Not even the women of Bravo's "Real Housewives of New York City" were spared the stress of the 2016 election.
Stringing a thread that began with Carole Radziwill's activism on behalf of the Clinton campaign early in the season through its conclusion during the three-part reunion, on Wednesday's penultimate episode host Andy Cohen asked each of the women to disclose for whom they voted last November. Radziwill, a best-selling author and former journalist, sparred earlier in the season with fellow housewife Ramona Singer, who raised questions about Hillary Clinton's emails.
As cameras rolled during her election night party, Radziwill couldn't conceive of a path to victory for Trump. "Obviously she wins in a landslide," the housewife prophesied.
At the reunion, filmed months into Trump's first year in office, something interesting happened.
Given their statuses in Manhattan's elite social circles, Cohen asked each woman to discuss the extent of their personal relationships with Trump, Clinton, or both, awarding "bonus points" for whoever was so bold as to reveal which candidate earned their vote. Dorinda Medley, whose late husband was prominent in Democratic circles, eagerly defended her vote for the former secretary of state. Bethenny Frankel said she voted for Clinton, but "didn't think it was an ideal situation." Explaining politics wasn't her "thing," Tinsley Mortimer admitted she didn't vote.
But Singer, Sonja Morgan, and Luann de Lesseps, each of whom revealed some minimal level of personal relationship with either Trump or Clinton or both, would not say for whom they cast their ballots.
"Don't you feel like the people that said ‘I'm not gonna say' voted for Trump?" Radziwill exclaimed. "I think it's three versus three and one abstained," agreed Cohen.
Assuming that's the case, Singer, Morgan, and de Lesseps' reluctance to publicly admit they selected Trump over Clinton shows how powerfully the president is stigmatized in elite circles. To ask the stars of "Duck Dynasty" to endorse Trump is easy enough, but in Manhattan, it's another ball game.
Of course, support for Trump is only a touchstone of the sharp cultural polarization between urban and rural Americans. But it's somewhat disorienting to see the women of the "Real Housewives," for whom comfort with candor forms the bedrock of their success, become so shy when asked to admit whether they voted for the man who actually won the election.
In the era of Trump, those same people who pressure these women into ambiguity, by the way, pressure the rest of America too.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.