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Stacy Washington: What's behind the new local conservative columnist in the Post-Dispatch?

Stacy Washington: What's behind the new local conservative columnist in the Post-Dispatch?

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The past week has been full of new starts, fresh beginnings. The St. Louis paper of record has tapped me to join its local op-ed lineup to offer a conservative perspective. This is exciting because I have been quite critical of the Post-Dispatch and its editorial board for a lack of diversity of thought, as represented on its opinion pages.

Who am I? I’m a Christian, wife and mom of three amazing kids. I’m a fourth-generation military veteran who is also married to a veteran. I am a radio host heard locally every week on 97.1 FM News Talk KFTK and daily on Urban Family Talk, which is syndicated in five states. I grew up in Germany and have traveled all over the world from Saudi Arabia to Russia to all of Europe and Great Britain as a child and while on active duty in the Air Force.

I appear regularly on Fox Business, CNN and locally on “Donnybrook” on Channel 9. I love to read and go out with my family in St. Louis, which is definitely one of the best places to live in America.

So, what can you expect? I will be critical of both sides of the political spectrum. Local and national issues of importance will be covered. I’ll gladly accept your criticism because I respect the Post-Dispatch readership.

When we listen to each other, we often find we share much more in common than we disagree about. That might seem a bit outrageous if you’re still reeling from the conclusion of the recent, seemingly interminable political melee.

Growing up in Germany, my father was an Army military policeman, and my mother was a budget analyst for the federal government. Our home life was very traditional. My sister and I were taught that hard work and selflessness were honorable and that no one owed us anything. My parents placed a high value on speaking out against injustice and holding people accountable, especially elected officials. That’s what I plan to keep doing on the Post-Dispatch opinion page.

With my father on active duty, guns were always a part of life, so I considered the Second Amendment second in importance only to the religious protections afforded to us in the Constitution. These beliefs qualify me to join other veterans on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of homegrown extremists, which should be a list of people who are an actual threat to Americans and our way of life. Instead, it’s a list of people whose ideology the SPLC doesn’t like. That is ridiculous, but so be it.

My conservative political leanings developed when we moved to the Midwest, expecting our first child. At that point, listening to Christian radio and considering the gravity of bringing an actual human into the world, I sought clarity on which party’s platform planks actually comported with the Bible.

I was raised a Democrat. But these days, not much of the Democratic platform meets muster. On the issue of life, the Democrats fall truly short. The United States has 1.1 million abortions a year. That number is down from a high of 1.6 million a year, but our goal should be far fewer using better family policy, education and biblical mores to achieve this goal. Democrats have gone from the party position of “safe, legal, and rare” to “taxpayer funded on demand” abortion without parental consent. This is unacceptable. Abortions at a rate of 4,300 a day is horrifying and unacceptable.

It was as our oldest child entered kindergarten that I first began to really delve into education as a volunteer on our elementary school’s diversity committee. Working there with teachers, administrators and other parents, we created solutions that worked for kids, and I realized that local is always best when education is concerned. I ended our time in the Ladue School District as an elected vice president of the board of education. The experience was invaluable and still means a great deal to me.

The day before the second presidential debate, I was on the campus of Washington University for two appearances on CNN. As I sat at the network’s outdoor tent listening and taking in the scene, one thing stood out: the lack of diversity of opinion. Not only was I was the only conservative there for over two hours, but the range of opinions presented was so lopsided that it felt intolerant.

This isn’t the way our news organizations are supposed to work, which is why it is such a pleasure to see the Post-Dispatch widen its local lineup to include a conservative opinion. After living in St. Louis for 18 years this is a welcome development; my email inbox is full of encouragement for what is to come.

Stacy Washington

Twitter: @StacyOnTheRight

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