A Twitter takedown of Donald Trump and the Republicans who continue to support him has gone viral around the globe. And it all began in central Wisconsin.
Marybeth Glenn, a 29-year-old conservative blogger who has long leaned Republican, unleashed a Twitter storm this week that has broken through partisan walls, garnered support from celebrity liberals and drawn the attention of worldwide media.
Admittedly a “Never Trump” partisan, she thought last week that more Republicans would join her after the release of a video that showed the party’s presidential nominee bragging in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women.
“I seriously thought for sure, when all this came out, that there was no way that he has anybody left in his corner,” Glenn said in an interview. “When Monday came along, I saw that he did, and I flipped open my laptop and went on a vent. Seventeen tweets. A tweet storm. Then I slammed it closed and went to dinner.”
Glenn, who lives near Wausau and works as an administrative secretary and writer, tweeted that she had spent years defending the Republican Party against charges of sexism.
She continued: “Now some Trojan horse nationalist sexual predator invades the @GOP, eating it alive, and you cowards sit this one out? He treats women like dogs, and you go against everything I — and other female conservatives — said you were & back down like cowards.”
She scolded those who rebuked Trump for his comments but said they will still vote for him.
“Various men in the movement are writing it off as normal, confirming every stereotype the left has thrown at them. So I’m done. I’m sooo done,” she tweeted. “You won’t really care that I’m offended by your silence, and your inability to take a stand. But one by one you’ll watch more women like me go, & you’ll watch men of ACTUAL character follow us out the door.”
Friends flooded her with texts that her Twitter tirade had gone viral, with retweets from celebrities such as Debra Messing and Mark Ruffalo. “J.K. Rowling retweeted me while I was asleep that night,” she said.
The 6,000 Twitter followers that she started with on Monday suddenly ballooned to more than 18,000 by midweek. Her viral vent was retweeted and liked thousands of times, and it generated attention from national news shows to the BBC in London.
“At first, I was super excited because human decency shouldn’t be partisan,” she said. Liberals across the country said that while they didn’t agree with her politics, they respected her tweet storm.
Glenn, whose blog focuses on the collision of church and state, braced herself for the Trump supporters who would take aim at her as they have throughout the political season, telling her to get back in the kitchen and assaulting her with obscene language.
Aside from a few profane posts and others who said women shouldn’t have been given the vote, however, she got an “overwhelming” number of positive responses, including many from Republican men and liberals.
Glenn, who revels in the idea of breaking down partisan lines, cherished comments from those who said she busted their stereotype of a conservative. But being thrust into the limelight is a tad uncomfortable for the self-described introvert.
“I’m a writer, so I’m used to being behind a keyboard,” she said, taking comfort in things like literature and history. “I was that weird kid who when everyone else wanted to go to the zoo, I wanted to go to Gettysburg.”
Glenn, who often breaks ranks with conservatives over issues such as welcoming refugees and providing a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, has been the target of harsh and hateful comments from some fellow Republicans. But she doesn’t flinch.
“Why would I allow these people who supposedly represent me, get away with things I don’t agree with simply because they’re on my side?” she said.
Glenn, who backed U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for president, said she will vote for independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin because she figures that Democrat Hillary Clinton likely will clinch Wisconsin. In states where the race is tighter between Trump and Clinton, Glenn said her friends will vote Democratic — and they’re conservatives.
“I don’t stand with Hillary, but between the two she’s much less dangerous and clearly more sane than Donald Trump,” Glenn said. “I tell my friends you can either save yourself from four years of Hillary or, if you want to save the soul of the conservative movement and what we stand for, we cannot allow Trump in the White House.”