Big government bureaucrats and politicians have always been attracted to power. Big government people are perpetually alarmed busybodies who have empowered themselves by inserting their noses into everyone else's business both here and abroad. The two major parties, made up of big government liberals and conservative impostors, have used "war" as both a metaphor and as a political tool to “solve” exaggerated economic, social, and political problems. The war on poverty has created the welfare state. The war on terror has perpetuated the military-industrial complex, and along with the war on drugs, these bureaucrats and politicians are now creating a police state. The Republican and Democrat policies are failing us and will always fail us. These policies only serve special interests that capture our wealth and never solve problems! Unfortunately, the Democrat and Republican parties have merged into nothing more than two sides in a one-party state. Why else are backroom deals made when none of the elected officials ever seem to have time to read critical bills; such as ESSA (The Every Student Succeeds Act) and the Omnibus Bill? Is it because politicians care too much about their own re-elections and pocket books? Of course this is ultimately our fault as voters. Always voting for the lesser of two evils, as if that is our only choice, will only get us what we deserve. That is why I had to become an advocate for liberty and run for office. I am giving you a choice to vote for a principled person who cannot be bought by special interests. Remember why this country was founded and what our Constitution really protects - Individual Liberty! I am running for the U.S. Senate as a Libertarian because I want to keep America a free country for our children, for me, and for you. I love freedom! You will understand why if you read my personal story below. I want to guard our freedom, significantly cut the size of the Federal government, and balance the budget permanently. I intend to stop the federalization of education (Common Core), stop the unconstitutional surveillance of citizens, and reinstate due process and the Fourth Amendment. I will protect the First Amendment by protecting the Second Amendment. I will hold every politician accountable to the Constitution and return the power to you—the owners of your own lives, your own children, your businesses, and our country.

I was born right before the start of China’s Cultural Revolution and grew up in Chengdu, Capitol of Sichuan province, in western China. As you know, in China there is only one party that truly has power: The Communist Party. The government, which is the Communist Party, controls everything: factories, schools, the press, hospitals, land, and universities. Growing up there, I never heard of such a thing as a “private company." There were no real choices of any sort we could make that mattered. We were all poor except for the top 1% political elite. We had no gas or stove, no TV or radio, no phones, no refrigerators, and no washing machines. In the cities, electricity was rationed and was very unreliable. In the countryside, there was no electricity.

Our family of five had to live on the very low wages my parents earned by working for state factories 6 days per week. The local government issued coupons for us to buy everything from pork to rice, sugar, and flour, and there was never enough. We were allowed only 2.2 pounds of pork per month for our family of five. We lived in a small two-room 'apartment' without heat and no indoor plumbing. I got impetigo every winter from the cold damp winter weather, which was a common malady for many kids to get. Eight families lived in our complex, and we had to share bathrooms (nothing more than two holes dug in the ground outside), one for all males, and one for all females. When the light bulb went out, no one would replace it because no one owned it. Many times, it would be totally dark when we went to the bathroom. It became quite a scary adventure at night for us to go there. We only had government hospitals which were filthy. I was afraid of going to a hospital because I might catch a disease. At age 15, two years before I left for college, we moved into a three-room apartment provided by my dad's work-unit. It had bare concrete walls and a concrete floor, but no fixtures except for a water faucet and sink, and still no heat. It had a shared restroom without a shower or bathtub for two families—but it was infinitely better than what we had before.

As a child, we were brainwashed in public school every day. We were taught that two-thirds of the world's population were suffering and living in hunger and our Communist country was the best. We didn't think that maybe China should be counted as part of the two-thirds of suffering humanity! We believed whatever the government told us because we did not know anything better. I thought the other countries must be hellish places if they were worse off than we were. Anyway, we chanted daily: “Long Live Chairman Mao, Long Live the Communist Party. I love Chairman Mao." I was so brainwashed as a small child that I could even see Chairman Mao in the clouds or in coal embers of our cooking fire. He was like a god to me. We were required to read all of Mao’s Red books, wear Mao’s buttons, and confess bad thoughts to him in our journals.

