Karen Pence: Everywoman?
If you were asked to choose somebody to be “emblematic of American Women in 2017”, it’s highly likely that “Karen Pence” would be the first name that came to mind. The nation’s Second Lady, who’s allegedly called “mother” by her husband, isn’t exactly known as a champion for women’s rights or equality. When you’re married to a man that’s been called “potentially the greatest threat to women’s reproductive rights in a generation”, few people are going to assume you donned a pink knit cap and joined the largest pro-female demonstration in American history. But Karen Pence DOES share at least one core belief with a majority of American women: the opinion that President Donald Trump is a vile human being.
In a brilliant and detailed examination of Vice President Mike Pence, the religious right, and their allegiance to a vulgar, greedy adulterer, The Atlantic’s McKay Coppin profiles the eventual-Second Couple’s reaction to the leak of Trump’s now infamous Access Hollywood tape.
(Mike Pence) was genuinely shocked by the Access Hollywood tape. In the short time they’d known each other, Trump had made an effort to convince Pence that–beneath all the made-for-TV bluster and bravado–he was a good-hearted man with faith in God. On the night of the vice-presidential debate, for example, Trump had left a voicemail letting Pence know that he’d just said a prayer for him. The couple was appalled by the video, however. Karen in particular was “disgusted,” says a former campaign aide. “She finds him reprehensible–just totally vile.”
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That Karen Pence considers Trump to be “reprehensible” shouldn’t be too shocking. Most Americans — along with millions overseas following along — are well aware of the litany of his crass and deplorable behavior. Yet her opinions, along with those of her husband and those closest to him profiled in Coppin’s incredibly detailed report, tell a dangerous tale about the ramifications of ambition, pardon the obvious pun, “trumping” principle.
The Pence family — and Evangelical voters across the land — have sacrificed any moral high ground that they may have believed they once held by hitching their wagon to a man with such a blatant disregard for his fellow citizens and our democratic institutions.
There’s now hell to pay, and we’re all splitting the bill.