If you told me last year that I would spend the final weeks leading up to Election Day on the road for Hillary Clinton, cheering for her on behalf of Republican women, I never would have believed you. Same goes for the idea that I would appear on stage at a national convention to voice support for the Democratic nominee. I probably would have laughed. My husband would have laughed harder. Many of my fellow Republican friends would have cried. But then again, this hasn’t been a normal election cycle for America. I grew up in Richmond, VA — Virginia is historically a very red state — supporting all the Republican regulars like Eric Cantor, George Allen, and John Warner. I would head to the polls every year with my dad to help hand out GOP literature, and that turned into volunteering throughout high school and college doing phone banking, canvassing, and handing out bumper stickers and yard signs. And during law school, I was fortunate to work on the Senate Small Business Committee for former Sen. Olympia Snowe, a Republican who was able to successfully work across the aisle with her Democratic colleagues on a number of issues. Being a Republican is part of my identity. It’s how I grew up, and it's closely tied to the career path I chose. I hoped that in 2016 my party would recapture the presidency with a candidate who was principled, respected, and a great leader for our nation.
When our Republican leaders began endorsing Trump in May of 2016, I experienced a feeling that can only be described as betrayal.
The unique brand of cyberbullying Trump has cultivated throughout his campaign created an environment where many of us were afraid to voice our concerns.