Progressive Liberal Democrat – Mississippi 4th District

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The End of This Race and Looking Forward

Trish Causey - Liberal Democrat, Mississippi 4th District, running for U.S. House of Representatives 2014In February 2014, I entered this race because the idea of Steven Palazzo running unopposed made me nauseous.  As an activist, I knew little of the inside political arena.  I couldn’t get much help because there was a possibility of other candidates putting in and those with the Party didn’t want to show favoritism.  I understood that.  So I did the best I could with what I had and what I felt was right.  I was just going to be me.  And I knew this was uphill.  My daughter even asked if I were going to vote for myself, and I said, “Of course.  It might be the only vote I get.”

I wanted to run because the idea of the same (or yet another) GOP puppet having control over legislation that affects my body and my bedroom just pissed me off.  I wanted to run for office because I wanted to see if there were other progressives like me, stranded on dwindling life-rafts in this deep, scary Red GOP Sea.  I have always loved my home state of Mississippi, but I have never fit in.  I’ve wanted to be on Broadway since I was 11, and I’ve wanted to “Be the Change” since I was 13.  These two divergent paths have always been at the core of what I wanted to do with my life.  So my life didn’t follow the usual “script” that so many other people followed.  Yet, every chance I had to leave Mississippi, I didn’t; I stayed.  Except for three months I lived in Memphis, and it was just like Mississippi.

My love of Broadway musicals led me to create Musical Theatre Magazine.  My activism led me to create ArousedWoman, a site, blog, radio show, and an upcoming project all of which focus on women’s issues and women’s rights.  “Arouse” means “to stir to action, to awaken”, and I felt it was perfect for my activism for women’s rights.  ArousedWoman(TM) was borne out of the horrible misogyny of the 2012 campaigns that gave rise to Romney, and “legitimate rape”, and “binders full of women”, et al.  With Palazzo’s horrible voting record, I had to do something, so in 2013, I began throwing around the idea of running for Congress.  Years ago, I used to make the joke, “When I’m Governor of Mississippi…” and explain some egregiously progressive, liberal change I would enact to benefit the People and support social justice.  In September 2013, ” When I run for Congress…” was becoming a reality, and one that I liked very much.

I had to raise the money for the $200 candidate fee because I am a poor single mom, the epitome of the “struggling artist”.  In 2011, I worked as a writer for two companies in New York, but I lost one job to the economy later that year and lost the other to reorganization in July 2013.  Since then, I have worked hard to build my theatre magazine from scratch.  I live below the poverty line.  For the most part, it’s okay.  My daughter and I live very simply — no car, no TV.  The only time it is hard is when my daughter needs extra money for a field trip at school — that kind of thing has to be budgeted in.  Or when my daughter wants to do something after school but can’t unless she can find a ride because I can’t pick her up.

When I say, I understand what Mississippians are going through, I actually mean it.

After I put in for my candidacy, an email was sent out to local Dems, looking for a “well-funded, viable candidate”.  This incensed me at the time, but as I introduced myself to more and more people, the first two words out of their mouths were always, “What’s your platform, and how much money do you have?”  I soon learned that the entire conceivability to win was based on money.  Raising money is not something I wanted to do.  I raised a little and felt guilty doing it.

Every day, I wanted to quit because the more I learned about politics — even on this level — was disturbing and disappointing.  Frankly, it seemed pointless because there are political machinations in play that cannot be undone single-handedly.  But then someone would reach out to me on Facebook or Twitter and say how glad they were to see me running.  And so every day, I had renewed energy for the idea of the process, while I rather loathed the process itself.

Because I am not financially invested in politics or the projects that politicians bend rules to protect or instigate, I felt a freedom to be me.  I said what I felt and how I felt it.  I am an activist and an artist, after all.  I’m accustomed to my First Amendment privileges.  Some people were taken aback by that.  Someone in politics saying what they actually feel?  Quelle surprise!

Things were going swimmingly as I ran my campaign by myself, until politics itself reared its ugly head.  My opponent, the current candidate for the general election, made strange, passive aggressive comments about me on his Facebook page, but I had only met him a few days prior.  As one Facebook viewer commented, he seemed to be taking cues from Palazzo.  So it was very disheartening to see this sort of political play within the Democratic campaign.  Silly me.  I thought the dirty stuff wouldn’t happen until one of us went up against the GOP candidate.  He deleted the comments, but I took screen shots, so I have it on record.

Fast forward to the past few days in which people all over the Democrat and left leaners’ Facebook pages were debating whether to vote Democrat or cross over to sink Palazzo by voting for Taylor in the Republican primary.  It has been a whirlwind of hypotheses on which would result in a better outcome…. because apparently Democrats voting for Democrats is deemed unnecessary by some.

