I live in the very small and very strange world of social media. Well, it’s giant in the sense that everyone and their dog is on Facebook and Twitter, Google is commonly used as a verb, and YouTube gets over two billion video views a day. But factor in the fact that I use social media professionally for politics, and that pool shrinks down to a shallow puddle.
That’s right. I talk about politics on the internet for a living. I’m by no means the 1% in terms of income, but I make enough money to pay the kids’ tuition, buy an occasional pair of cute shoes, and enough boxed wine from BevMo to keep me happy. What else does a girl need?
I am the 1% of bloggers that get paid to do this. Take that for what you will, but I am incredibly thrilled to be able to have a job that I love instead of one that I tolerate in order to keep up with our lifestyle choices. We’ve chosen to make a life in Southern California, send our daughters to private school, to tithe to our church, drive an SUV, and occasionally go on a date to a fancy restaurant.
It’s a choice, it takes two incomes, and I am thrilled with my life.
This past weekend I was in San Francisco, having been invited to speak to the California Republican Party about the virtues of embracing social media like blogs, Facebook, and especially Twitter. I’ve spoken to many grassroots groups in the past about this topic, and I was looking forward to sharing my perspective in a seminar targeted to CA GOP County Chairs.
While at the convention, I happened to overhear a comment questioning the appropriateness of my presence on a panel at a GOP event. *
Wait … what? How is it inappropriate for me to speak to GOP leaders about how to use social media to connect with the voters? I’m usually speaking to the grassroots voters, and they are hungry for their leadership to have an online presence. How could I not be the perfect person to talk to the leadership about utilizing awesome tools to get voters connected to and invested in races to get out the vote?
This is what I do. I *get* social media. As evidenced by the fact that people pay me for my expertise on the matter. Do I know everything about everything? No. Do I even know everything about internet antics? No. But I have worked long and hard, and mostly through trial and error, have figured out a lot about what works online and what doesn’t.
It is a joy and a pleasure to share my thoughts about what I have learned with the public. My goal, with everything I do in my professional, political life, is to advance conservatism, so that everyone may have the opportunity to dream big and touch the stars. When an opportunity to speak to GOP leadership about effectively using social media to get the vote out came up, I jumped at it. Votes are what win elections, and conservative voters vote for conservative candidates, who then create laws that don’t undermine the free market, and block the passage of those that do.
I am obviously not an inappropriate choice to speak to the California GOP leadership.
Sure, anyone that’s followed me online for even just a little bit knows that I have a tendency toward ridiculousness. I’m an odd duck in many regards. I hate calling people. I sneak into the Lincoln Memorial at 1am. I write posts about legs. I dye my hair red on a whim. Heck, I even write posts comparing my bikini-clad body to the national deficit.
I share these stories with you because they amuse me, and I hope they make you laugh a little. I also share my tales of struggle with parenting and marriage and hormones, because being a mom and a wife and a chick shapes who I am. I’m not into the whole ‘present an image to world of someone who’s not really me’ thing. What’s the point of that anyway? No one is perfect, so why pretend?
Above all, I want to share my life as an encouragement to others. I want people to know that politics is not a scary, unapproachable subject, and even someone as ridiculous as I am can get a firm grasp of what is going on in our country.
Take it or leave it, love me or hate me, but please don’t insult my job skills. I may be ridiculous at times, but attempting to undermine my knowledge in the field I have chosen as my profession just makes you look bad.
*This is why I would never ever wish for telepathic abilities. I’m perfectly content to live in ignorant bliss of how some people may feel about me.