CONSERVATIVE CHAMPIONS: Carrie Almond
We are proud to announce Carrie Almond as this week’s Conservative Champion. Learn more about Carrie’s inspiring story below.
Tell us about how you became a conservative. What experiences led to your now-held beliefs?
I tell people I was a Republican before I was born. If I wanted to have Christmas dinner at my Grandparents’ house, I better be of like mind. So, I really can’t say “how” I became to believe why I believe in conservative values, less government, and more personal responsibility – it was just how I was raised. Oh, I’m certain I would have been welcome at Christmas as my Grandparents always welcomed different opinions but they would be heavily debated. The thing is, we always talked about the whats and whys of different beliefs so I was informed. It really wasn’t until I became a banker that I learned what big government can do to an industry. Regulation after regulation prevented us from achieving our business model, which was helping our customers realize their financial goals and dreams. It was ridiculous and I know Banks don’t have the only corner on the market of egregious regulation
I will also tell you it didn’t hurt that my Grandmother attended one of the Republican National Conventions when I was little and brought home boxes and boxes of campaign banners, signs, stickers, and I can’t even remember all the cool stuff. I just know that my sister and I played with those things for hours, days, and weeks. We thought it was so exciting to pretend to be involved in a campaign. I’m sure there were days my Grandmother regretted it because we would make such a huge mess organizing our tables and areas but she just chuckled at us and would ask us questions about why one particular sign or banner was more important to us than another.
Tell us about the groups that you are involved with and the efforts that you have been a part of within those groups?
I really wasn’t very active when I lived in South Carolina and Florida, I’d help with campaigns and went to the local Republican meetings when possible, but never chose to be a leader. When I returned to Missouri, I became active with the local Republican Women’s club and I’ve held just about every position in the Missouri Federation of Republican Women. After being elected as Missouri President I jumped into a much-contested election to run for Member at Large for the National Federation of Republican Women. I never thought I would win, but I’ve often said, “If you can’t be good be lucky!” I am lucky to have an awesome last name – Almond! So with some custom packaged chocolate-covered Almonds, at least I got everyone’s attention. I went on to be President of the NFRW during 2016 and 2017. I suppose the hallmark of my term was that I raised a ton of money and bought a bus to go around the country. We called the tour the 2016 Destination White House Tour, the purpose of which was to focus all of the clubs on the fact that there were millions of unregistered women in the US. If we could get them registered, women would make the difference in the 2016 election. Then once we had a nominee, the bus became the Ambassador for unifying women for Donald Trump. We traveled to 39 states, traveled over 49,000 miles, and were on the road for 207 days. It was an incredible journey; rewarding, amazing, exhausting, but very effective.
Currently, I am the Republican National Committee Women for Missouri, a true honor.
You are clearly someone who is engaged in the community and has helped advance the conservative cause. What led you to join those groups?
I’m honored to have been selected to be a Conservative Champion, thank you to those who nominated me. I joined the MoFRW and the NFRW because they were doing things and advancing the cause for women. They provided a wonderful training opportunity for me and allowed me to be involved without being intimidated of having to do too much. It is also rewarding to be able to go to any state in the nation, find a club and have instant like-minded friends.
For those individuals who are interested in advancing the conservative cause, what advice would you give them? Are there any groups they should join? And if already in those groups what’s the best way for them to be engaged and actually implement change?
Just jump in! You have a talent, maybe hidden, but put it to use, don’t wait to be asked. We need to use our talents for the cause of good government, but only you know what you are comfortable doing if you aren’t already active. Maybe you are good with social media, offer that to a club, county party, or candidate. Maybe you love to bake, offer to help with a bake sale for a candidate or club. Maybe you are a Fit-Bit fanatic, offer to knock doors for a candidate, and get your steps at the same time. Maybe you are great with kids, offer to watch some so more moms can attend a meeting without worrying. Maybe you’re frustrated with something that is or isn’t happening in your community, start going to the meetings, ask questions, find out the problems, and run to replace the members of the boards with whom you disagree. The list is endless, but volunteer to do what you are comfortable doing, putting a square peg in a round hole NEVER works.
