Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Just Me - Why I Am Running For President

Ever since I announced via facebook, back in January, that I intended to run for President, the most commonly asked question is  - "Why?"

The answer to that is a bit of a journey, so I ask that you please stay with me as I share it with you.

At first glance, I am a nobody. I probably couldn't fill a stadium with all of the people who have ever even heard of me. I have never been a Senator. I have never been a Secretary of State. I have never been a Governor. I have never even been President of the PTA.

My love for this country and it's history and founding and my interest in the dynamics of our government began my junior year of high school in my Government class taught by Mr. McKinney. I was mesmerized in that class. They way he taught it, the way he loved was a fever that I easily caught.

Over the years, survival and struggling to make ends meet became my primary focus. I also slipped in to that all too common mindset of "who am I?" and "I can't make a real difference." I had given up the fight because I had forgotten what to fight for. And then I was reminded.

I was reminded at a parade when no one stood for our veterans riding through. I was reminded when I saw the need to protect my children and rights as a parent and fight against common core. I was reminded as I have watched my rights be slowly taken away. I was reminded in the defeated slump of shoulders on the woman next to me in line at the grocery store as she had to ask that some items be taken off because she didn't have enough money. And I was reminded when my husband stepped forward and paid for those items.

I believe it is time to make a Declaration!

We the People are taking our Communities back.
We the People are taking our Schools back.
We the People are taking our Rights back.
We the People are taking our Families back.
We the People are taking our Country back.

I believe We the People of America have the right and the ability to choose who we want to represent us. I believe that we don't have to pick the lesser of two evils. I believe that We the People can take this country back and restore it to greatness.

We are standing at a crossroads. If we continue on the current path - the one where we are told what is best for us, where we trade our rights for security, where the freedoms intended for us by the founding fathers are lost forever......we not only lose our country and all it once stood for, but we lose our humanity and sink into a depravity from which we will never recover.

Why me? Because I am an American. Because I am a mother who wants a better tomorrow for her children. Because I am a woman who wants to see other women succeed. Because I am a wife who wants her husband to have the opportunity to achieve his dreams. Because I am a daughter who wants her parents to be free of worry in their advanced years. Because I am part of You, the People who want to see our country get back on track.

The two headed tyranny that has been running our country isn't working. We are a nation divided. We need to come back together and Unite as one People.

I won't give empty promises. I can promise that, as President, I will uphold and defend the Constitution. And I promise to represent the American people.

We the People can do this together. I am taking a stand. I hope that you will stand with me.

~Brianna Gardner, 2016 Presidential Candidate

Click here to go to my fb page and spread the word

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Food Stamp Family: How Dare You Think You Are Good Enough To Eat Like The Rest of Us

Steak and Seafood: Only for the Rich and Famous?

Yesterday on social media, I kept seeing an article come up in my news feeds. It was talking about a Missouri lawmaker wanting to have steak and seafood (among a few other items like chips) banned from food stamp users accessibility. I read the article, shook my head over the idiocy, and moved on. Well.....I tried to anyway. It was while I was reading comments on these various posts, last night, that I lost my composure and my husband asked me what was wrong.

I looked up at him and replied, "God forbid that I should ever become so calloused against humanity, especially as a Christian, as what I have witnessed on here tonight."

I kept seeing the same theme running in all of these comments.

"If you're on food stamps, you don't deserve to eat steak and seafood."

"Those on food stamps are scum of the earth. They live off the system and never work."

And, I am sad to say, most of the negative, hate filled comments that I read were coming from people who professed to be Christians.

Portrait of A Food Stamp Family

Once upon a time, several years family was once on food stamps. My husband had lost his job and it took several months for him to find a new one and it was part time. It wasn't long before we were faced with the very difficult budgeting decision of keeping the electric on and a roof over our heads or feeding our children.

Now, allow me to digress for a moment. If you were to ask my husband what my greatest, most paralyzing fear has always been, he would be quick to answer that it is of my children going hungry. You see, I went hungry when I was little. There were days without food and there were days of digging food out of dumpsters. The fear of not knowing when or if you will get to eat again is truly terrifying, especially as a child.
Once my grandparents took my sisters and me in, I hid food (just in case) and I ate a lot and quickly because inside of me was that terror that something could happen and there wouldn't be food again. That isn't something you can get over easily when you have already experienced it.

Back to my story. We had to go on food stamps in order to eat. I was not willing to put my children through what I went through. You can call it selfish - I call it parenting. And do you know what the worst part was? The kicks we got while we were down. The looks, the comments, the advice on what we should be eating (name brands were too good for people in our position).

Do you know what we had once while we were on food stamps? A clam bake. It was a highlight during a very dark time for us. You see, we couldn't go on vacation. In fact, our youngest has never been on vacation. The last time we took a vacation our teenage son was a year and a half. We were actually planning a vacation this year, until something recently came up and we needed to use that money we had put back. (Maybe next year!) Anyway, because of the food stamps, I was able to buy the food for a clam bake that summer. It was a meal that reminded us that we were not less than worthy. It was a meal without shame and humiliation and fear. And all these years later, our children still talk about that first clam bake. It's why we do a shrimp boil every year. It's a reminder of that moment for us, that pivotal moment when we saw our worth through God's eyes instead of people.

So, I have to ask, "Where is our compassion?"

I know I saw compassion when Jesus fed fish to the five thousand. He didn't keep some back from the people who weren't working or poor or barely making ends meet. He fed them all the same. And out of that compassion, came abundance.

How dare we try and dictate what another human being is worthy of eating.

We must find our compassion. Love and kindness are our most powerful weapons against darkness, but it does us no good if we don't use them.