Racist. Xenophobe. Homophobe. Promoter of rape culture. I’ve been called each of these, and much worse, for publicly speaking out in support of Donald Trump. It’s been difficult for me to wrap my head around the slogan “Love Trumps Hate” when I’ve experienced something entirely different. I’ve been harassed, threatened, called names and belittled by people who simply share different beliefs from me. Where is the tolerance I heard Hillary Clinton preach about throughout her campaign? What happened to the love?
In reality, I’m none of the things I’ve been accused of. When I was 15 years old, the Ku Klux Klan came to Pittsburgh where I lived in a nearby suburb. Their intent was to share their mission and recruit new members. I was only a teen, but I was old enough to know what hate looked like. And I wanted to fight it. Against my parents’ pleas, I took the subway downtown to attend a counter rally across the street from the Klan’s event.
I found myself in the midst of a chaotic, violent scene unlike anything I’d experienced: the hateful words spewing from Klan members too cowardly to show their faces, and the pained reactions of the people opposing them. That day, I witnessed real hatred, real prejudice. I witnessed police brutality firsthand. And I was changed to my core.
In college, I became a social justice warrior. I studied urban history and sociology, examining issues like displacement and urban blight. I developed a passion for understanding and helping to remove social barriers for minority groups. While interning at the Falk Foundation, I had the incredible opportunity to work with the Formerly Convicted Citizens Project [FCCP], a nonprofit that works to assist people with convictions to apply for expungements and pardons, as well as to create policy change. During my time there, we successfully pushed for “Ban the Box” legislation in the city of Pittsburgh, which eliminated the conviction question on job applications, allowing applicants with criminal records to get their foot in the door. Since graduation, I’ve continued to work for FCCP as a pro bono consultant.
Today, I’m a mom to a 4-year-old. I’m a Christian. I’m a victim of sexual assault. I run two businesses from home. I volunteer for several nonprofits. I have lupus, which nearly killed me three years ago. Which brings me to the story of how I became a Donald Trump supporter.
I was forced to become my own health advocate after almost two decades of being failed by a dysfunctional medical system. I had thousands of dollars of medical bills piling up, and my body was continuing to deteriorate. I had an infant to care for. And I was desperate. I started researching everything I could about autoimmune disease and, in my pursuit, unintentionally discovered the immense corruption within our existing government.
Prior to this, I was a patriot, through and through. I was raised in a military family, where I was taught about the greatness of this nation. I was also raised with strong, Christian values. I grew up proudly reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school. My parents took me to Washington, D.C., as a child to teach me about the history of America and to instill great respect for our forefathers and our soldiers. I was truly and deeply proud to be an American.
When I began to research my own illness, I was astounded by the things I discovered. Initially, I learned about our country’s for-profit medical system — a system that possesses a massive conflict of interest between pharmaceutical companies and Congress members, and between healing the people or keeping them sick. It’s no secret that our medical model is failing on a large scale. But once I dug deeper, it became clear why.
The discovery of the corruption within our government health agencies and within our Congress gave me impetus to continue researching. From there, I uncovered even more corruption, like the Monsanto cover-ups and the unfair seizure of organic farms. The further my investigation went, more corruption was revealed. To my complete disheartenment, I realized that our government was no longer serving its people. Rather, it was appealing to powerful special interest groups and lobbyists. Somehow, we needed to change that.
I can say that as a Christian, as a mother, as a conservative and as a patriot, Donald Trump was an obvious choice. Of course, I must acknowledge the derogatory remarks made by our President-elect, which I do not, in any way, condone. However, I feel that the mainstream media has used a few offhand remarks to create a massive smear campaign against Trump to distract voters from the truth about his opponent, and the corruption that surrounds her. And if we’re honest, our country has long-abandoned exceptional character as a prerequisite for political office. What really matters, at least in my opinion, is that we restore this nation to one that works for everyone.
I know that opponents will wonder how a woman could support Donald Trump, but it is more complex than that. Why did Donald Trump get my vote? Because I am a woman who respects the gift of motherhood. Because I do not want my child to be subjected to terrorist attacks and war. Because I am a Christian and hold Christian beliefs. Because I want to uphold our Constitution. Because I am self-employed and have a chronic illness and need a healthcare system that works for me, and others like me. Because I want America, and its people, to thrive economically. And, most importantly, because I believe it is past time for Americans to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people once more.
Donald Trump represents an end to a long-standing era of a self-serving government. The people who have been part of the Trump movement recognize that.
The future of our great nation is uncertain, but I believe it is bright. For the first time in many years, I feel pride as an American. I feel hopeful that change is on the horizon. I believe that we’ve witnessed a silent revolution by electing Donald Trump as president, and I am confidently looking forward to him doing the job.
Kristin Koltick is a health & wellness coach, social media and marketing consultant, writer, blogger and speaker. Find her at www.kristinkoltick.com.