My mother was one of the few people who made money. She was a dentist in a Communist state where, ultimately, free healthcare wasn't free. In order to receive proper and timely treatment people paid. Over time she collected an antique collection. Her prized possession was a 18th century French rosewood dining room set. Before we fled Romania in 1987, a museum bought her antiques for a fraction of its value—the equivalent of $1100 USD. Some guy bought the rosewood set. We learned later that he sold it at a Munich auction house in the early 90s for half a million deutschemarks–$500,000 USD. My mother wept since we were struggling as immigrants. I told her, “Mom, Mom! It matters more that we got our freedom.” Today I’m in finance. I work hard. To relax I like to decorate and go antiquing.

I defected from Ceaușescu's Romania. You don’t grow up in a regime like that and not think about state control over human lives. Today I’m a libertarian. I believe in small government. I’m pro-choice. What I find most threatening in a democracy is extremism. She’s an ideologist and would’ve appointed Supreme Court justices with extreme positions. My vote was more an anti-Hillary vote.

I’ve lived here since 1993 but I’m still a European at heart and read the European papers. Let me tell you, Benghazi was covered with graphic detail. Reading the news in Europe I understood how censored the news in the U.S. has become, giving me flashbacks of a Commie regime. I also resented that when I opened the October issues of my fashion magazines, the editors all endorsed Clinton for president. Somehow you have to believe that because the media was so one-sided - it actually backfired!

© 2017 Jayne Riew. All Rights Reserved.

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