tLP: In our brief discussions you have talked about yourself being a recent college graduate. You graduated with a degree in Art, but you state that you have a passion for writing, specifically opinion writing. What subjects would you like to write about and why?
LB: I like to write about all my passions (art, style, music, politics), and writing has always been a release for me. I am much better at expressing myself in writing than verbally. Political writing hadn't been on my radar until just this year, when I finally decided to cut my losses and "come out" as a conservative. The things that are happening in this country are too important to sit on the sidelines and ignore while watching reality TV. I know that I will probably make far more enemies by speaking my mind, but the most important things in life are rarely easy. I like the quote," One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up," by Arthur Koestler. I prefer to write ruthlessly.
tLP: Some writers believe that they convey a little bit of their personality into every article. What would your articles say about your personality?
LB: I feel like I'm a pretty level headed lass. I like to see both sides of an issue, but I never let this compromise my values. I think in a lot of political blogs people get really mean-spirited about their opponents or those who don't see the same way. I hate it when liberals statists call conservative federalists names like; racist, bigot, homophobe, etc. - so I try to avoid the same kind of rude (and really pointless) tactics in my writings. At the same time, I'm pretty sarcastic and occasionally snarky. I try to only let those parts of my writings show when I think it is appropriate and will work in an article.
tLP: You have a blog called the Liberty Belle, how would you describe your blog to our readers?
LB: Well, Liberty Belle is my take on America as we know it in this age of turmoil. I think a lot of conservative blogs are from older people, middle aged folks - which is perfectly fine. But I like people to know that I'm a young twenty something conservative. That we DO exist, contrary to popular belief. My blog isn't one which has five posts per day commenting on all political happenings of the day. I write about issues which ignite me, which I am passionate about, and about which I have something to say.
tLP: There seems to be a surge in personal blogs that center around political thought, how would you differentiate your blog from other blogs?
LB: When I write I like to make sure my writing isn't just generic political vomit. I know there are thousands of political blogs out there, and thousands of conservatives all talking about the most recent political outrage, so I like to bring my unique point of view, my unique experiences and share those. Especially since I'm young, I think it's more interesting for the older readers to see conservatism from a young point of view. I'm also an Alaskan, so the Sarah Palin controversy is very close to home. It's one of the issues that first sparked me to come out as a conservative. Let me tell you, Palin-bashing was my liberal college friend's favorite activity last year.
tLP: That is an excellent point, and one that is very pervasive within the academic milieu. How would you describe your school environment as it pertains to political thought?
LB: Oh, you know, like all colleges. Leftist. Ironically I went to a Christian university. The liberal kids would hiss and moan about how the Christians were so intolerant and stupid. For a college, I'm sure it was a relatively safe place for a conservative and I'm so glad I didn't have to go to a liberal-indoctrination type school. I was an Art major and Art majors are pretty typically liberal. All my best friends were raving liberals. I loved them, but at times it did get frustrating to sit through tirades about Sarah Palin and such. The school itself was not into liberal indoctrination, though. I found it to be a great place where differing viewpoints actually got to be debated. It was safe to be conservative because you had a place at the table to debate in class, instead of being shouted down or branded a conservative moron by faculty.
tLP: What type of people have you met while blogging online?
LB: I think the most amusing thing about political blogging is the anonymous commenters who have left mean comments on my blog. Sometimes I just can't believe they are serious!
tLP: That seems to be quite common, and I would be disingenuous if I didn't say both sides of the issue engage in this activity. Do you have any long term goals for your blog? What would you consider to be your best piece to date?
LB: I would like to acquire more readers. For now, I don't have the time to devote to marketing, reading, writing, etc., which would expand my readership. It's mainly just a place for me to record my thoughts and arguments for or against what is happening in the country. I am going to grad school for journalism, so I do have goals for writing in general. I have had some of my writing published in newspapers, but blogging is more time consuming than a lot of people think!
I don't know if it's my best piece, but one of the most meaningful pieces that I've written is about my brother in reference to Obama's health care "reform." The Slippery Slope of Obamacare. My brother has spent more time in hospitals in his 20 years than most people will in their entire lives.
tLP: How would you describe your political persuasion?
LB: I describe myself, first and foremost, as Federalist. I like to be precise in my terms and aware of their connotations. "Conservative" often carries a negative, intolerant connotation (though I still somewhat consider myself one). In the same way "Christian" seems to carry a similar connotation (you know, those 'crazy right wing conservative Christians') . But Federalist is my main view. States rights are very important and were fundamental to the Constitution's success. The reason I don't like to say I'm conservative as much as a federalist is that the term itself can be misleading - similar to the referent; "liberal." Conservative seems to mean, "I want things to stay the way they are, I want to conserve what is." And in the case of civil rights and suffrage for women, this is not true. I'm also not anti-gay, although I do believe the term "marriage" specifically means a union between a man and a woman. So the word conservative just gets muddy in its meaning. I guess you could call me a Quasi-conservative Federalist? Something like that.
tLP: There are individuals who prefer limited government, and those who prefer a paternalistic state; as a Federalist how would you describe your position and why?
