society. In our public schools and our places of business, we are treated like outcasts. The things we believe in and value in life – God, family, human life, minimal government, entrepreneurship – are not wanted by the socialist democrats in our society. In our efforts to protect ourselves and our families, we have sat back quietly so as not to “ruffle feathers.”

I have never been one of those people who was afraid to say what I think. If people don’t like me because of the things I believe and the opinions I hold, I’m really fine with that. I’m not for everyone and that’s ok. I realize that not everybody is like me in this way. I know many people care very much what other people think and exercise more caution or restraint in vocalizing their opinions. (I still haven’t decided if this is a fault or an asset…a bit of both, I suppose) I know there are a lot of people who need to be careful in what they say and where they say it because it could cost them their job. I get that.

But now here we are. We are on the verge of losing our country. It’s quite possible that we may lose many of the freedoms that we have long taken for granted.  Many of the jobs and careers we have been so careful to protect, could be gone. The businesses many have worked so hard to build, could close forever. While we know that millions made the ultimate sacrifice for us to have these freedoms, we are now face-to-face with the same fight our forefathers had. I don’t say this to scare you. I say this because I believe this is a very real possibility.

Courage is not negotiable. We do not have a choice. Courage is when you feel those feelings of fear so deep but you know you have to take action regardless of how you feel. Courage is literally feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

Julie Barrett

And here’s the great thing – courage is contagious. If one person steps out in courage and makes a bold statement in truth or takes action for change it empowers other people around them to do the same. “If she can do it, so can I!” And the domino effect of courage is set in motion and picks up momentum with each act of courage.

Our time has run out. We do not have the luxury any longer to sit back and be quiet. We cannot fear “cancel culture” or loss of friends. There is too much on the line. I would rather lose my friends and lose my job than lose the freedoms that we have in this country. And that, my friends, is a very real possibility if we do not stand up and fight.

I want to encourage and empower you to take courage. Exactly one-half of our country (and I’d argue it’s more than that) feels the same way you and I do. We will not be quiet any longer. We will fight back against cancel culture because they can’t cancel us against each other. We will have each other’s backs. We will shop freedom-friendly businesses and we will hire patriots to work in our businesses.

That post you’ve been afraid to share – share it! That American flag you’ve been afraid to fly – fly it proud!

We can be gracious and compassionate in how we “come out” as conservatives. We don’t need to be obnoxious about it. But we must do it…before it’s too late.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Divided We Stand

conservative woman american flag

I have heard it said dozens of times in the last few years that America is more divided now than it has been since the Civil War in the 1860s. There are many reasons for such a claim: Some want socialism, others want to continue in a capitalist society. Some say that children should be able to decide what it is they are exactly, while others believe that a girl born a girl is a girl and a boy born a boy is exactly that. Some think that carbon footprints will be our end within a dozen years, while others think that climate change is a misnomer, as the climate has always been in a pendulum swing of change.

But the divide seems to go even deeper than opposing ideologies or beliefs. Rather, it has been the inability to live within that tension.

A few years ago, we had a gentleman visit our home to discuss refinancing our mortgage. Sitting around the dining table, there was the initial small talk, and the notary began to make comments to immediately show that he was a card-carrying liberal. For whatever reason, perhaps because of our age and demograph, my husband and I are often mistaken for liberals, so we just smiled and continued chatting. At some point, our friend started to talk about how “there should be a law” against something that was already a constitutional right. To his prescription, my husband simply replied, “Well, then you do it the right way, and amend the Constitution.” It instantly became clear to the gentleman that his assumption about us being fellow liberals was incorrect, and he began to fumble apologies: “Oh, are you guys conservatives? Wow. I’m so sorry. I had no idea. Do you need me to leave now? I’m sorry if I offended you…”

We laughingly asked, “Why would you need to leave? We’re adults here. You are allowed to have your own opinion. We don’t expect everyone who sits at our table to think exactly as we do.” Our answer seemed to be both stunning and pleasantly surprising to him. It was as if he were looking at rare birds – particularly, the kind that talk. Apparently in the midst of our conversation, he also gathered we were Christians and was gobsmacked: “You’re Christians, too? You do realize that you are in the most unchurched area of the US, right? I mean…what are you doing here?”

