Lori Stegmann is an Oregon county commissioner, an orphan and an immigrant from Korea. She is also a lifelong Republican, or was, until this week when she changed her party affiliation because she simply could not associate herself with the Republican party any longer.
During an interview with Erin Burnett, she explained, "For me, I'm an orphan, an immigrant. With the family separation of children, that was really the final straw for me."
After Burnett played Trump's Access Hollywood tape and his remarks about Judge Curiel, she pressed Stegmann again.
"What you're saying, all that added up but really what was happening at the southern border that made you change your mind, your party?"
Stegmann reiterated that it was Trump and his administration who pushed her over the edge. "The misogyny, the racism. I serve on a board of all women, the county commission board. Our board is the first majority minority board in nearly 165 years. I'm the first Asian-American. I'm the first Korean American to ever serve on the board," she explained.
"We need to speak out, we need to stand together, and we need to call out the inequities and the horrible things that are happening at the hands of our current federal administration," she said. "I for one, as an immigrant, I want people to understand this is the face of an immigrant. We are all immigrants."
She then told her story: "I came to this country at 6 months old, adopted by a loving family. I put myself through college, started my own business. I have lived the American dream. I have a responsibility to pay it forward, and there were so many people that I have never met that have given me this opportunity. Honestly if not being able to come to America, I would be dead. I jokingly say, I turned out pretty good. But I say that in all seriousness, because if you give people the same basic humanity and kindness and love that we all deserve we can all thrive."
Amen. I hope her story rings out across the nation and that more like her choose to abandon a political party full of white nationalists and white supremacists.