We were required to conform and not stand out as individuals. I was held back from joining the Young Pioneers because I was not humble enough (I told my classmates I should be in the first batch to join due to my 100% grade on every subject, and they reported on me). The powerful state from top to bottom was always watching us very closely: from Beijing’s central government to our neighborhood block committees and police stations. We had no rights, even though our Constitution said we did. It was very scary. The local police could stop by our home to open our doors at night for any reason. The government told us how to dress (Mao’s suit), what to buy and eat (coupons), where to live (household registration system), and what to read (government newspapers). All land belonged to the people (the government) and citizens were not allowed to have any weapons for self-defense or off to prison they would go. Things have changed a lot in China since the open door policy of Deng Xiaoping really got things going in the early 1980s; people have more economic freedom than ever before to start businesses, get jobs in another city, travel overseas, buy a home etc., but the political system is still fundamentally the same one-party rule.

My favorite teacher in high school told me when I was 16 years old that he was sent to a Re-education Labor Camp because the Communist Party punished those who criticized the Party even though the Party had been asking for feedback. His health was ruined during those years. He said “China is not a country of laws." Thus I became determined to study law in college. After three whole days, eight hours of testing each day, I scored very high and was admitted to Fudan law school, one of the top universities in China. I became the first one in my entire extended family ever to go to college. When there, I was depressed to find out that what we learned in school and what was reality were totally different things. The society was not ruled by law but ruled by men. After I became a law school faculty member at Fudan University in Shanghai, I had to be careful about what to say in the classroom or during the Party political study and self-criticism meetings. My leaders in law school intruded into my private life telling me, for example, that I received too many letters (I was too social), or I should not accept an invitation from my boyfriend’s parents’ for dinner and to spend the night. I was a law school faculty member and yet I was still being treated as a child!

I realized I could not really have the personal freedom I dreamed of if I stayed in China, so I decided to re-enter school in the USA. I chose to come to America because I was earlier introduced to the Declaration of Independence by an American student at my college. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”. I dreamed of living in America where I could live the way I see fit and be left alone by the government. I worked very hard to get enrolled in an American university with the help of an American Fulbright professor who sponsored me to come over to study. The process of leaving China and my job was very difficult. I went to the local security office to apply for my passport seven times and was treated as a deserter with papers literally thrown at my face. My law school made me sign a paper saying that I must return to my job in Shanghai after two years of graduate study or they would eliminate my position and send my personnel file (everyone has one in China which follows you from birth to death) to my hometown in Chengdu, which would be a death sentence for my law career and life in Shanghai. However, I was determined to leave and did not care about what I had to sign.

I arrived in America in 1988 with $100 borrowed money in my pocket and $1200 in debt to my sponsor. The first ten years when I was in the U.S, I still had nightmares about being trapped in China by the government and having to dig a big hole in the ground, swim into the blue Pacific Ocean, so I could escape, and swim to the United States. Even when I went back to China later to visit with my American husband in 1991, my fears and reality would return. For example, staying at a friend’s apartment in Beijing one night, the police came to pound on the door to check our papers. Someone must have reported to them that that there was a foreigner (my husband) in the neighborhood. I was pregnant with our first son at that time, and we were in deep sleep after midnight when the police’s door pounding scared the heck out of me and brought all the bad childhood memories back. Fortunately, they only wanted to check our papers, or maybe just to let us know they were watching. Another time I was in China during June 4th (Tian An Men crackdown anniversary) for a business trip, I was in a business-friend’s car, when we were randomly pulled over by the local police to check out our IDs and search our car. They did not have to show any search warrant. I used to also travel often to Guangdong Province for business when I worked in Hong Kong. I distinctly remember the taxi drivers there calling the local police “mafia” because of their brutality and corruption.

I did not hesitate to become an American citizen in 1995.Here I could speak freely and have my rights protected, but I do not take my new freedom for granted. I vote in every election. As a U.S. citizen, I have worked for private companies in Hong Kong and Denver. Later, I started my own business and worked hard to grow my business. For the past 17 years, my husband and I have raised three children in Parker, Colorado, enjoying a classic middle class life: kids, a house, a dog, and 2 cars. From the $100 I brought over from China to having my own businesses and properties, I know I am living the American Dream. All the immigrants I know who come to this country do so because they believe America is a land of opportunity and freedom. We know that if you work very hard, and save money, you will be successful, and make a nice living here. I love this country. I want my children to continue to enjoy the freedom that brought me here. I want my children to have the same opportunity I had to succeed.

