Even though we are in the height of the political season, with the presidential election right around the corner on Nov. 3, messages about the importance of family and community have become the talk of the town.
In what has to be the biggest surprise of the week, if not the year, Kellyanne Conway, the special counsel for President Trump and the person who made history by being the first woman to run a successful presidential campaign, announced she was leaving the White House in order to focus on her family.
We hear that a lot from people as an excuse who actually leave their work for other reasons, but in this case, because of a number of public stories involving her husband, anti-Trump activist George Conway, and one of her teenage daughters, we know her sentiment is genuine. Here’s part of her statement about her decision.
“I will be transitioning from the White House at the end of this month. George is also making changes. We disagree about plenty but we are united on what matters most: the kids. Our four children are teens and ‘tweens starting a new academic year, in middle school and high school, remotely from home for at least a few months. As millions of parents nationwide know, kids “doing school from home” requires a level of attention and vigilance that is as unusual as these times. This is completely my choice and my voice. In time, I will announce future plans. For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama.”
One of her teenage daughters has been very vocal on social media about her feelings toward both of her parents and their work. It’s not uncommon for teenagers to be at odds with their parents. In fact, it should be expected. But social media plays a very troubling role in amplifying and even exploiting the actions of children on these very public platforms.
Abigail Shrier, a lawyer and author who writes about culture and law, tweeted a response about the situation, “This girl is 15 and she can’t stand her mom. Entirely normal. What’s new is the technology for broadcasting it to millions, and many adults using her, cheering her on. Social media wrecks teen–parent relationships. No kid under 18 should be on it.”
Navigating what children can and cannot do on social media is a major issue for all parents regardless of what they do for a living. The draconian coronavirus lockdown, including the continuing closure of schools, adds an urgency to every family dynamic as kids, like all of us, feel like they’re grounded in a never-ending dystopia.
With the exception of a few ghouls on the left, a majority of people have praised Mrs. Conway’s decision, likely being able to relate to the need to make a change for the sake of family. It is a decision worth respecting and praying for the best. It should also be expected that this is just a pause. With her commitment to the country, it’s safe to say Mrs. Conway will some day return to the arena.
The Republican convention’s first night highlighted how the GOP is also focusing on family and community. Their speakers all represented, in one way or another, how family matters must be the focus of our politics and the social choices we make.
Whether it be a man whose father escaped both totalitarianism in Spain and then fled Castro’s Cuba allowing his family to find their American dream. A woman of color whose parents were immigrants yet she was able to become governor of her state. A Black man who poetically described how his family “went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime” because of the opportunity offered by this country. These speakers and more reminded us that the work we do, socially and politically, makes the American dream possible.
That American dream is different for everyone, there is not one template. And the only way it can be pursued is if there is genuine freedom economically and socially. Fear, violence and the left’s “cancel culture” all lay the groundwork for the cancer of totalitarianism, which destroys countries and the families within them.
Kellyanne Conway’s action serves as a reminder that family comes first, and is why we do what we do. The RNC and DNC conventions also remind us that there are two dramatically different ways of viewing what the future should be. Only one of those political entities has provided an agenda tailored for you to be in charge not just of the government, but of your own life, your family, your children’s education, your health and your business. That Trump vision also reflects an understanding that none of us are free if we are living in fear, with anarchist violence controlling our communities.
A country based in fear and oppression is what so many of us and our ancestors fled. Come November, we will reject it again.