There were many angry words within the Democrats the past week or so, and this likewise was sad to see.  Every single rights’ group I have ever worked with has fallen apart due to in-fighting: name-calling, labeling, inability to understand another’s perspective.  Why do you think the right-wing is so successful?  They are united in their narrow focus of protecting their power and their wealth for their little bubble.  Activism caves in to in-fighting for the very quality that makes activists so strong — our diversity!  Of course, we will disagree!  We have so many diverse backgrounds and experiences that we have many choice personal stories to engage and learn from.  THAT is the ONLY way we will ultimately defeat the united front that is the GOP.

Even with the Tea Party faction finally losing its stranglehold on the “stupid party”, the GOP is still rich and powerful.  Instead of using our differences against each other, we should use our different but equal experiences as bricks in a foundation on which to build up our activist groups.   THAT is how we create change that will rise up through society to our government.  Government does not exist to be proactive for the People.  The politicians are representatives; they take their cues from We, the People.  And when We, the People don’t give a rat’s ass to vote or are too busy arguing amongst ourselves within our little groups, the united stupid party wins and the People lose.

Which brings us to tonight’s results for the 2014 midterms’ primary election for Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District.  Democrats reportedly crossed over to vote for Taylor, while Republicans crossed over to vote for my opponent.  I will consider this to be a sign the Republicans were scared that someone like me could whip Palazzo’s ass in the general.

When the final tally came in, I had 44.6% of the vote.  I wish I had had enough votes to go to the general, but that is not to be.

Trish-Causey-2014-Run-for-Congress-Final-Results

I have to remember that for most of these voters, I came out of nowhere just 4 months ago.  I’ve been told that my running in this election has changed the political landscape of Mississippi.  I’ve been told that my running has encouraged other progressives and liberals in my district to be more outspoken, now that they know they are not alone in this Red Sea.

I have to remember that I am unlike ANY candidate who has ever run for Congressional office in Mississippi.  I was up front about my ArousedWoman activism, and my bisexuality, and my non-Christian, pagan beliefs.  AND I AM A WOMAN.  And I got a whopping 44.6% of the votes.  Just today, I got calls from people in Taylor’s home turf, Hancock County, to tell me how glad they were to be able to vote for me.

At 44.6% (4,848 votes), I guess I did okay for a loudmouth, non-Christian, bisexual, pagan female candidate in Mississippi.  Is this Red Sea looking a little purple, now?

I’ve already been asked if I will run for State office next year.  If I recall, the people in my area really like their State legislators.  But here is what you need to know….

I learned a lot from this process.  I already knew that every major change in our society began with a grassroots movement within the People.  Change trickles UP, not downward.  And now I know why.  The People must be awakened in order for government to awaken to the needs of the People (remember, “to stir to action, to awaken”?).  As long as half the People are asleep in their bubble, the rest of us will suffer for their narrow-minded bigotries, while they decry our refusal to settle for oppression at the hands of crony capitalism, religion-infused politics, and good-ol’-boy games.

If I run for another office, I will be even MORE loud and proud about my activism for women.  I will be even MORE persistent with fighting for equality and non-discrimination.  And I will be even MORE up-in-your-face about saving Mississippi from the tentacles of the rabid GOP monstrosity that seeks to pull us under every time we catch a gasp of air in this Red Sea.

I will NEVER back down from the GOP’s misogyny, racism, homophobia, and selfish egotism.  EVER.

If you want to support my activism, make a tax-deductible donation to my radio show.

But don’t ask me to run unless you’re really ready for my brand of full-throttle activism.

Until then, I love you all.  Thank you so much for your love and support.

Namaste.

trish

Ordinary People Can Do Amazing Things

Trish Causey - Liberal Democrat, Mississippi 4th District, running for U.S. House of Representatives 2014One of the things I’ve learned in this process is that many people look at candidates and elected officials to be perfect or flawless.  Why are ordinary mortals put on such pedestals?  It certainly doesn’t help when the candidates themselves try to pretend to be perfect.

I openly admit I’m human.  I am an ordinary person just like you.  I have always traveled the path not taken to learn as much as I can.  This philosophy has been one of the guiding principals in my eclectic life and my writing — I just wanted to experience as much of life as I could.  From a spiritual perspective, that is the main reason we incarnate into these carbon-based bodies: to live, to learn, to love, to make mistakes, to grow, and to move forward, sharing our learned wisdom and helping others as we go along.

