As a Former Cult Member, I Understand Fervent Female Trump Supporters

When you’re brainwashed, logic isn’t part of the equation

Cyndy Etler | Teen Coach | Author
Human Parts
Published in
7 min readAug 19, 2019

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Photo: SOPA Images/Getty Images

ToTo help a novice develop a Buddha-like nature, a monk will pose a paradoxical question — “When one can do nothing, what can one do?” — that the rational mind can’t answer. These questions are called Zen kōans.

We, as a country, are living a Zen kōan. Our president, the molester-in-chief, has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least 22 women. His friends — Roger Ailes, Robert Kraft, and Jeffrey Epstein, to name a few — are men accused of sexual assault. His appointees to government positions fit the same bill. More than 80% of American women have been sexually assaulted or harassed, and yet a huge swath of them continue to support him and his cronies. Like, with a fervor.

The rational mind assumes that any woman, assaulted or not, would reject a man who says he would date his own daughter and be repulsed by men who are repeatedly accused of violating women. But then, who’s to say Trump’s supporters are rational?

As a sexual violence survivor myself, I deeply understand the male-female power dynamic. I understand it like a prey animal: I sense when a man is being creepy. I get it when a woman is too afraid, ashamed, or confused to report what happened to her. I know how the most traumatic moments are seared into memory while the irrelevant details fade away.

So the ultimate question is, why does this rapey stuff pass muster with conservative women, while infuriating liberal ones?

Every liberal woman I know intrinsically understands this. Every conservative woman I know pooh-poohs it. We all live in the same country with the same men and the same high school parties. The majority of us have been sexually violated. Yet nearly half of Trump’s donors in the first three months of 2019 were women. Gallup reports that 46% of women polled say Trump should not be impeached or removed from office. So the ultimate question is, why does this rapey stuff pass muster with conservative women, while infuriating liberal ones?

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Cyndy Etler | Teen Coach | Author
Human Parts

Locked up & homeless as a teen. Now teaching resiliency & hope with my YA memoirs & teen coaching. Seen on CNN, HuffPost, NPR, CBS, ABC. www.cyndyetler.com