Never Stop Fighting

We The People are the only ones who have the power to create change, and we will

Photo by Sam Battaglieri on Unsplash

I live in a pink town, inside a red county of a dangerously deep red state. During the 2019 local election, my husband held no stops to sway me to run for mayor. I pushed back. It was because when we moved here in 2015; it was my goal to disconnect from the world.

Moving to Iowa’s farmland was our retirement plan. We were both approaching the 20 year mark in our professions, and we wanted to get as far from civilization and city life as we could.

He made it to 20 years, but I didn’t. I had just crossed the threshold of 18 when a gang shot up my office in a drive-by, a direct retaliation because I wouldn’t sign off on a court order held against a member. My superiors were at a loss for why I resigned. They couldn’t quite grasp that my reasoning wasn’t fear.

My direct supervisor wrote me up for being late to our staff meeting that day because I was too busy doing the job they hired me to do — to protect citizens from violence and domestic terrorism.

It didn’t matter that I was the lead in working with local law enforcement or that over 1,200 people’s lives were at risk on our campus, including theirs. I was late for the meeting, end of story.

It was complete ignorance and bliss the first year we lived tucked away inside Eastern Iowa’s farmland. We live on the outskirts of town, close enough for internet service but far enough to go unnoticed.

My husband left his job in Phoenix and immediately stepped into a new position as soon as we arrived. I took a year off to decompress. I needed to learn how to live a normal life, one where I’m not in danger daily and I get to sleep through the night.

Carrying the constant weight of exhaustion wore me down, but the thing is, it wasn’t the job broke me. It was the government, politics, the people and a system designed to keep people down. I felt tired of fighting.

I didn’t want to fight anymore. All I wanted was to grow produce, read books and keep my head down. I vowed to myself that I’m done. I accepted I can’t save a world that doesn’t want saving.

Time passed, I settled into our new home and did my absolute best to ignore all wrong-doing. I held true to this. I stuffed it deep down and fell into a 3 year-long slump of depression while feeling angry at the world. During this time, I started my next profession as a newspaper reporter, and in the beginning it was easy enough: Report fact, don’t have an opinion.

In 2020, I went down like the Titanic. Slow at first, but then all at once. How was I supposed to remain completely entangled but ignore it at the same time? I can’t.

I broke my promise to myself. I spoke out. No one heard me. So I took it up a notch, then another. Citizens heard my message loud and clear, but it still fell on local, state and federal government’s deaf ears.

To make matters worse, I’m fighting against a radicalized party that went nuts while worshipping Trump’s dictatorship, waged war against the American people, took the U.S. Capitol under siege, continues to spout baseless claims of election fraud while spreading a deadly virus and now, the Jewish space laser agenda.

Meanwhile, back on planet earth, we have actual issues that require immediate attention, including in Iowa, my ground zero. I spent most of the year battling the local government. I was consistent, assertive and extreme. Our mayor spent the year behaving as if we live in a fantasy land, and many of his constituents followed suit.

I witnessed our state’s Democratic Party nominees spend their campaign season out among Iowans, helping them through the worst crisis in modern history while the Iowa GOP sponsored Facebook ads for their candidates. As far as helping Iowans? The GOP left us in the dust, literally.

On Election Day, I witnessed those same Iowans helped by our Democratic Party nominees vote against them. That’s what it’s like here in the Wild-Wild Heartland. It’s party before country, regardless of the consequences.

It wasn’t long after New Year when my husband started his antics again. “The mayor’s seat is up for re-election this year. You can beat him,” he persisted.

“Yeah,” I replied. “Except for the part where I hate politics and people.”

But that isn’t entirely true. I’ve been around the block too many times. I know how it works. Governement officials and politicans do not create change. We the People force it and that’s where my voice belongs. That’s where it feels right.

It took me until Iowa Legislation opened earlier this month to realize that the person I’ve been fighting the most is myself. In my head, I’ve convinced myself that I did my part and I’m done. I served my time.

But in my heart, I can’t live with myself another second if I don’t speak up because it’s what I do — because fighting for justice and equality for all Americans is a lifelong commitment. It’s my purpose and my passion.

I set the personal goal to be the loudest thorn in the Iowa GOP’s side. I’ve invested every minute of my free time calling and emailing my state senator and house representative several times a day. I’m speaking out publically in a way that empowers dialog. I don’t listen to people. I hear them.

While Iowa’s Republican controlled trifecta focuses on fast tracking resolutions to amend our state constitution to ban (safe and legal) abortion and allow (free for all) gun rights, I’m over here screaming, “WHAT ABOUT US? WE THE PEOPLE? HAVE ANY OF YOU NOTICED THAT WE’RE CURRENTLY FUCKED?”

Word spread of my activism prompting neighbors and residents to reach out to me, each expressing their individual concerns. They’re tired too, like I’m tired and we all just want our voices heard. I resisted for as long as I could but it was the librarian who finally broke me.

“Um, a bunch of people approached me about running for mayor. So, I’m running for mayor,” I informed my therapist. “I don’t understand why I care. I don’t want to care. How do I make it stop?”

He laughed. “What happens when you lose a fight?”

“Well, I tell myself to give it up, but I don’t. I keep fighting. I find another way.”

“What do you think the reason is for that?”

“I took an oath to defend The Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to protect the citizens of our great nation,” I said. “Although I no longer wear the uniform, it’s very much so who I am and I can’t seem to shake it.”

All it took was for me to hear myself say it aloud and my fight with myself ended. In it’s place, a new one began. I have a lot of work to do, whether as mayor or activist, or both, and a long road ahead.

Power to the People.

Behavioral Science ed/ reporter in Eastern Iowa. Informed and opinionated. My hobbies include petting cats, research and farming.

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