A 20-year-old college student has developed a following and gotten at least five marriage proposals after writing a column about her experiences with welfare recipients as a Walmart cashier. She says she wants to be the next Ann Coulter.
Christine Rousselle, a junior at Providence College in Rhode Island, wrote on the website The College Conservative about her experiences working as a teenager at a Walmart store in her hometown of Scarborough, Maine. The column quickly gathered more than 400,000 views after going viral on social networks.
In the column titled “My time at Walmart: Why we need serious welfare reform,” Rousselle describes “hours upon hours toiling away at a register” in the summers of 2010 and 2011, during which she witnessed “massive amounts of welfare fraud and abuse.” She reports customers using welfare money to buy toys, lobsters and jewelry, and welfare recipients yakking on $200 iPhones. She suggested that a hot dog stand operator used food stamps to supply his business.
Rousselle adds that she came to a startling realization after a Massachusetts customer showed her a welfare card with former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis' signature. That meant the man had been on welfare as long as Rousselle had lived, since she was born in 1991, the same year Dukakis' last term ended.
Readers left more than 2,000 comments before comments on the article were closed, and shared the column thousands of times on Facebook. Rousselle told the Bangor Daily News that most of the response has been positive, and included five marriage proposals.
“Or at least five,” she said. “I’m floored by all of this.”
Rousselle also told the newspaper that most of her former Walmart coworkers have applauded her too. “I saw somebody come through the line using food stamps to buy $60 worth of lobsters,” she said, adding that a coworker said, “ ‘I wish I could afford $60 worth of lobsters.’ ”
But she acknowledged that she’s also received criticism, and told the Bangor Daily News that she plans a follow-up post titled “Christine is not a monster.” She said those accusing her of being a racist were particularly misguided: “Maine is 94 percent white, and the people I referenced in the column were white.”
A political science major, Rousselle seems to be taking her feedback, positive and negative alike, in stride.
“I’m having the time of my life,” she said. “I would love to do this full-time. My dream job is to be Ann Coulter.”
And she’s snagged at least one key supporter for her dream: Ann Coulter herself, who responded to Rousselle’s column on Twitter. “UR perfect for it,” the conservative commentator tweeted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.