So much of politics is about being “in the club”, which is why so many of us feel left out of the process.  I think that is also why so many elected officials seem like dead-inside-robots, as if they are all manufactured in a factory for their party’s bubble or their campaign donors.  They are zombies to the political machine that finances their campaign for political favors later.

The founding fathers established a process whereby the average person could step up and take a position of leadership to represent the People.  So, I’m here, stepping up, ready to make herstory for Mississippi and help Mississippi ease into the 21st century — so the rest of the country can see Mississippi for all she has to offer.  And I hope you will step up at the primary this Tuesday.

Ordinary people can do amazing things.  Change has always happened from within the People and moved upward to the legislative and executive branches of our government.  And YOU can turn Mississippi BLUE.  In fact, the only way Mississippi will finally lose the GOP stranglehold is when the People actually get to the polls and vote Democrat.

I hope you will vote for me on Tuesday, June 3rd.

trish

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Jobs Now and for the Future Economy of South Mississippi

Chiquita BananasWith Chiquita moving its bananas’ shipping plant from Gulfport, MS, to New Orleans, LA, we have to bring in more jobs to help our residents.  We will need to work together to replace these jobs and create more jobs to help the currently unemployed.

We can create jobs by bringing in solar power companies to help MS-04 switch to renewable, green energy practices.  As a culture, we must get off coal.

We can create urban gardens that grow organic produce.  This not only provides jobs but also food for local residents.  Mississippi’s health statistics are some of the worst in the nation.  Buying local, seasonally-grown foods will eliminate the reliance on Big Agri-Biz’s GMO-frankenfoods.

We can also legalize marijuana and provide jobs by creating cannabis crops.  With South Mississippi’s long growing season, hemp plants will provide the raw materials for many products we can manufacture as well as medicinal hemp oil to fight illnesses including cancer.

These are just a few ideas that complement the traditional packing, construction, and machinist types of jobs to which our residents are accustomed.  These non-traditional industries offer opportunities around the 4th District, rather than the emphasis being on Gulfport or another city on the Coast.  The whole District needs help with job creation and boosting the local economies.

If you’re a resident of Mississippi’s 4th District, please leave a comment below on how the economy has impacted you and what kinds of industry would be good for South Mississippi.

We have to think ahead to move forward.  We should embrace the industries and technologies of the 21st century to create a sustainable future for Mississippi’s 4th District.

trish

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Trish Causey’s Interview on Liberal Fix Radio to Discuss Progressive Liberal Democrat Issues

Liberal Fix Radio Trish Causey Interview on Progressive Liberal Democrat IssuesLast night, I did an interview on the internet radio show, Liberal Fix.  All progressive, all liberal, all the time!

Keith and Naomi were great to talk to. They asked me about Mississippi and what we’re like politically, socially, economically, as well as what it’s like for me to be an open progressive liberal in such a Red State.  We talked about various issues, including women’s issues, LGBT, religion, and more.

I can’t wait to be back on and continue to get the word out that progressive liberals are here and ready to kick the GOP out of office around the country.

Check out my interview: Liberal Fix w/ Trish Causey (D) candidate for C0ngress in (MS-04), and leave a comment below to let me know what you think.

trish

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Mississippi Should Take the Lead from Arkansas on Gay Marriage Rights

Gay-Marriage-EqualityCongratulations to Arkansas and to all the LGBT couples who have won an important hurdle in equal rights in regard to marriage equality!

Today, Judge Chris Piazza stuck down the state’s 2004 ban on gay marriage.  According to Piazza’s ruling, he said:

“This is an unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality.  The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent,”

and …

“Although marriage is not expressly identified as a fundamental right in the Constitution, the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized it as such.”

Citing the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case, Loving vs. Virginia, Piazza addressed LGBT discrimination directly:

“It has been over 40 years since Mildred Loving was given the right to marry the person of her choice.  The hatred and fears have long since vanished, and she and her husband lived full lives together; so it will be for the same-sex couples.  It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters.  We will be stronger for it.”

These are powerful words backed up by important action on Judge Piazza’s part.  Unfortunately, the state’s Attorney General Dustin McDaniel will appeal Piazza’s decision, even though McDaniel himself is a Democrat who supports gay marriage.  But for now, gay marriage is legal in Arkansas!

So, Mississippi … Let’s get on task here and support our LGBT residents who have a basic human right and a Constitutionally-based guaranteed right to marry.  Please don’t let Mississippi be last in granting LGBT marriage equality!

trish

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My Apology

As an activist and an artist, I have always pushed the boundaries.  That is what we do.  My comment about the Republicans using Benghazi for political gain was directed AT the Republicans.  I did not intend to dishonor the four who died.  I intended to make a satirical observation about how the Republicans have used the tragedy to go after Hillary Clinton and President Obama.

