I met Kim Houlding in the late 1990s when she asked for my help trying to stop a rural subdivision that neither she nor her neighbors wanted. We won that fight, and Kim and I have been friends ever since. As our veterinarian, Kim has seen Cat Mika through various feline challenges, and she recently helped curb an infection afflicting our laying hens. On top of that, Kim tells some of the funniest jokes I’ve ever heard.
In the early 2000s, Kim talked about running for office — as a Democrat. “I grew up in a Democratic family. My grandfather ran a union print shop in Minneapolis and my dad was in the printers union.”
Kim voted for Obama in 2008. With waning enthusiasm, she voted for him again in 2012. She went with Trump in 2016 and 2020 — casting a vote not so much FOR Trump but against Biden and the Democratic Party.
In conversing with Kim as the first of 52 Iowa Trump voters I plan to interview this year, I try to understand what compelled her political evolution: “My attitude about Trump is that he’s his own boss. He hasn’t been closely aligned with either party, so no one could buy him or own him. In 2016, I couldn’t support Hillary — no way, shape, or form. We needed a tough kid on the block then. I oppose defunding the police and allowing criminals to overrun our streets, destroying lives and property.”
I ask Kim if Trump had lived up to her expectations. “Not completely. Trump’s tax bill did more to help rich people. But he did try to do something about NAFTA and other trade agreements that have hurt working people and small businesses. On the downside, we needed Trump to be more professional and reserved, and we didn’t get that.”
Kim feels the Democratic Party is inclined to raise taxes and out of touch with the challenges that face working people and small business owners. “I’ve worked two to three jobs since college, in addition to operating a farm. I broke a shoulder and didn’t miss a day of work. I had a hip replaced and missed only two weeks. Those of us working for a living don’t want to give up any more of our taxes to people who aren’t working.”
Kim’s in her mid-sixties but keeps working: “My retirement social security isn’t enough to live on. I have some pension money invested, and that has done well in the market, which helps.”
Our conversation moves on from national politics to the state legislature. I ask Kim what Iowa lawmakers could do to help small business owners like her. “I’ve got to have six licenses just to be a vet, and each comes with a regulatory component that involves a lot of my time and money. Given the punitive regulatory structure, some government official could easily come in and take my equipment or simply shut me down.”
Regarding climate change, Kim agrees we’re all going to have to find a way to live more simply. “I opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline because of the abuse of eminent domain and its threat to our water. We need fuel, obviously, and I don’t know what the answer is, but climate change is definitely on my radar.”
(1:35) Climate Update: Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim reflects on New Mexicans’ hospitality;
(15:56) Kim Houlding: Veterinarian and Iowa Trump voter;
(31:11) Questions about the coronavirus vaccine, with Dr. MarkAlain Dery;
(45:19) Attorney makes bizarre claim that climate change helps Idaho;
(52:52) National Screen-Free Week — Why wait until May?, with Kathy Byrnes, Birds & Bees Urban Farm.
Watch our conversation with Kathy Byrnes on The Fallon Forum Facebook Page.
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