More reasons I should be Trump’s running-mate:

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Until you’ve owned a small business you don’t know how rewarding or how frustrating it can be. It’s no wonder more people don’t do it. My first experience with being a small business owner was when my husband and I bought a local franchise for a national chain of a birth announcement company. It involved putting an eight-foot animal often associated with the delivery of babies in new parents’ front lawns, with keepsake bundle in its beak with the baby’s name, birthday, weight, etc. We also offered personalized items we delivered to the hospital for distribution to family and friends. Candy bars, mini candy bars for older siblings to take to school, golf balls, fridge magnets, and a wide assortment of other special items that even included ammo for a military dad to share!

But running a small business is hard work. My husband worked 365 days a year, often from dawn until after dusk, and I manned a booth at baby fairs in four major cities in two states. We answered the phone twenty-four hours a day for six years. The one long weekend we took to visit friends in Atlanta we checked voicemail often, but the customers who heard they couldn’t get their delivery within twenty-four hours were openly hostile, even after my husband explained he hadn’t had a day off in five years and that he couldn’t find anyone willing to fill in for him, even for forty-eight hours. The work was just too hard. Mind you, this was work I’d done when my youngest was three months old, and I’d done it after driving through a horrible thunderstorm to a home three counties away I didn’t have an address for, but was to know by the farm implement in the yard. I did it with the baby in the station wagon, praying I wouldn’t get struck by lightning while wielding the heavy post-setter. And the woman never paid us. Is it any wonder fifth-generation welfare recipients take a guaranteed check from the working taxpayers instead of starting their own business? Especially when it costs more to get your taxes done if you’re self-employed, more to buy the tax software to do them yourself, and then you are charged a self-employment tax?! We had to go out of business after 9/11. Gas prices skyrocketed and people were afraid to let anyone know they had a new baby in the house. No one wanted to buy the business, so we shut down and spent the next year paying off a loan on a business that no longer brought in any money.

Obviously, I’m offended by the government bailing out large corporations and forcing more expenses on small businesses. Who has become familiar with the term “independent contractor” during the last eight years. I certainly have. My husband, like many others works full-time (much more than full-time, actually) for a company. But they do not consider him an employee – he has a “contract” with them. So he gets no benefits. No health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, sick days, vacation days, paid holidays. He’s a courier who uses his own vehicle, buys his own gas, pays his own commercial car insurance, and pays fees weekly to the company he contracts with for equipment rental (a scanner which works intermittently), a company that makes direct deposit available (really?!) and a uniform rental service. He has paid $1,500 in uniform rental fees and is still wearing his three-year-old uniforms. He looks like a homeless man when he goes to work. He also has to pay for his own annual drug screens. Why? Because he’s employed by a relatively small company that would go out of business if they had to pay for the things they should. But instead their employees work hard and still end up living at poverty-level.

The “American Dream” of working hard and earning a good living is gone. So has the “get an education and you’ll do well” version. I know too many people drowning in student loan debt, no matter what degree they’ve earned, or how high in their class they ranked. The young doctor seeing you in the hospital may well be wearing clothes from Goodwill under their lab coat. They are probably thankful for the free doctors’ dining room at the hospital, because it’s the best meal they’ll get all day.

I know too many elderly people who have to choose between medications and food. Hell, I’m forty-nine and some months I’ve had to make that decision. And it stinks, because the easiest ones to give up (blood pressure meds) because they don’t make you feel any different, are also the ones that can cause the most damage when you skip them.

I have lots of tidbits to share, but it boils down to this: The President of the United States of America is no longer the leader of the free world. We are no longer free. As a country, we’ve sacrificed our freedom for comfort. John F. Kennedy would have been ninety-eight years old today. When he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” I’m sure he never imagined reality TV or the Octo-mom. Seriously, who would have?! But his words are as valid today as the day he said them. If you want to make your country better, let it start with you. If you’re one of those “celebrities” that keep promising to renounce their citizenship if someone they don’t like gets nominated or elected: Delta’s ready when you are, honey!

Remember: Tweet @realDonaldTrump to tell him @AngieBallard should be his running mate!

Why Trump Needs Me as his Running Mate

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Donald Trump, bless his heart, needs my help. Every Presidential candidate needs a running mate to balance their weaknesses.

I can be diplomatic when necessary. I was a nurse for twenty years. During that time I facilitated communication between patients, families, and doctors. I divided the workload in the city among our on-call doctors. And I served as mediator between doctors, which required re-wording, translation, acting skills, and multiple distraction techniques. Find me a diplomat that can herd five sleep-deprived, grumpy cardiologists for an entire weekend, making sure all the work gets gone. Kissinger  would have been weeping in a corner.

And I’m sane. I can prove it. I have a note from my psychiatrist.

The Donald is used to people telling him Yes. I am used to people telling me No. I am Female, Southern, poor, Catholic, possibly bi-racial (Ancestry.com isn’t sure) and unable to work because of a disability, yet not entitled to benefits. But would I make a better VP than Joe Biden? Yes. On-site personal health care is provided for the President and VP, so with daily access to a chiropractor, a massaging recliner for meetings, a Sleep Number bed in both my office and residence, and access to about half the meds JFK took for back pain during his presidency I believe I could do it. Oh, and I’d need a small pool for water aerobics and a hot tub at the VP residence on the off-chance they’re not already there.

I’m authentic. What you see and hear is what you get.  I enjoy discussing issues with people whose opinions differ from mine, especially when our backgrounds and cultures differ. I took Latin as my foreign language during my Baccalaureate-level public school education, so I can only converse in English. I’d love to visit Italy, but I won’t do so until I know enough Italian to hold a basic conversation. So I expect anyone living here to be conversant in our native tongue, English.

My college education was financed through scholarships I worked hard for and lay awake at night during high school worrying about. I am passionate about books for pre-schoolers, high-quality public education for everyone, and multiple options for post-secondary education that don’t involve crippling student loans.

I believe we are in desperate need of health-care reform, and that it should start in the trenches: Emergency Departments, Immediate Care Centers, and Primary Care Physicians. Insurance companies should no longer dictate what medical care we, as citizens, receive. Nor should the government.

I believe our military and our teachers should be paid more for the hard work they do and the risks they take. I believe women should have paid maternity leave from their full-time jobs. Medicare and Social Security are not “entitlements”. People have worked hard and been mandated to have SSI deducted from their paychecks all their lives. Those are benefits they have earned and must receive. The woman with the flashy manicure, latest model cell phone, and designer clothes who is in the ER for a pregnancy test she could buy at the Dollar Tree is getting an entitlement, and the entitlement culture must stop. It’s keeping bright young men and women from realizing their potential by teaching them they can more easily make money by having children out-of-wedlock and engaging in violent, illegal occupations.

We’ve created two cultures of entitlement. One of drugs, guns, and a lack of father figures. One of excess, drugs, and lies. Neither will produce the young people we need to lead this country. Both are self-absorbed and unwilling to unite for a common cause. But maybe The Donald and I can change it. Right after I convince him the oompa-loompa psycho with a comb-over thing isn’t going to get him to the Oval Office.

If you agree I’d be an asset please tweet “Select @AngieBallard as your running mate!” to @realDonaldTrump. Hopefully he’ll realize it’s me, and not the wife of the bar owner in Sturgis. I did snag the Twitter handle before she or the Australian paralympic athlete.

 

 

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