Sanders has sided with the oppressor; believe her.
I grew up with *a lot* of women exactly like Sarah Sanders. Ascribing victimhood to them is not only inaccurate, it only strengthens their resolve. They are adults; they laugh at your assessment. They do not see themselves as victims of an oppressive system. They do lay claim to victimhood, sure — but with an altogether different villain and mostly for political posturing.
They will not quit. They will not pivot. This. is. who. they. are. Women are not monolithic. Women are people and people can suck. Christians are not monolithic. Christians are people and people can suck. Sarah Sanders sleeps just fine at night. She is not tormented. She wraps herself in the soft and bulletproof blanket of misguided religious zeal. Is it sad and tragic, sure: that zeal is nourished by the pats on the back (hopefully just the back) from her boss and her father. But folks, at some point you have to trust people’s decisions are genuine. In fundamentalist circles, underlings are only given a voice when it magnifies alpha/narcissist personality (and yes, it can be female too). The second the underling goes off script — no matter how heinous the offense they object to — those underlings are tormented, excommunicated, and made an example of to the ‘faithful’. Some do escape that environment as I have — usually at considerable cost.
While we should acknowledge the difference between ‘some’ and ‘all’; we also kid ourselves when we isolate Sanders as some bizarre anomaly when the vast majority of white evangelicals, men and women, are ardently behind her and the whole dystopian agenda. I am proud as hell to be both friend and family to some valiant conservative #neverTrump-ers and they are really in a tough spot; some of them are vocally opposed to this administration, others quietly. However, a casualty of the Christian faith is often fatalism; an obsession with the sweet by-and-by that lulls them out of personal agency; it quiets voices of responsibility about the here-and-now, both for themselves and those around them. They have everything to lose and they do not have long to save faith and party from destroying us all.
Hear me when I say that #neverTrump white evangelicals are the exception: by and large, nothing erodes their support. Not 45's infidelity, not his racism, not his narcissism, not his misogyny, not his extortion, not his family separation, not his corruption, not his lies, not his disregard for the constitution, not his subservience to Putin, not his celebration of violence. I have left the porch light on for evangelicals for many years now, extended grace even when they voted for Trump in historic numbers. However theirs was not the protest vote I once gave it credit for. They did not wrestle with the decision, only the optics. I of all people should have realized that; I feel sucker-punched for my naïveté. Evangelicals are among the most powerful and well organized groups in America; they could stop this horror in a month if they cared to. Instead they mostly yawn at the apocalypse. Worse yet, a rising number of them not only tolerate it they LOVE it; he’s <*chef’s kiss*> the whole symbiotic package for them. If they have the power and “liberals are crying” that is literally their definition of success. Republic be damned.
The REAL victim is truth itself. The real victim is our constitution. Our republic. The great society. The rule of law. The climate. It is liberty. The economy. Our schools. Civil rights. The real victim is Thousand Oaks. It is Pittsburgh. Charlottesville. It is Vegas. It is the baby defending himself at the immigration court. It is the free press. It is healthcare. It is public safety and the erosions of the institutions that uphold it. Stop straining at gnats and swallowing camels when the victims *worth* talking about are too numerous to list. Jesus did not see the oppressive religious leaders of his day as victims and neither should you. If you are still a believer, the clock is ticking: either empty the pews or re-think them entirely; for pointers, follow John Pavlovitz, Mike McHargue. If your values are intact but you are negotiating your world post-faith, follow Bart Campolo. Whoever you are, join Indivisible, swingLeft, or start your own effort that you can stand behind.
Stop puzzling about her and Melania and Ivanka and all the others like them. I have a bigger tent than most, but I have reached my limit. Find an actual victim to champion and change the conversation. Whatever your station in life, grow up and do your part. Find your voice, find your agency, find your humanity. Else you just feed their power-grabbing post-truth neo-fascist narrative and that decision will be the end of us all. Let’s get to work.