The Corner

Culture

Stop Hailing Claudia Conway as Your ‘Resistance’ Hero

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington, D.C., August 6, 2020. (Cheriss May/Reuters)

Since Kellyanne Conway’s work as manager of Donald Trump’s campaign helped propel him into the White House in 2016, mainstream outlets have treated us to an inside look at her apparently tumultuous marriage to her husband George.

George Conway, a lawyer and long-time fixture of the conservative movement in Washington, left the Republican Party a few years back over his opposition to Trump. He’s also one of the founders of the Lincoln Project, purportedly a group of anti-Trump conservatives that in fact operates more like a grift to funnel money toward Democratic campaigns and back into the pockets of the project’s founders.

The Trump-related tension between Kellyanne and George has spilled out in public more than once over the last several years. In 2019 for instance, after George suggested on Twitter that the president’s mental health was deteriorating, Trump shot back, tweeting, “George Conway, often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway by those who know him, is VERY jealous of his wife’s success & angry that I, with her help, didn’t give him the job he so desperately wanted. I barely know him but just take a look, a stone cold LOSER & husband from hell!”

In a subsequent interview, Kellyanne defended the president, calling him a “counterpuncher” and saying he is free to respond to public attacks. Throughout Trump’s presidency, and even since Kellyanne exited the White House, media outlets have been all too eager to publish details about what is, by all accounts, a troubled marriage.

Gone are the days of odd couple James Carville and Mary Matalin, leagues apart in their political views and their work, staunch advocates of refusing to let those disagreements, even over Trump, destroy their long and happy marriage.

But lately, when it comes to the Conways, it’s been more than just George and Kellyanne in the public eye. Claudia Conway, the couple’s 15-year-old daughter, has rocketed to social-media stardom after her pro–Black Lives Matter and anti-Trump posts on Twitter and TikTok began going viral this summer. Claudia evidently despises the president and, despite her father’s agreement with her on that point, she resents both of her parents — Kellyanne because she has served as a close adviser to Trump and George because he disagrees with Claudia’s own left-wing views.

What is most troubling about the entire affair is not that Claudia disagrees with her parents about Trump or politics; she’s far from the first rebellious teenager to eschew her parents’ views in dramatic fashion. But it has been deeply disturbing to watch her document that disgust and disrespect on social media — praised, championed, and amplified every step of the way by left-wing celebrities and much of the news media.

In a more decent political environment, the New York Times and Vanity Fair and Business Insider and the Daily Mail and Vulture and Elle and plenty of other outlets would have the good grace not to make front-page news out of this child’s dysfunctional relationship with her parents. It’s difficult to imagine that these publications would be conducting themselves similarly if the political parties were reversed, that the conservative daughter of progressive parents, one of whom worked for a Democratic president, would be the recipient of such gushing and constant media attention.

Claudia Conway shouldn’t be hailed as a hero of the left-wing, anti-Trump “Resistance.” Her documentation of a family in shambles does not make her “like Bob Woodward,” and her misery should not be a source of entertainment for progressive adults looking to justify their hatred of the president. It is a testament to the dangers of social media, and to how toxic our political climate has become, that left-wing adults are willing to drag an anguished teenager into the spotlight simply because they think her woes help to underscore their own political sympathies and undermine their political enemies.

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