In 2016, as a former Democratic lawmaker, I did the one thing I never thought I’d do. I cast my vote for Republican Donald J. Trump.
I got into politics because I experienced injustice within Maine’s family court. In order to prevent what happened to me, I decided to get involved. I served as an appointed and elected official on regional, county, and state committees. After serving and representing our town and region for many years, I made my way to the state legislature.
The highlight of my legislative career was working for my constituency, especially fighting for our seniors and veterans. While there are many moments I reflect on while serving in the statehouse, one of my proudest moments was when I worked to pass a family court reform bill that would hold Guardian Ad Litem’s accountable for their actions.
Like many Democrats, my children were the ones who informed me about Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his platform. I looked him up, and I agreed with some of what he had to say about jobs and our healthcare system. Back then, millions of Democrats were “feeling the Bern,” and so was I. However, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) wasn’t. They were actually working overtime for Hillary Clinton.
It wasn’t long before I saw the mainstream media refusing to show the truth about Sen. Sanders and the Democratic platform. And soon, fake polls were reported to quell what America saw too.
All of us Democrats watched helplessly as DNC party officials put in place by the Washington, DC elite steered our primary. It was eye-opening to know that our votes were taken as a suggestion. I recall watching the 2016 Democratic Convention and seeing the media cleverly hide protests from within. It was fake news and injustice that opened my eyes to the truth – the Democratic Party and their platform was not the party everyday Mainers needed.
After eight years of Obama-Biden, families were still suffering from the foreclosure crisis. The loss of manufacturing jobs left our towns deserted, and extremist Democrats were pushing more socialist ideologies. These Democratic ideologies ended in the dumbing down of our children’s education and, at the same time, over sixty-percent of Americans had less than $1,000 in their savings account.
Before going to the polls in November of 2016, I now understood that the Democrats focused on party politics, and in my opinion, only looked to ruin the country.
Meanwhile, across the political aisle, the Republicans offered a new, exciting, non-politician, then-candidate, and now President Donald J. Trump. Finding new hope in the American dream, I found myself long sought out home turf innovation and hope that our country could actually believe in. I knew that Trump would consider himself winning only when the American people were winning, and I couldn’t steer myself away from that idea.
Over the years he watched as politicians oversaw the destruction of the greatest working-class society the world had ever known. And when Trump saw the opportunity to fix America, he took it and ran with it.
It was only recently, politicians accepted donations from him, Hollywood joined “The Apprentice” and musicians sang songs about him. He was well-respected until he won. Seeing someone like Trump succeed was the worst thing the mainstream media could have had happen. The media was quick to target and focus on anything that involved Trump and gave him unfair coverage and negative headlines, even calling him a racist.
Despite the pushback and harsh words from today’s media, President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other pro-American policies gave us a booming economy. One that finally included and directly invested in Black and Latino Americans.
Americans enjoyed an economy that saw incomes and 401ks rise, and historic peace negotiations were agreed upon. Nonetheless, across the globe in Hong Kong people were waving American flags because they thought democracy had a chance under a Trump administration.
We the people gave President Donald J. Trump a decisive victory in 2016 and asked him to lead our country for four years. Now, the most consequential election of our time is upon us. I hope you will join me, a former Democrat, on November 3rd to re-elect President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Michael R. Pence for four more years.
Lisa Villa is a former Democrat and Maine State Representative. You can follow her on Twitter @RepLisaVilla.