By telling my own story, I wanted to share my message with you; big governments do not work; big governments are very dangerous because they always use force. Big governments attract people who love power and control. Big governments want to distract you and direct your choices to unimportant social conventions yet limit your choices on really important things like speech, self-defense, and property rights. The freedom we have in this country is precious. I believe that governments at all levels in the US are essentially pretty good because the American people are good. However, we are losing more and more liberty every day. The two major parties of this country have always expanded the government (federal or state), even when they say they are shrinking it. Whoever is in power always wants to 'do' something, to 'solve' some problem. It never really works because government must use force to solve the ‘problem of the day.’ Now the federal government is $19 trillion in debt from all the problems it has 'solved'; we are losing our freedom to choose in many aspects of our life: health care, education, speech, privacy, what we want to buy to protect our families, how much money we want to keep after our hard work, etc., and even in New York they want to control soft-drink sizes! Can’t you see how absurd this has become? Big government is like a cancer; it will grow and spread and keep growing if we don’t stop it. Do not believe things will always get better. Empires come and go: countries are born, and then they die. America is not invulnerable. I know that people are born the same everywhere, yet their cultures and systems of government can be vastly different and still change for the better… or the worse. Our citizens are increasingly reliant on more government. I know this is a very dangerous trend.

This country has been on the wrong path for too long all our governments (local, state, federal) have been growing bigger for too long. What kind of country is this if we have to work over half a year to pay all the taxes and fees: federal, state, city, county; including payroll, phone, gas, car license, restaurant, hotel, air travel, licenses, tariffs, etc.? We are taxed too much for many things we don't want and the country is more broke than ever. This is astounding to me. What kind of country is this if the government uses force to take your money, to spend it the way they see fit and then tell you it is good for you, while actually benefiting their cronies and special interests? What kind of country is this if our children are becoming state property under Common Core, subject to nationalized education standards, indoctrination and data mining without parental consent and control; and, when in college, brainwashed to limit freedom of speech? What kind of country is this that there are too many regulations and licensing requirements for ordinary people to start their own businesses? Why is it that the U.S. is no longer the top country for economic freedom? What kind of country is this where the government can monitor your private email and phone calls? What kind of country is this when the government limits your right to self-defense by restricting the guns you can own? What kind of country is this if the IRS can target you based on your political affiliation? Why have we Americans become so unsure of ourselves that we want to be like other countries and to think like them instead of wanting them to be like us? When did this change happen? Where is the America I dreamed of—“a shining city on the hill” for individual rights and freedom—full of strong men and women, without fear, acting on their own behalf?

I do not have all the answers but I do know one thing for sure, our country is going down the wrong path, and I feel very threatened. As a Chinese immigrant who grew up during the “Cultural Revolution” under Mao’s regime, I see clearly what is happening in America, and it reminds me of what happened in China. There is no way I am going to sit and watch the country I love become more and more like the country I left.

I am asking for your help to support my campaign. Please contribute and volunteer now. Trust me to be your fierce fighter for liberty, because I have been fighting for liberty all my life. Join me, stay the cause for freedom!


Lily Tang Williams is the Libertarian nominee for U.S. Senate in Colorado. The Libertarian Party of Colorado unanimously nominated Lily on March 12th 2016. Her name will be on the ballot this November.

Born before China’s Cultural Revolution in Sichuan province, the wild west of China, Lily was raised with her two brothers by illiterate working-class parents. She grew up under Mao’s regime, enduring poor living conditions; food rationing; Communist indoctrination; and political and social chaos. In this tumultuous environment, she quickly developed street smarts and compassion, as well as the values of perseverance and hard work.

Lily received her university law degree at Fudan University in Shanghai and was a faculty member of the law school for three years. She came to the U.S. in 1988 to earn a Master's degree at the University of Texas at Austin, School of Social Work.

Subsequently, Lily worked for corporations in Hong Kong and the U.S as a corporate executive. She then became a Colorado small business woman and entrepreneur in 2000.

Lily was nominated as a candidate by the Libertarian Party of Colorado in March of 2014 to run for the State of Representatives in District 44. She is the former state chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado and currently State Director for Our America Initiative.

Lily is a grassroots activist and professional speaker. She has been outspoken promoting civil liberties, economic freedom, less intrusive government, and other policies that maximize personal freedom. She is an inspirational speaker to many people. Lily has been married to John Williams for 26 years. They have lived in Parker, Colorado for 17 years, with their children and German Shepherd Ajiao (which means 'cute and proud' in Mandarin). In addition to political activities, Lily takes care of family and business. She also enjoys traveling, cooking, music, soccer, poker and ping pong.


Credited to Paul's Colorado Photography