Stacy Korsgaden on the fallout from the rally in Washington DC

February 3, 2021

Stacy Korsgaden

OPINION by STACY KORSGADEN

In the early 90s, I shocked my mother by confiding that I had fallen in love with a woman named Jodi. Mom immediately declared that no one would like me or do business with me, and that I was endangering my entire future.

She was just scared, confused, and feeling protective of her daughter, but sadly neither of us had the tools to properly cope with this sudden, massive shift in my predetermined life.

Ultimately, our journey that had been filled with pain, fear, loneliness, confusion and misunderstanding ended with the healing power of love. In the end, the answer was that simple. It usually is.

Today is the fourth anniversary of my mom’s passing. One of the last things she said to me was “Please tell Jodi I love her.” Jodi was by her side when she passed, along with one of my brothers and my twin sister. I believe her divine spirit ascended to Heaven to be with Jesus. My mother left the world a better place, living her life with love.

While Mom was right about so many things as my teacher and advisor, she was wrong about my career failing because I happened to be gay. If I shared with people that I was gay, it was after they came to know me for the person I am. Some people cared, most couldn’t have cared less.

After 32 years in the insurance industry, I’ve been recognized as a national “Top 150 Agent” in my company and my agency continues to thrive. That’s because to be successful in the service business, it is never about “self.”

My gratitude and affection for my clients has both financial and emotional rewards. Yes, my work is fulfilling, but it’s the relationships I have built over the decades that are always at the core of my success.

Fast forward to last Friday, when I could not help but hear my mother’s initial warning ringing in my ears years ago as I shared the truth about myself.

Last week, a reporter from The Tribune emailed me twice to inform me he had obtained two pictures showing me in Washington, DC at the Rally for Election Integrity and wanted me to comment on my attendance at the event. (I don’t know how the candid photos were obtained, as I never posted them to any social media.)

Regardless, as a private citizen, I didn’t feel my attendance was “news.” The reporter then called my office to follow up, so I decided to give him the interview. After a margin-thin election loss for San Luis Obispo County supervisor last year, the media apparently continues to consider me a public figure – especially if they see me as a potential future candidate.

What happened shortly after that article was made public was deeply surprising to me. I suppose it shouldn’t have been, given the huge divide in politics today, but the fallout from my private decision to attend the rally was still absolutely unexpected. Some clients that I had served – seen their kids grow up, sponsored their sporting events and supported their causes, held their hand after a traumatic claim and celebrated personal moments – were canceling their policies due to the political optics and assumptions of my intent and beliefs. Relationships forged, in some cases for decades, were just gone. Relationships that mattered to me.

There are similarities for this point of time to the supercharged moment I came out to my mother 30 years ago: we do not have the tools to properly care for each other during these emotional times in our society.

Since my coming out, my growth has come from asking myself hard questions and being open to new ideas. Back then, my feelings were chaotic. I knew with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life but at the time, I did not know how that could happen. I found myself alone a lot. Always a social person, I suddenly didn’t trust many people with my feelings, and discovered that I did not fully love myself. And love is always the key.

Many years ago, I tried to run from the life I was expected to live by almost marrying a wonderful man. Again, the answer was love. I loved him enough not to drag him into a lie, which allowed me to start loving myself with honesty and follow my heart.

What does this have to do with our troubled times? What are the answers for our country? Let me bring it to our own mirrors. I believe all of our lives can be about personal growth and that we are spiritual beings in physical bodies. Right now, people are grappling with trying to make sense of the past, present, and future. It is a deeply personal time for most people.

How can we remain true to who we are and what we believe while being true to the relationships we value, even if we disagree? In this time in history, we are struggling with political issues and have lost sight of what brought us together in our deeply personal relationships. More than anything, we seem to have forgotten that respect is a cornerstone of any true relationship and communication.

Let me be categorically clear: the mob violence at the United States Capitol was unconscionable and I condemn it in the strongest terms.

True growth comes from answering hard questions. Today, I ask open-ended questions for our community to ask each other:

·        As Americans, we have the right to peacefully assemble and voice our concerns to the government. If, during a peaceful, lawful assembly, there is violence and looting by a faction of radical people, do we then indict every attendee’s voice and motives? Should this be true for Jan. 6? Or even the majority of BLM gatherings last summer?

