Katie Rooney is an Ohio resident, wife, mother of three, and a lifelong Republican. She spoke with NPR’s Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep to explain why she won’t even say Trump’s name, and is proud to be voting for Hillary Clinton.
A mother, who wants her children to grow up to be inclusive.
Inskeep: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today.
Rooney: Oh, thanks for caring what I say.
Inskeep: I hope it’s nice there on the back porch.
Rooney: It is it’s a lovely fall day.
Inskeep: That’s great. How old are your children.
Rooney: I have three children. My son is the baby he’s three and then my daughters are nine and seven.
Inskeep: So what concerns do you have about them, their lives, or their future.
Rooney: I see the world changing, and I just want them to be good people. That means I want them to be accepting of people, no matter, you know, what their views are politically, what the color of their skin is, what God they worship. I just want them to be inclusive, and I want the world to just be a better place.
Inskeep: I think you said the country is changing; in what way do you feel it changing?
Rooney: Well I feel quite a divide in our country, and I know that there’s a lot of conversation about the “haves” and the “have nots.” But really I just think it’s between people who are kind and those who are not kind. And I think that that really begins with this shift in our culture to, you know, everybody’s a celebrity, and so things like having a major party nominee really be a reality T.V. star is sad to me.
A Republican, who feels disenfranchised by her party.
Inskeep: Do you consider yourself a Republican or Democrat.
Rooney: I was born and raised in a Republican family, and I have mostly identified with Republican Party. I, I have found myself very disenfranchised over the last several elections, and I don’t really feel like, although I say I’m a Republican, may not necessarily line up with the views of the Republican Party, at least not my views.
Inskeep: So what are you thinking about this presidential election.
Rooney: I think, I think it’s very clear. I am a lifelong Republican, and I will be voting for Hillary Clinton.
Inskeep: Is that unusual for you in presidential elections, to vote for the Democrat?
Rooney: It is. I did not vote for Bill, but I will vote for Hill.
Inskeep: Why is that?
Rooney: Well number one, I don’t believe that there’s anybody who’s been more groomed for this role. Who is more prepared. You know for me the Republican Party nominee, just isn’t. He’s not suited for office, and it’s really sort of a no-contest vote for me. There are lots of really wonderful things about Hillary Clinton that I support, and about having a woman in the White House, what that means for me, what that means for my daughters, even more importantly. And you know that’s certainly not lost on me.
A voter, taking the higher path.
Inskeep: Do I detect a little reluctance to say the name of Donald Trump?
Rooney: The thing about it is, I don’t need to make him seem smaller in order to make Hillary seem bigger. She just is.
Inskeep: What do you mean by that?
Rooney: I don’t need to criticize him. I feel as though anybody who listens to the things that he says, you know – my daughters, I speak to them about everything. And I apologize to my son. I don’t mean to exclude him, but he’s three, and so he’s more interested in banging things around than watching a political debate on T.V.
Inskeep: And perhaps all of us should be, honestly.
Rooney: Yes, but you know my daughters are very interested in it, and they proudly run around school these days, and their shirts that say “Future President,” and that makes me really proud because I think for so long, it’s just been something that we say but didn’t really believe. And now for little girls everywhere, and for little boys, I think we can all really believe in that.
But I’m embarrassed that he is a part of this because, and by “he” I mean the Republican nominee, because I want my kids to be educated about the process, but I don’t want them staying up late on school nights to listen to somebody just bad mouth everybody, and he believes that that makes him look stronger. And it terrifies me when I think about so many people who, all they can see is the party line, and will support him because of that.
A realist, setting the example for us all.
Inskeep: Let me ask about Hillary Clinton’s experience. She had a tenure as Secretary of State that can be criticized, because many things did go wrong in the world. She tried for a reset with Russia that hasn’t worked out. The Arab Spring started out looking very positive but didn’t turn out very positive at all. How do you feel about her time as Secretary of State.
Rooney: I feel like she tries. As soon as there is any one of us, especially a politician, who can say that they got it right every single time, then they can criticize what she has done. And the message that I teach my children is that you will fail, but you can’t unless you try.
Transcribed by hand; any mistakes are unintentional. Featured image from Wikipedia commons.