Even though I am a pacifist, I respect any person who chooses to go into the military because that is their choice.  After Hurricane Katrina, I saw firsthand how our military has a very important humanitarian side.  And I certainly know how important the military is to my district.

One of the reasons I spoke out on the issue of the Republicans and their treatment of Benghazi is because it seems so hypocritical.  We need to do more for our veterans, as I’ve said in interviews and on my blog.  Why are our soldiers on food stamps, or struggling with PTSD, or committing suicide?  Why are so many of our veterans struggling to find work in the public sector or are homeless?  What did the GOP’s government shutdown do to our federal employees and their families?

I find the GOP’s hypocrisy appalling, which is why I spoke out the way I did, and I will continue to speak out against the GOP.  But I never thought people would think I was insulting the men who died.  They definitely do not deserve ridicule.  And for that, I am truly sorry to anyone who thought my words were aimed at them.  They were not.

trish

Replay of my interview on 104.9 FM this morning, 04-10-2014

Trish Causey - Liberal Democrat, Mississippi 4th District, running for U.S. House of Representatives 2014Hey, everybody!

I didn’t realize 104.9 FM was a conservative station until just before the interview when there was some message from Sean Hannity.  So I’m surprised and thrilled they let a progressive liberal hippie such as myself on the air.

Though an interview at 7 a.m. is a rarity for this theatre person, I thought it went okay.  I touched on the topics of women’s rights, pro-choice, LGBT rights, marriage equality, right for LGBT to adopt, immigration reform, veterans, healthcare/obesity in Mississippi, and a couple others.  This interview was only about 10 minutes, so it’s hard to get ALL the topics covered in that amount of time.

Here’s the replay of my interview this morning on 104.9 FM on the right sidebar: http://trish4congress.com.

Leave a comment below!

trish

 

I am running for Congress, not Miss Congeniality.

comment-sound-bites-anonI received this message on my Facebook page last night:

Hi Trish, Your sound bites are catchy and are point on. I’d like to edit your blogs, though, to soften up the rough edges and present your ideas respectfully. I like what Delores Huerta says in defining Peace. “Peace is respecting other’s civil rights.” Please contact me.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Did it ever occur to you that I write what I write in the way I write it for a reason?

I’m a professional freelance writer.  I know all the whiz-bang fancy techniques for writing.  I can even spout off some $5 words to impress you with my communication lexicon.  However, I write exactly what I want in the exact manner I want to express it for an exact purpose — waking up the people in Mississippi.  I have a basic right to be angry and a First Amendment right to express my anger.  I will not have my activism “edited” because it doesn’t meet your approval.  (P.S. “sound byte” is spelled with “y”.)

Being born and raised in Mississippi, I was brought up in the fine arts and private schools.  I was trained on all the fine points of being ladylike and demure, exhibiting the epitome of etiquette and decorum.  As an activist, I choose not to use them.

I am running for Congress, not Miss Congeniality.  I don’t exist to make anyone feel warm and fuzzy inside.  What I want more than anything is for people to get angry, to wake up from the apathy, to stop guzzling the Kool-Aid that GOP leaders have been shoving down Mississippians’ throats for decades.  I want people to get angry and funnel that anger into action.  Action.  Activism.  Awakening.  But don’t pollute the air with complaining.  Get up off the couch and march to the voting booth to create change.

From day one of my campaign, I have said I am not a politician.  I am an ActivistArtist.  From day one of my campaign, people have told me how to talk, how to be, how to dress, even how to style my hair in order to get elected.  Interestingly, these admonitions come from older white men and a few white women.  Some of these older men talk to me like I’m a three-year-old simply because I’m female.  I doubt they would talk to me in their condescending manner if I were a man.  And when confronted with a strong, opinionated woman, confident in herself and her abilities, they tend to storm off in a temper tantrum because I stood up to them.

If you prefer candidates who will do or say whatever they need to in order to get elected, then vote for one of the other candidates.  I don’t want your vote if all you want is yet another puppet in office.  Vote for one of the millionaire Republican candidates — you have your choice between a misogynist corporatist and a political party flip-flopper.

What some of you have failed to see is that I’m not running for the position of Diplomat.  I feel no need to play nicely with the opposite party who spends our tax dollars to violate our rights and waste our money on a daily basis.  Mississippi needs someone who is not afraid to go balls to the wall for our basic rights — those rights which are implied because we are human beings and those where are expressly guaranteed to be protected by our Constitution because we are Americans.

