The latest episode of WNYC’s political podcast “The United States of Anxiety” centers on a group of progressive women in rural Texas who meet in secret as part of an underground resistance working to get Beto O’Rourke, the 2018 Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas, elected. Fearing isolation, retaliation, and backlash from their community, an area reputed to be “solid Republican territory”, they go to great lengths to keep their efforts covert. Listen to the episode below.

To be liberal in public would mean risking business, friendships, and community acceptance. So this group of women – Americans, grandmothers, and patriots – has both a confidentiality agreement and a mission statement. They keep in touch between meetings using a private email listserv of 136 registered members and a secret Facebook group. Everyone in the group voted for Hillary Clinton, and its members include women with husbands who voted for Trump in the 2016 election, who don’t know about the group, or with whom they don’t discuss politics at all. 

At their monthly meetings the women talk about politics, mail anonymous postcards to voters in their rural county, and vent about their interactions with conservative neighbors and co-workers, their church, their family, and their friends.

Lead photo courtesy of New York Public Radio, credit to Caroline Covington