Our founding fathers set forth a vision for our country. Flawed as they may have been, their intentions were clear: to set forth a new path, free of tyranny. A government of the people, for the people and by the people. The Constitution set forth only 3 rules for running for president: must be 35 years old, a natural born citizen and a resident for 14 years or more. They did not say the president must be a politician, must be of a political party, must have a huge bank account. In fact, our founding fathers wrote our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with the intention of freeing themselves and our country from corruption and greed. They were in the same situation we find ourselves in today.

And it is this situation that we find ourselves in, being governed by corruption and greed; money making decisions that continue to weaken our basic human rights. It is this situation that awakens the better angels within us; these times awaken patriots like myself to stand and speak for justice and liberty for all. Those like myself, like the hundreds of first-time candidates who ran in 2018, like our forefathers and mothers who stood up when our nation beckoned, without political experience, paving a way for humanity to govern in this land. And yet, today we find ourselves voting for a president based on their bank account and their connections to other bank accounts. We haven’t had a president who has lived the life of Americans in over 100 years. We’ve been sold a lie that financially successful people are the best leaders.

For as long as I can remember we have determined success by one’s bank account. Those with the most money in this country have been deemed the most successful. In fact, our current president gained his following because of his perceived financial success. People think, ‘oh he’s made money, he will know how to fix our country’.

Money makes the world go round, right?? Certainly we are taught to believe this from a very young age. I grew up on a farm and as all farmers will tell you, there is no money in farming. Because of this, and my parents’ ethic, I was taught to be a steward of money early on. When I was 8, I joined 4-H, a program to teach kids skills, rewarding them for a job well done. At the end of the summer, we would all show up at the county fair with our projects and get graded and ranked. If we did better than others, we got money (and a ribbon, but who cares about the ribbon). The first year, my parents helped me sign up for a few projects. I showed my goats, I did a sewing project, and that was about it. At the fair, I raked in the money. I was ready to roll in my profits…until my mom burst my bubble and told me I had to buy all of my school clothes and supplies with the money I earned. I believe I had around $150 that first year. And as I started shopping for my 3rd grade school supplies I found out how quickly the money goes. By the time I had picked out a backpack and new lunch box along with all the supplies on my list, I was barely able to buy clothes.

I’m not sure how I made it work, and my parents probably paid for a little of my clothing. But I’ll tell you what I did learn, I BETTER WORK! The following year, I signed up for sewing, cake decorating, goats, dog obedience, floral arrangement, flower production, I think I even tried to draw a picture to make money. At the end of the following summer, I made it rain!!!!! I had enough money to get all of my school supplies, new clothes and shoes, and even saved money away for Christmas gifts.

I have always enjoyed making money, and enjoy the budgeting of money. Any time there was a fundraiser at school, I was on my grind, walking the streets of our small town, hitting up relatives, and finding creative ways to make a dime. My grandma likes to tell the story of my store/museum I set up in her house. I created all of these attractions in the family room and then charged admission for the adults to come see all of it. The highlight was smelling pink toilet paper. I can’t make this stuff up.

Fast forward to my time in the military. Not only have I always been conscious of money and habits around money, but I’ve always taken care of my family when I could. The military doesn’t pay well and I was buying clothes and game systems for my little brother and washer/dryer for my grandparents. I needed a side hustle so I started selling Mary Kay. At 20, I saw the struggles of people trying to pay bills and have a little something for themselves. Throughout the years, I have had side hustles like Mary Kay to build a little cash and every time I ended up giving the product away. I realized that my working class friends couldn’t afford the dream I was selling them and I have always just wanted to help people. Fast forward to 2019 and I see the struggle so clearly and I’m tired of selling. In fact, I would argue that selling is going to kill our economy. It’s time that we give back. I’m not saying give people a hand out, I’m saying we need to look at the set up and face it head on…with a machete in hand. Slash through the ignorance and create equitable solutions for Americans.

A recent Pew Research Center report, based on data from the Census Bureau, found that in 2016 Americans in the top tenth of the income distribution earned 8.7 times as much as Americans in the bottom tenth ($109,578 versus $12,523). This is an average. According to a report on CEO pay from the Economic Policy Institute, chief executives at 350 companies made $15.6 million on average in 2016—271 times what the typical worker earns. Are you understanding it yet? Those doing the most work in our country are making a fraction of what executives are making. If we want to sustain our country and our people, we have to address the inequities across this country.

After I began to see my working class and poverty-stricken friends struggle to pay bills after working 50 hours in a week, my heart opened and my mind started turning. I remembered my dad tell me about how he was able to pay for college by working a job during the summer and helping his dad farming back in 1977. That is not possible today, and actually, money is the greatest barrier to higher education.

As I told you, I am led by a higher calling, to serve people and to speak Truth. When I saw the writing on the wall about our economic situation, I also saw the way out. WE MUST ADDRESS WAGE INEQUALITY IN OUR NATION. We must address the systems that are keeping us from progressing as individuals and families.

There has always been this carrot dangling in front of us, driving us to do better: a hope of reaching the American Dream. Well, if you haven’t figured out by now, I’m here to tell you that the carrot will continue to move further and further out in front of you and you will never get that carrot. It’s a set up. It is no coincidence that the wealthy are creating our laws and the poor keep getting poorer.

And, back to me…a working class woman running for president. I’m doing it for us. I’m tired of trying to sell peace and happiness to my friends when the systems are broken and need fixed. This working class chick has found the gaps, sees the bullshit and is taking a stand for all of us. We must realize that no one with money will stand and speak for us. In 2015, Pew Research concluded that 8 out of 10 Americans were in debt. We are all in the same boat, and regardless of whether you like the others in the boat, we have a clear opportunity to create a better future for ourselves and our children by coming together and fighting greed rather than each other. Our education system needs attention, our health care system needs attention, our natural resources including the air we breathe and the water we drink need addressed, the criminal justice system that is profiting off of the poor and people of color needs addressed, and frankly our government leaders need to be held accountable. Until we the people hold them accountable, they will keep up the shit show, shitting on us. Government leaders should not be in a position of power without accountability to the people. PERIOD.

So, yes, I’m running for president in 2020. I will not be silenced by those with power saying I cannot do it. I will not be distracted by the dangling carrot. I am focused because I see that there are few ways out of our mess. One of them is for a working class woman to run for president and win in 2020. I have always created my own reality by doing the hard work and sticking to the vision. This vision is achievable if others see it as well and stand with me. Only together can we rise above the greed and step into an era that values life, values humanity and seeks prosperity for Americans. You really do have a choice. I chose my path, will you choose yours?