I’m here to be the People’s Representative, not the congenial puppet.

trish

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Mississippi’s GOP allows “Religious Freedom” for Hate and Intolerance

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant Signing Religious Hate Anti-LGBT Bill into LawDear Self-Righteous Fake Christians:  Go spew your hate-filled, intolerant drivel elsewhere.

Last week, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed into law SB2681, the so-called “religious freedom” bill, which is in fact a license to hate and discriminate.

While many activists have rightly spoken out on the motivations of this bill’s initiators — to allow even further discrimination of LGBT, this bill isn’t just for keeping LGBT Mississippians (and tourists) out of restaurants and businesses.  I think Mississippi’s GOP politicians are knowingly laying the groundwork for further human rights violations, such as a complete ban on abortion and further delaying gay marriage, based on the religious beliefs of some people.

This bill also slapped the phrase “In God We Trust” onto Mississippi’s state seal, yet another violation of the First Amendment — but the GOP has never been one to heed the Constitutional right to freedom FROM religion.

Growing up, I was forced to be raised Catholic by my zealot mother, though I never believed in Jesus as a messiah or saviour.  After all, how could a male god, the great Father, “give his only son” when it’s women who give birth?  Shouldn’t there be a Mother somewhere?  A supreme goddess to go along with and give birth to a heavenly great god?  And with all the focus on the “son of god”, where was god’s daughter?  Don’t girls matter?  As the years went on, it would become glaringly obvious that, no, females do not matter in institutionalized patriarchal systems such as religion and government because our only value is in birthing strong healthy sons — sons to inherit everything, sons to fight in the oppressor’s wars for wealth, control, and natural resources, sons to die for the regime’s propaganda.  Women were property — and we still are property since we do not entirely own the rights to our bodies.  Women seem to be the property of the GOP.  And since this “religious freedom” law now gives businesses the right to discriminate based on religious beliefs, everyone better re-read Leviticus and be afraid…. be very, very afraid….

I still cannot believe this ludicrous bill actually became law.  Is the economy so recovered from the Bush regime’s wars and the state GOP’s budget that Christians in Mississippi can afford to turn away business?  Do Mississippi Christians actually feel so threatened by non-Christians living here or by Christians who have abortions, who are gay, have premarital sex, have children out of wedlock, or have extramarital affairs?  These fake and/or fundamentalist Christians tend to complain they are the ones being persecuted by having non-Christians or Christians who do not drink the fundamentalist Kool-Aid living alongside  “good Christians”.  I have heard all the whining about Christians being persecuted that I ever needed to.  But seriously, when was the last time a Christian was persecuted for being Christian in Mississippi?  On the 33rd of Never.

Being non-Christian my entire life, I’ve actually experienced religious discrimination.  As a writer and composer, I studied the Witch Trials of Europe and Salem in depth to write a musical, Witchcraze, which I wrote to parallel the Constitutional and human rights’ violations of the Bush regime.  If you want to see the direction in which Mississippi is moving, read the arrest warrants and trial transcripts of women (and men) accused of being in league with the “devil” character of Judeo-Christian mythology.

The rich old men who claimed to work for God and Jesus centuries ago were as hypocritical and consumed with their own self-interests of power, greed, wealth, and control as these assholes in Mississippi’s legislature.  Religious freedom?  Religious discrimination?  Try being openly non-Christian or openly gay or openly raising a child out of wedlock in Mississippi and get back to me.

So Self-Righteous Fake Christians:  Go spew your hate-filled, intolerant drivel elsewhere.  Christians who actually follow the teachings of love and compassion of Jesus are tired of you representing them.  And the rest of us are tired of you getting your way at the expense of our federally protected rights.

trish

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Do not leave Mississippi because of the bigots, misogynists, & homophobes

Trish Causey - Liberal Democrat, Mississippi 4th District, running for U.S. House of Representatives 2014I hear people talking about leaving Mississippi because of the legalized bigotry and misogyny being enacted by our state legislators and US Congress representatives.  I understand how you feel, after all my “day job” is covering Broadway theatre in New York.  The grass always seems greener, as it were.  But I’m asking all of you to stay and “be the change” with me.

Why?

We can’t make change if we leave.

Change is always difficult, but that’s okay.  Activists are accustomed to “difficult”.  We have to stay and create the necessary change for our children and the future generations.  Dig in your heels, and do not let the GOP bigots win.  This is OUR state, too.  We pay taxes, too.

When our elected officials are not representing the People WHILE violating the US Constitution and laws that protect American citizens from discrimination, we can show them exactly what we think of their abuses of power: impeach them or vote them OUT.

trish

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