·        If we are government of the People, by the People and for the People, is it not important to make our concerns known? Even if our neighbor feels differently? Even if certain media tells us differently?

·        If we rename certain schools and take down some statues, is that trying to erase history or take away our ability to learn from the past?

·        If we believe there is reason to question our election system while others tell us the system is fine, why is it not  okay to verify the sanctity of the vote?

·        If a “moderate” person attends a rally where a controversial president is questioning election integrity, does that automatically negate what attendees believe to be valid concerns?

·        Are we at a point in our country and in our relationships where we no longer allow or are willing to consider the longevity of relationships and integrity as a point of respectful conversation, reason, or even understanding?

I am blessed beyond measure to live in the United States and on the Central Coast, in one of the most beautiful counties in California. But wherever we live, freedom has never been easy. We are headed down a difficult road and just getting started. We have misunderstandings, disagreements, and deep concerns that are dividing families and neighbors.

We can let the media divide us, we can lie to each other and give hate breath, or we can take the road less traveled in recent memory: we can communicate with each other and as my mom so wisely taught me, choose love.

So freedom-loving good people, come out, come out, whoever you are!


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George Garrigues

It’s unconscionable to travel during a lockdown.


derasmus

Unless of course you are one of the special people, private citizen John Kerry on his private Jet to receive an award, Nancy Pelosi at the private hair salon, Governor Newsom at the French Laundry…


The list is long and so is the Hipocracy on the left. At least Beijing Joe stayed in the basement most of last summer.


George Garrigues

Yes, derasmus, you are correct about anyone who has broken the lockdown, although I don’t know what “the left” has to do with it, nor who “Beijing Joe” is nor where his basement is situated. Can you elucidate? Thanks, and have a great afternoon!


LameCommenter

Stacy, I almost didn’t take the time to read your lengthy article, and almost dismissed it as being a Dr. Phil outpouring moment for you, but actually there is deep value and reflection in what you said. And, yes to quote you a bit:


“If a “moderate” person attends a rally where a controversial president is questioning election integrity, does that automatically negate what attendees believe to be valid concerns?

Are we at a point in our country and in our relationships where we no longer allow or are willing to consider the longevity of relationships and integrity as a point of respectful conversation, reason, or even understanding?”


The short answer is: “yes”, we are at a time of grievous cancel culture, erasure of warts and history, and selective de-platformation of valid non-violent viewpoints. All of it being decried on conservative media, and practically championed on liberal media. For a person of perhaps a liberal bent, either way, I’d say you just wrote a short-form masterpiece.


Michael Stove

If you are a racist, believe in conspiracy theories, and cannot think logically, I do not want to conduct business with you nor associate with you. You call that canceling. I call that Freedom of Association.


derasmus

Not if you talk of “reprogramming” getting dismissed from employment or promotion, or get physically and verbally harassed. Not my friend, that goes a little beyond “freedom of association.”


Michael Stove

She did not mention any of those things. Nor did I. People canceled their business with her, which they are free to do, because they don’t appear to trust her judgement or just plainly don’t want their money to support someone with those views.


derasmus

Big tech, MSM, and the the Democrats in Congress and their proxies are doing these things.


Just a fact. Just like Mcarthysm of an earlier day.


George Dunn

But wait…CNN told me only bigots and terrorists would have attended such a rally…


Mitch C

After reading this wonderfully thought out and beautiful piece, it makes me all the more interested in each of us accepting each other and while we may have different beliefs and lifestyles we should look past the differences and seek the good that each of us has. To all the small people who ended their long term relationships with only assumed facts (some of which are based on nothing but conjecture) I hope you reconsider.


derasmus

Well said


Michael Stove

I also love the freedom that this country provides us.


The freedom not to do business, trust my money, or trust the opinion of someone who believes in non-factual conspiracy theories about our election.


The freedom to distance myself from any person I want, and not form a “community” with an even moderately delusional person.


The freedom of speech we are all afforded and love the freedom to judge, form opinions, and act in relation to other’s speech.


You exercised your freedom of peaceful assembly.