There are tons of conservative groups to join. Personally, I am passionate about the Federated Women’s clubs. The clubs of the National Federation of Republican Women are all over the United States and are wonderful. Being a member and attending meetings, will teach you leadership, parliamentary procedure, how to run a meeting, allow you to meet like-minded women and some men, show you a path to make a difference, and learn what the group is doing in your community. You will receive the national weekly email which is packed full of helpful information and talking points. Additionally, they do care for America projects, receive awards for the most Campaign Volunteer hours, host excellent Campaign schools, the meetings and projects provide access to candidates and elected officials. It is a fantastic organization. If you’re already a member, you probably already know what help they need to help advance the cause, so jump in. But I go back to what I mentioned above, offer to do what you are comfortable doing, don’t wait to be asked. Not a woman, join the Pachyderms, Young Republicans, your county Republican organization, Right-to-Life groups; everyone needs volunteers and eager participants.
What issue(s) do you think are the most important at this time for the conservative cause? Why?
So, while I was President of the National Federation of Republican Women, reporters would come up to me all the time and ask; (of course, after berating me for being a Republican) What do you think are the most important issues for women? “Oh my goodness I would say” looking at them in disbelief, “every issue is important to women!” “To put all women, or men into the same group and think only a few issues matter isn’t the real world.” I think every issue is important to everyone, we all just have certain areas we choose to feel are more important than others, depending on our personal situation. We can’t tackle them at the same time effectively, unfortunately, but what we can do is hold our elected officials accountable to implement good legislation or in many cases, ease legislation so we can be happy, productive citizens. The current administration has managed to create havoc in just about every area of our lives in only 10 months! This is terrible, and we have to do all we can to get those who are doing this injustice to our nation booted out of office!
How can we overcome those obstacles that are preventing us from advancing those issues?
We need to stop being afraid to tell people what is really going on and allow the liberal media to spin the truth! So many of us are afraid to let people know we are conservatives. Who cares what people think? Really! We live in America which is still a free country unless we stop speaking the truth. We need to learn to deliver the message we want heard, without fear. It’s not easy! When I was President of NFRW, I used to walk proudly on airplanes and really everywhere wearing a Make America Great Again hat or rhinestone pin, and I can tell you, I’d get stairs and folks would look at me – like are you crazy??? But I never had anyone get too hostile with me. There were of course confrontational moments, but I knew what I was going to say. I thought about it before I did bold things. I even sold a lot of Make America Great Again Bling Pins on flights for the NFRW’s fundraising efforts. But I’ve seen so many well-intentioned people get overly passionate about an issue, knowing they were right and just deliver their point so poorly. We need to know when we can win the battle and not lose sight of winning the war! We need to speak about our position, whether in person or on social media with conviction, but not stoop to the progressive’s level of intimidation. I’m not saying being a milquetoast, just don’t raise your voice or yell, never get angry, and know when you’ve lost and it’s time to move on to another person.
How can conservatives better message their ideas to reach a broader audience?
Well, I am certainly no messaging expert that’s for certain. I haven’t touched my Twitter or Facebook account since they decided they have the power to silence my voice and that of others, but yet won’t silence the voices of those committing horrific crimes happening because they won’t shut down violence, criminal posts, or human trafficking. Freedom of speech is either for all or it is not freedom of speech. But what I do know works, is honest communication. I’m a grassroots gal from the beginning and I believe if you talk to people one on one and explain things you get much farther than national ads or FB posts. I know it’s not as efficient, I get that. But when an elected official has an event or a town hall it resonates with folks. I also think we need to do a better job of listening to what concerns people really have instead of pushing our message. We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. It takes time and effort to listen to people and actually hear what they are concerned about, but in my humble opinion, it works. If it was easy to get our message out, everyone would be doing it. America is a great country so don’t stop trying.
We learned about Carrie Almond’s accomplishments through the grassroots community. We know that there are others out there like her, but we can’t find them by ourselves. We need YOUR help.
Know someone like Carrie Almond who’s fighting for a better Missouri? We want to know about them. We want to share their story. Nominate a CONSERVATIVE CHAMPION today!