Lily Tang Williams’ living the American dream

Lily Tang Williams next to her campaign sign. Photo Courtesy of Christopher Roberson.

By Nia Mclean

Boston University News Service

Lily Tang Williams is running for the U.S. House of Representatives to “fundamentally protect the American dream.”

While not participating in the New Hampshire presidential primary on Jan. 23, Williams is actively seeking a place in the 2024 election cycle as the Republican nominee for New Hampshire’s 2nd district, aiming to challenge incumbent Democrat Annie Kuster.

Williams criticizes Kuster as being “out of touch” with the people of New Hampshire, avoiding town halls and relying on wealthy donors for support. She points out an instance reported by the New Hampshire Journal where Kuster planned to host a ski-trip getaway in Wyoming for cash-flush PACs and Democratic activists, with tickets priced at $1,500 for individuals and $2,500 for PACs. Williams highlighted that this is unaffordable for working-class residents in New Hampshire.

Coming from humble beginnings in Communist China during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, Williams describes the challenging conditions her family faced. Born to illiterate workers, she recalls living in conditions where “eight families with children share one bathroom.”

In an interview with the Heritage Foundation, Williams recounts a memory with her uncle, explaining how limited government-issued protein rations led him to teach her how to “catch rats, cook them and suck the meat off the bones.”

“I am running because I don’t want this country to become like that,” Williams said. “I feel like I am obligated.”

Under Zedong’s regime, Williams said censorship was rampant. Williams reveals that the regime propagated the narrative that “Taiwanese people were suffering and American purity is really bad,” portraying capitalism as bloodsucking and profits as horrible. Reflecting on her time in China, Williams told BU News Service, “When I was in China, they never told us the truth. When I came here, I had to study to learn the truth.”

Williams immigrated to America at 24 years old, taught herself English and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. She got married, had three children and – with an entrepreneurial spirit – started three businesses.

Williams said, “I achieve[d] [the] American dream by coming here with nothing to start, could not [even] speak English. I’m living [the] American dream.”

Responding to inquiries about her views on immigration reform as an immigrant, Williams tells BU News Service that her brother waited in China for 13 years to immigrate to the United States. She said that the immigration system needs to be “sped up” so that people don’t feel compelled to immigrate illegally. Williams said it’s unfair that her brother had to endure a lengthy wait while others did not. She also called illegal immigration a “national security crisis.”

As an Asian-American, BU News Service asked Williams what she would do for Asian American New Hampshire residents if elected. 

“I don’t believe in Identity Politics. This DEI stuff is divisive,” she said. “I am going to represent all the people in New Hampshire, but when it comes to affirmative action and DEI practices, Asian people feel like they are being discriminated against. Asian parents emphasize education, and that’s why they are so successful.”

Continuing, she asks, “How could you say from colonial times until now America has been systemically racist? It’s insulting. MLK happened. That is insulting to [Martin Luther King]. It’s insulting to Hispanics and Blacks. Compete. You’re not dumb.”

“35 years in this country – I don’t feel like I have ever been oppressed.”

“We should have built a color-blind society.”

“The American way is equality and equal opportunity under our laws.”

She states that if elected, she would “not fund DEI training and hirings,” which she says the Biden administration has promoted.

Williams holds a strong stance on foreign policy, as outlined on her campaign website: “I believe in peace through strength, having a strong and non-political military, and pursuing American interests first. In dealing with international conflicts, we must be unified and consistent in seeking diplomatic, economic, and technological solutions whenever possible.” 

Additionally, she released a statement condemning the Israel-Hamas war. She told BU News Service that she disagrees with the way the United States is handling the conflict because “the Biden administration should be negotiating to release hostages” and “the United Nations never condemned Hamas using innocent people as a human shield.”

If elected, Williams said she doesn’t want to be a career politician. Rather, she said she believes in term limits and has signed the term limit pledge, stating that career politicians are corrupt and out of touch, and “we should be led by the people.”

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