What comes to mind when you hear the term “snowflake”?
From now on, let that image be this: a convention for (primarily) white women who believe it was a huge act of courage to “come out” to their families and college campuses as supporters of Donald Trump. (Don’t worry. They found their safe space.)
Astead W. Herndon chronicled Turning Point USA’s Young Women’s Leadership Summit in the New York Times:
Cheyenne Martin, a 19-year-old student at Georgetown University, described being ridiculed by classmates for her desire to lead the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency one day. But this weekend she was met with a standing ovation.
Kyasia Benjamin used stealth social media accounts to hide her love of President Trump from her family, she said, but the 22-year-old was now proudly sporting a bright red skirt patterned with Republican Party elephants.
Laci Williams, 20, said she felt so isolated as a conservative in Denver that she started a young women’s conservative magazine to connect with like-minded women across the country. But now, for four days at a Dallas airport hotel, Ms. Williams felt like she wasn’t the exception but the rule.
“We are left out of the national conversation,” Ms. Williams said of young conservative women. “And we’re sick and tired of being ignored.”
Because if there’s one group of people who don’t have enough of a mouthpiece, it’s those who control Congress and the White House while setting the policy agenda for the entire country.
Don’t their sob stories just tug at your heartstrings? Can you imagine having to hide in a proverbial closet as a Trump supporter, not knowing if your family would still support and love you if they knew about your secret?
(Shush, LGBTQ people and atheists. Your stories are irrelevant at this conference.)
… The conference, which styles itself as an alternative to a liberal culture of feminism that many Republicans characterize as oppressive, attracted an estimated 1,000 young conservative women ages 17 to 24 for sessions like “How Political Correctness Is Making Everyone Stupid” and “In the Age of Resist: Be Revolutionary.”
At lunch, over Caesar salads and protein bars, young women swapped stories about how they “came out” to their family and friends as female supporters of Mr. Trump, and traded strategies on how to best cope with a sense of political ostracization that several described feeling on college campuses. They geeked out over the newest clothing from Ivanka Trump and quoted “takedowns” from conservative provocateurs and conference speakers including Tomi Lahren, Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson that they saw as perfect for “triggering liberals.”
When Tomi Lahren, Ben Shapiro, and Jordan Peterson are the voices of reason, you know the total amount of reasonable thought in this room could fit inside a thimble.
And then, just when you thought it was bad, it got worse. Other attendees were quoted as deriding the #MeToo movement, doubting rape statistics but blaming the problem on homosexuality and illegal immigrants, and opposing legal immigration.
That last one was cited by a Bangladeshi woman who’s weeks away from receiving her own American citizenship.
The article never mentions it (because the information wasn’t provided or collected), but I’d love to know where the attendees are from, what their upbringing was like, what kind of friends they have, what they see on their Facebook feeds, etc. The ideas they’re promoting are the kind that only make sense if you live in a bubble and surround yourself with like-minded people.
They may attend diverse schools, but how many friends do they have who challenge their views? They may come from liberal homes, but what kind of conversations are they having with their family members?
The speakers at this conference are known for being loud, obnoxious, and confident, not calm, reasonable, and fact-based. If they’re the people held up as role models, maybe that explains why these women feel so isolated. Who the hell would want to hang out with them?
That doesn’t mean we should lose hope, though. Even Megan Phelps Roper, a former member of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, eventually saw the problems with his bigoted views and is now an outspoken advocate for inclusion and tolerance. If she can change, so can they.
(Image via Facebook)