LB: I want government to get out of my way and let me live my life. That's basically it. I don't want them to tell me I don't owe as much taxes as rich people because rich people are too rich. And if I become what someone deems as rich, I don't want them to tell me I can't keep the money I've made because it's not fair. I don't want them to tell me I can't have the health care I want. I don't want them to tell me my kids can't pray in a public school. I don't want them to tell my children they should accept gay marriage, or that white people are evil because 100 years ago black people didn't have civil rights. I think Federalism protects a lot of these kinds of rights. When the states themselves are allowed to decide on things like gay marriage, health care or education, there is a lot more variety and democracy. Don't like California's law? Move to Utah. When the federal government extends its overarching hand over all U.S. citizens it really infringes on their individual liberties. I think the federal government removing individual rights has really created the culture of government dependence. It's caused so many people to lose the ability to think critically and decide what's best for themselves.
tLP: A most excellent response. Do you think the two party system is a failure, or is the system just broken?
LB: I don't think the Founders intended for the system to be limited to two parties, but it inevitably must be so. It's naive to think that everyone's beliefs fit into two distinct parties, but we must rally behind that party which most represents our beliefs. The third party always results in a loss for both the third party and the party most closely related to it. I hesitate to say the system is broken. I think people lost a lot of faith in Republicans and were all hyped up on hope and change and decided to flood the legislature with Democrats. I think people now see the threat to democracy which occurs when a single party is in control in Washington.
tLP: How would you describe the current state of our Republic? Will it ever be the same after the Obama administration?
LB: I hope it will be the same old America after the Obama administration, but I'm not naive to think that if his policies get enacted that it will be. We are at a cusp, I think. The left has been working on implementing its utopian ideas for decades, and conservatives ceded too much ground thinking the ramifications of such utopian policies weren't as dire as they in fact are. Of course health care for all is a wonderful idea. Of course a healthy planet is a great thing. Of course getting people out of poverty is noble. The beauty of the government the Founders created is that it is one that most understands human nature. Humans do not function under totalitarian or utopian governments. Humans ultimately yearn for liberty, and the sacrifice of liberty for utopianism is always a mistake.
tLP: Who is your favorite political leader and why?
LB: Of all time, I would have to say George Washington. Having learned about the man and his hand in our nation's birth, I am very awed to live in a country with such incredible Founders. I would be thrilled to meet any of the Founders, but it is certainly a special place to have occupied the first presidency of this great nation.
Of more recent times, I am of course a fan of Ronald Reagan. I think right now Sarah Palin is my favorite political leader. She understands corruption that occurs in government and is unafraid to remove it at the root. She says what she believes, doesn't coat it in syrupy rhetoric, and loves this country (which is more than I think I can say about some political leaders...). I am glad that she doesn't do things the conventional way. The conventional way is straight corruption.
tLP: More people are becoming active in the political arena and claiming their right to be heard. Depending upon how the next 6 to 12 months go, do you think they will continue to stay involved (as desired by our Founding Fathers), or do you think they will return to an apathetic state?
LB: People, especially Americans, are always prone to an apathetic state. It's far more comfortable and easy than activism, which is why so many young people are the picketing protesters out in the street. Young people have the energy and idealism to go out and fight like that. It is very exciting to see middle aged people getting out and fighting for the cause of conservatism. I think people realize that they will always be on guard with this administration, and it's not just going to end with the health care bill, or the cap and trade bill, or the stimulus bill. I sincerely hope people don't lose interest. It is very important for citizens to be involved.
tLP: What, if any, civil liberties are we in danger of losing? If your position is as such, why do you think they are being assaulted?
LB: I think I am most concerned with education and journalism. I have been concerned about education for a long time. As far as civil liberties go, I think that public education is trying to take the place of parents, in order to teach children what school teachers think they should believe. When people think of civil liberties being taken away, I don't think they immediately go to schools and newspapers because both seem relatively innocuous, but I think they have enormous power to affect our future. While we are retaining most of our civil liberties right now, the future is very uncertain.
tLP: Another fantastic answer, is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
LB: Anything else I'd like to discuss, or that your readers should know is all on my blog. I will my own words speak for themselves.
The Liberty Pen hopes you enjoyed this installment of Blog Interviews with the Liberty Belle. If I may borrow the author stated by the interviewee, Arthur Koestler;
"Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears."
I find the mind of the Liberty Belle to be a rumination in labored thought, ungoverned by the chains of conformity or the vacuous soullessness of forsworn principles. Sadly, at her age she is among the few who have recognized that independent thought is the precursor to an epiphanic reality. Truly, nothing can be more precious than a mind unpolluted by indoctrination and idealistic pedagogy.
"Omnia mea mecum porto." All that is mine, I carry with me. (My wisdom is my greatest wealth.) Cicero
To conclude I would like to direct you to the Liberty Belle's published piece in the Anchorage Daily News. It is a fantastic piece and it is the same one she eluded to earlier in the article. I wish to extend my sincerest congratulations on a well written article.