We replied, “We can still be Christians wherever we go. We don’t need to constantly surround ourselves with those who believe exactly as we do to feel safe or validated.”Again, the concept seemed to be foreign to him.

Then the strangest thing happened. He began to tell us how disillusioned he was with his progressive friends, saying that the rigidity of who they would associate with was becoming unbearable. He described attending a Mariner’s game with a good friend who was becoming increasingly frustrated with him: “You know what your problem is, Dave? It’s that you believe x, y, and z, but you still haven’t signed onto a, b, and c. It has really caused me to rethink our friendship!” The level of intolerance was astounding, considering that The Left claims to be the bastion of tolerance.

Our friend left that night smiling and thanking us for cheerful conversation. And it wasn’t because we agreed with him or vice-versa. It was because he was received in our home as a person who was worthy of dignity and kindness, regardless of who he normally votes for.

Dr. Karyln Borysenko, formally a life-long democrat and reknown psychologist, decided to attend a local Trump rally in New Hampshire. Before going, a fellow liberal offered to give her pepper spray, as she began to talk about how horrible and Nazi-like Trump supporters were and feared for her safety. This was nothing new, of course, as her concern matched the general stigma that had been attached to conservatives for the last few years. Dr. Borysenko’s first surprise was when she was standing in line to enter the rally and had engaged a few others in line with her, where she revealed that she was a democrat. Their response to this was not what she expected, as they greeted her with, “Oh, we’re so glad you’re here! Welcome!” This certainly did not line up with what she had been told about conservatives or republicans in the past – and even by her friend who had earlier offered her pepper spray. Since then, Dr. Borysenko has been bashed by The Left and has even lost clients for her political shift.

But have we as a society shifted so much in our ideology in the last several years? I submit that to a degree, we haven’t. There have always been the proponents of “life” and “choice,” and vehemently so. There have always been the champions of capitalism versus socialism. The ideologies that have existed for decades could not be more diametrically opposed.

There is a saying that goes, “it always comes out in the wash.” I’m not sure who said it, but I think what is meant by that is the true colors of a person, organization, or platform always comes to the surface. And what we are seeing with conservatism (and libertarianism) compared with what has become full-on progressivism is this willingness to live within the tension and abide the reality of differences. It’s the ability to understand that not everyone is going to think or see things the same way.

With conservatism, however, it goes beyond that. Conservatism sees an inherent value in people – even if we believe they are wrong – even dead wrong. It sees the right for people to hold their opinions, thoughts, and traditions – even if they are different from our own. It sees the value of relationships with those we love, even if we sorely disagree. Ultimately, it sees that all people – all – are made in the image of Almighty God. And regardless of what political views they hold, that alone gives them value to be respected and seen as more than the person they vote for.

So, welcome to Conservative Ladies of Washington. Even if you are not a conservative or aren’t even sure where you stand at this moment, come and see what we are about. We welcome you to the discussion, and we celebrate that you and all human life are of great value.

Preparing to Launch

One year ago, Conservative Ladies of Washington became a “little” private group on Facebook. We invited likeminded ladies to connect in a safe environment. We encouraged ladies to connect not just virtually, but in person. This “little” group grew steadily over the months. In the spring of 2020 ladies all over Washington State started joining together by the hundreds.

One year later we are nearly 5,000 members strong and we are so much more than just a “little Facebook group.” We are strong, empowered, energized women who love our country and are ready to stop being silent. Together, we encourage each other to step out of our comfort zone to protect our beloved America and the freedoms so many have fought to give us and our children and our grandchildren.

We invite you to join our movement and our community. Enjoy the company and inspiration and encouragement of likeminded women. Find joy in new friendships and the journey to preserve the American way of life….for ALL people.