Now we get to exercise our freedom to respond.


tomryan

You calling something “non-factual” doesn’t change whether or not something is a fact. I’ve a very specific factual example of someone being revoked their right to vote because someone had already voted in their name by mail in ballot.


One example is all I need to make your assumptions unequivocally false.


Same group of people that were up in arms about “Russian interference” are so convinced that there couldn’t be election integrity issues this election. Impressive that the integrity of our elections were magically solved in the past four years, Mr. “non-factual conspiracy theorist”.


Michael Stove

The conspiracy theory promoted by that rally is that millions of votes were “Stolen”, changed, deleted, or invented. There is no evidence of wide spread voter fraud that would have changed the outcome of the election. Thus, there is no evidence to support the theory that a group of people carried out a conspiracy to alter the election


I repeat that it is a non-factual conspiracy theory.


There was some of individual cases of voter fraud though, many from actual Trump supporters. Such as https://thehill.com/homenews/531242-pennsylvania-trump-supporter-charged-with-voter-fraud. None of these cases in total would have swayed any of the elections.


Russia did interfere with the election, as the intelligence community and Senate reports have indicated they favored Trump as they viewed Senator Clinton as adversarial. However, no mainstream organizations on the left were arguing that the Russians changed votes.


I’m sure they tried this year, along with the Chinese, Iranians, and North Koreans, but this time we were watching and fighting against them.


tomryan

Again, you stating it’s non-factual doesn’t make it any less factual. I’m one person that knows some spread of people. Of those people I know, I know of numerous cases where mail-in ballots were incorrectly shipped to these people in California. I also know of someone that lives in Travis County in Texas that had voted in person and received a letter from the county courts stating his vote was rejected because someone already voted in his name in person.


Am I just that lucky that I’m one person and the only person that knows of such occurrences? Or is your stance that this was widespread but not widespread enough to have changed the outcome of the election?


Because, if it’s the first option, you’re a fool. If it’s the second option then you simply don’t care about election integrity because of the outcome, which also makes you a fool.


Michael Stove

Again, that rally was in support of a conspiracy theory that there was widespread fraud. The Justice department under Barr said there was no evidence of wide spread voter fraud.


You have still not cited any evidence beyond your heresy anecdotal cases from “people you know”. Those are not facts. Those are stories you have been told. Factually, they may gave been told to you. That does not make them true.


Even if true, they do not support the conspiracy theory that those single events were a conspiracy of individuals orchestrating to “steal” the election.


So no, I do not believe you or your stories.


I do care about election integrity, which is why I think all elections should be federally run so there is standardization of voting. I also think every person upon turning 18 should get an automatic registration card. I also think voting should be made super easy and expanded so we can have a more vibrant democracy.


tomryan

You’re assuming it’s “hearsay”. You stating that I don’t have factual evidence doesn’t make the mail in ballots I received for people that are now registered in another state and had moved out of this state over a year before the election. It doesn’t change the fact that I personally saw two ballots in someone’s name, one with just their first and last and the other with their first, middle, last. It doesn’t change the fact that I saw the letter in Texas that stated that said person’s vote was rejected due to someone voting in their name by mail in ballot. Are all of these tangible items just things I’ve heard from others?


You’re full of ridiculous assumptions, and state them as fact. It would be comical if it wasn’t so outright stupid.


Michael Stove

Tom, you still cannot admit that the rally in DC was about a conspiracy theory about a shadow group of people working in secret to change the outcome of the election. I understand that now.


If was not about, as Stacy put it, done to ” question our election system” about individual instances of voter fraud, which you appear to think giving me your word that you heard from people that mistakes happened indicates that they were widespread enough to change the election. You have not given me any evidence that there was a conspiracy of a secret group to overthrow the results of the election, which is what the rally was about, and why Stacy attended, and why I commented.


