My name is Jonia Broderick. I have a Bachelor’s degree in History, with a focus on early American and British history. I have a background in journalism, as well, and have work experience in public relations, publishing and music education. I am the author of a children’s Christmas book, A Song for Sarah.
My greatest satisfaction in life, however, comes from being a Mom. I was given the great gift of having a wonderful daughter, who is now 20, and rearing her has been the most important focus of my life. I’m proud to say that she also is studying history and desires to make a difference as a writer. Before my husband passed away, he and I took our girl on vacations to all 50 states, with all of those trips being history trips.
I come by my interest in all things political very naturally; my parents took me door-to-door campaigning when I was still an infant and I was imprinted very early with the political bug. My first political argument was in first grade with my best friend Rosario. She said Governor Brown was the best governor of California and I argued that no, that honor went to Governor Reagan. We were quite committed to our individual views!
Growing up we often talked about politics around the kitchen table. I did a huge project in 7th grade on the Reagan and Ford primary and was fully absorbed in the race. I was so disappointed when Reagan lost. During the Carter presidency I remember feeling so despondent and still remember crying after his speech where he seemed to say the American dream was dead. During the Iranian Hostage Crisis, I wore yellow ribbons, led prayer groups at school on behalf of the hostages, and anxiously watched the news every single night. I remember being in A Cappella Choir, singing America, the Beautiful, when the voice on the radio announced the hostages had been freed. All of us, male and female, started to cry as we jumped up and down and hugged each other.
Of course, that event occurred on President Reagan’s inauguration. I had been proud of his election and felt I was largely responsible for it due to my tireless canvassing door-to-door and by phone for weeks before election day. As a teenager we always assume all good things are because of our own efforts!
That election served as a springboard for my involvement in politics. I served on many campaigns, both local and national, making calls, stuffing envelopes and knocking doors. For one local politician I put together the formal programs at his fund raising events. Oh, that was fun! I was never more than a grassroots volunteer (except on the fund raising programs campaign), but that was enough. I was a high school and college student and then beginning my career and I didn’t have time for much more than that.
In addition to my political interests, I was well-known for my elaborate patriotism. I say elaborate, for that it was. My purse was covered with patriotic and political buttons, including one that flashed lights as it played the National Anthem. I wore red, white and blue for any patriotic occasion, no matter how big or small it was. Example: I memorized Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech and every March 23rd , whilst dressed in patriotic colors, I recited it with great dramatic flourish to all my long-suffering friends, family, co-workers, schoolmates, etc. December 16th was more than Beethoven’s birthday to me; it was Boston Tea Party Day. April 19th led to the recitation of Emerson’s Concord Bridge. You get the picture. I even put on community Fourth of July flag raising celebrations complete with speakers and a musical revue. Americana was a huge part of who I always was.
When I fell in love and got married my husband didn’t initially share my political leanings. He considered himself a Socialist, yet he had blocked abortion clinics with Operation Rescue. He came by his Socialist views honestly. His father had been unfairly targeted by the John Birch Society for his work with SIECUS back in the 1970s and had therefore distanced himself from conservatives in general. In addition, Ben attended the University of Southern California, which was hardly a bastion of conservatism. But despite our differing political views we married and began our lives together. Eight months later, after studying the Constitution and reading other materials, he renounced his Socialist views and became unashamedly full-fledge conservative. Truth will always out!
Politics became a part of our marriage and home life. We didn’t have much time or money early on, but we were always engaged in following the news of the day and trying to influence others. As we watched things unfold in the Clinton presidency we found ourselves disturbed, more by the complete lack of morality and willingness to be deceitful than for the policies themselves that were enacted. It wasn’t our favorite time. When our only child was born it was on the night/early morning following the New York Primary. We spent the time in the delivery room bemoaning what we felt was an unfair system, keeping our favorite candidate Steve Forbes from having a chance there. As time passed, however, and we came to know George W. Bush more we came to look up to him. We didn’t always agree with his policy decisions, but we admired him for his integrity and love for his fellow man.
In late February 2009 I participated in the first wave of Tea Party protests. I stood outside a post office in Southern California for several hours waving signs and trying to make my voice heard. I wrote Congress about Obamacare and we were involved in the Prop 8 campaign in California. Later I became disenchanted with the Tea Party movement for it seemed so angry and spiteful. It had a feeling of too much self-interest for my taste and so I didn’t really have a political movement home.
Ben was an attorney and sought to be involved in Constitutional Law, and in March 2015 he argued a state’s rights case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He won and the case was published. He felt that he had finally made a difference, and he now does have his legacy.
I think you are getting the idea of who we are. Ben and I weren’t feeling too optimistic about the 2016 presidential campaign back in mid-2015, but we had a few candidates we hoped would jump in and have a chance. In July 2015 Ben suddenly and unexpectedly passed away and my desire to follow the political scene faded away. I have found, however, that some things are just so innately a part of us that we can never fully abandon them, and so it is with me and politics. A few months after Ben passed I began to be re-engaged. As I looked at what was happening in the primaries I was suddenly and completely terrified by the thought of Donald Trump as our nominee. As someone who had decried Clinton’s immoral behavior I could never bring myself to vote for someone equally disgusting. I kept hoping something would happen to stem the tide. When I moved to Utah in June of 2016 I decided that I would just worry about local races. I knew I couldn’t and wouldn’t vote for Donald Trump, but I also knew that I could never vote for Hillary Clinton. My motto became: Just stand in holy places and hang on tight!
As the Convention came and went I became more anxious than ever to somehow be involved in helping America regain her moral bearings. Too many scriptures talk about the consequences of choosing wicked leaders and I couldn’t stand watching my country be destroyed. I couldn’t figure out how to participate in the process, however, and I found my desire to facilitate change stopped in its tracks. Then came Evan McMullin and his campaign for the presidency.
As I will write later, within the world of McMullin supporters I found a style of patriot that I could relate to; people who were seeking a person of character and integrity they could vote for. I found a groundswell of support for restoring America’s moral authority. And I found that Evan’s message of hope and not needing to settle for the lesser of two evils really resonated with people around me. From the moment I heard he was going to enter the race I have texted, messaged, emailed, and talked to everyone I knew about him. I personally know a few dozen people in at least four states who are voting for him. And even should his Hail Mary attempt to save us from ourselves not work, he has provided a platform for like-minded people to join together and start a new conservative movement.
This blog is not about Evan McMullin, although in the next few weeks I will be talking about him. This is a blog designed to promote a return to the American values that I have always held so dear: morality, civility, justice for all, reliance on “Divine Providence”, individual responsibility, and liberty. I desire to have my voice heard that I may never regret not standing up for the things I believe in.
I have thought much on Thomas Jefferson’s words, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever” and worry about what will happen if we choose to remain entrenched in hateful, immoral, and divisive attitudes. And yet I recognize how powerful a force inertia is and how successfully it keeps us from taking the necessary steps to change. Patrick Henry said, “Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.” I believe that. We are not weak unless we choose to be. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but indeed He has blessed us with power and love and a sound mind. We have a choice and I am choosing to stand up. Now is the time. It is up to us.