I am a Republican Woman for Hillary

Meghan Milloy is the Chair of Republican Women for Hillary. In addition, she directs financial services policy work at a right-leaning think tank in Washington, DC. Previously she was a Presidential Management Fellow at the Small Business Administration and the House Committee on Small Business where she focused on access to capital issues. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ole Miss with degrees in economics and political science. She received her J.D. from Pepperdine University and is licensed to practice law in California.

I was born and raised in one of the reddest corners of our country — Forrest County, Mississippi (named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, famed Confederate lieutenant general in the Civil War and first Grand Wizard of the KKK). In high school, my first political experience was volunteering for Haley Barbour’s gubernatorial campaign, which sparked the political fire in me. I later went on to be a page in the Mississippi House of Representatives for our local Republican legislator and then founded our high school’s chapter of Teenage Republicans. This eventually led to an invitation from the Republican National Committee to go to Manchester, New Hampshire, to campaign for George W. Bush.

In college, I was heavily involved with our College Republicans chapter and interned with then Majority Leader Trent Lott, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and eventually in the Bush White House. When Ole Miss hosted the first Presidential debate in 2008, I volunteered with the debate committee and John McCain’s campaign. More recently, in 2012, I went to Ohio to volunteer for the Mitt Romney campaign while doing as much phone banking and door knocking in and around DC as possible.

Now here we are, in 2016, and I’ve found myself completely repulsed by my party’s nominee. Not just repulsed at a wonky, policy level (which I am), but repulsed at a deep, personal level. Donald Trump is someone that I wouldn’t even want to share a conversation with over a bucket of fried chicken, much less someone who I want to entrust with our country’s economy, the world’s strongest military, or even our national reputation. That’s why I will be voting for Hillary Clinton in November.

And not only will I be voting for Hillary Clinton, I have found myself as the Chair of the Republican Women for Hillary, a group of women actively working to see that Hillary Clinton is elected. Of course, as a lifelong Republican, I have plenty of concerns about Hillary’s platform, and the challenges to her integrity worry me too. But I think that goes to show just how appalling Donald Trump is as a human and as a candidate. When we started Republican Women for Hillary, we first envisioned it as a support group of sorts for likeminded women who were concerned about the election and the future of the Republican Party. Soon enough we realized that we needed to do much more and be a voice for so many women and minority groups around the country.

I’m often asked when I had my “breaking point” with Donald Trump or when I realized I absolutely could not, under any circumstance vote for him. To be honest, I have a hard time answering that question. Truth be told, I never really had a breaking point. The decision of whether or not I could vote for Donald Trump was not one that I ever really thought I would have to make. From the beginning of his campaign, Donald Trump’s rhetoric led me to believe that my fellow Republicans would realize how vile he is and that certainly they wouldn’t nominate him. I was wrong.

His continued insults to women like Megyn Kelly (“blood coming out of wherever”), Rosie O’Donnell (“fat pig”), Ariana Huffington (“a dog,” “ugly”), Bette Midler (“disgusting”), and Carly Fiorina (“Look at that face…would anyone vote for that?”), among many, many others, is, on a good day, nauseating, and on a bad day, abusive. What’s even more concerning is that instead of simply apologizing, he has doubled down on his invectives, coming up with more and more offensive comments. Is this the sort of temperament we want in a man tasked with representing our country in meetings with leaders around the world? I certainly don’t want that.

Even worse, he’s scammed Republicans into nominating him on a platform of policies that are inherently not Republican. His plans to pull out of NATO, levy fines on private companies that choose to do business abroad, wage trade wars with countries like China and Mexico, create possibly the biggest government program in U.S. history by rounding up and deporting millions of immigrants, and ban Muslim tourists to our country are not Republican ideals. At least not ideals of the Republican Party I know. He has departed from long-held Republican goals of promoting economic prosperity, growth, and lower taxes, as well as supporting small businesses and opportunity. And he’s done it all while being overtly racist and misogynistic and bragging that he doesn’t read or listen to advisors (“I know more about ISIS than the Generals”) because he doesn’t think he needs to.

The good news is, I’ve found a temporary home with the Democratic nominee. Hillary Clinton is the stark opposite of Donald Trump — in the best way(s) possible. I certainly don’t love her or everything that she stands for, but I do like her, and I will be voting for her. Unlike Donald Trump, Hillary has a long track record of working with her adversaries to advocate policies that promote free enterprise and economic growth. Throughout her career, she has proven herself to be a consistent advocate for women’s and children’s issues. And, to be sure, she has shown a steadiness, discipline, level of professionalism, and willingness to learn from history and from others that I would be proud to have represent me as an American, and even as a Republican.

As the Chair of Republican Women for Hillary, my hope is that we can inspire other women to speak up and provide a platform through which other Republican women can share their experiences and insights throughout the election cycle. I have been overwhelmed with the positive feedback and similar stories other Republican women have shared with me over the past several months, and I look forward to hearing more as we work to ensure that Donald Trump does not represent the Republican women of America.