Having this discussion proved my point. While you may live in my geographic area, you are not and will never be part of my community.


paragon

Ok, it’s one thing to say instances of voter fraud occurred, but to claim that all the fraud was only to help Biden, and none of it helped the other guy, and that all the fraud somehow only occurred in the swing states that Biden won and that only the presidential race had fraud and no other ballot race. Sorry, that simply defies all logic and there is no evidence to support some massive coordinated effort that was effective enough to switch millions of votes to Biden, but somehow didn’t bother to flip enough senate seats by a much smaller amount of votes.


tomryan

I never made any such claims. So you’re admitting that there was voter fraud and you simply don’t care because the person you wanted to win won? That seems pretty “simple”.


paragon

Try re-reading what I wrote. I never admitted there was voter fraud nor did I say if there was, I didn’t care about it, nor did I say the person I wanted to win won. You just assumed all three because it conveniently fits your narrow minded partisan world view that assumes everyone is either completely on the left or the right, for you or against you.


tomryan

Well firstly, you were putting words in my mouth or else making points that have nothing to do with my statement. Secondly, I was asking a question which you seemingly can’t answer. How does asking a question make assumptions?


mazin

Canceling/firing Lou Dobbs by Fox one day after Dobbs was named in a lawsuit by Smartmatic, a voting software company that Trump’s lawyers had baselessly accused of manipulating the election results, is indicative that Michael’s stance is the correct one. Also named in the multimillion dollar defamation case, are Fox hosts Jeanine Pirro and Mario Bartiromo, as well as Trump’s attorneys Sydney Powell and Rudy Giuliani.

When folks get sued and anticipate losing $$, yeah, that pretty much concludes that “stop the steal” is a non-factual conspiracy theory.


mazin

Stacey, you are concerned about the “sanctity of the vote”. Where is this concern when the GOP writes voter laws targeting Black people with “surgical precision” (North Carolina Republicans); make it harder for felons who served their time to vote (Florida Republicans); gerrymander in a way that almost makes a mockery of majority rule (Wisconsin Republicans)?

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/15/528457693/supreme-court-declines-republican-bid-to-revive-north-carolina-voter-id-law

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/17/us/florida-felons-voting.html

https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/blogs/wisconsin-voter/2018/12/06/wisconsin-gerrymandering-data-shows-stark-impact-redistricting/2219092002/

Where is this concern, when Trump promotes unfounded voter fraud charges aiming to disqualify the votes of Black people in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan?

Sorry, Stacey, the “Stop the Steal” rally is just a variation of ‘Jim Crow’ discrimination that you unfortunately participated in.


tomryan

The notion that African-America people are less capable of obtaining a state issued ID than any other race or demographic seems pretty racist to me. Why would you take such a racist stance?


And what’s your name Mazin? Would be interesting to know who amongst us in this community holds such racist ideals.


mazin

You seriously think people are going to commit fraud to register to vote? Where is your evidence of this happening?


mazin

Tom, here are other examples of 2020 election black & hispanic voter suppression:

GOP Texas Governor Abbott cut back voting locales to 1 drop off locale per County. That’s right, one. So, Harris County population of 4,646,630 got 1 locale; Loving County population of 98 got 1 locale. The Governor’s decision was eventually overturned, but it was clearly a way of disenfranchising urban voters.

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54380684

Then you have Wisconsin’s April 2020 election to determine a judgeship on the politically polarized state Supreme Court, 5 polling stations for Milwaukee population 587,721. That’s right 5 where there is normally 180.

If you and Stacey, seriously care about free and fair elections, you can start by making registering as easy as possible, understanding that there are clearly some places that want to discourage black and brown citizens from voting, i.e., “your ID isn’t good enough”, “picture doesn’t look like you”. This is why there shouldn’t be a voter ID requirement.


hotdog

Stacey, millions of people in this country consider anyone even attending that rally (and therefore believing the crook’s lies) to be of questionable character.

After four years of lies, incompetence, dereliction of duty and grammatical suicide by the crook, how could you, a seemingly thoughtful person, allow yourself to go anywhere near that goon in thought or deed?

I am truly mystified. 73 million folks voted for him after he showed all his colors. This country will never live that shame down. He would have gotten a few thousand of votes in an intelligent and caring country. appareenlty we not there yet. Apparently you are not there either.


Jorge Estrada

Wow! I just read a new way to spell the word honest, “Stacey”. As a rational human (I believe I am or at least trying to be) I commend Stacey’s ” not required” explanation for the benefit of others.


Buns N Roses

Thank you, Stacy. I foresee an outpouring of support and new clients after this article


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