Nov 172019 6 Responses

Don’t Become George Conway

Either he should support her or, if he can’t support her, she should quit her job. There’s not another option.

From the outside looking in, the marriage of George and Kellyanne Conway seems odd. It’s not unusual for spouses to have differing political views. There is no reason to believe a husband and wife have to agree on politics in order to be happily married. Marriage is much more about navigating differences (even appreciating them) than finding common ground on every issue. Never assume that a husband and wife automatically agree about an issue just because they are married.

Yet the differences between the Conways is more than a common political disagreement. It is a brutal, public disagreement played out on social media and through the press. It’s uncomfortable.

Kellyanne Conway is an advisor to the President. She is the first woman to successfully lead a U.S. Presidential campaign. She took over the Trump campaign after Paul Manafort was forced to resign and was eventually indicted for being an agent of a foreign government and committing a conspiracy against the United States. Conway took over what appeared to be a losing campaign and led it to a stunning Electoral College Victory. She then became a fierce defender of Trump

George Conway is an attorney who famously represented Paula Jones in her accusations against President Bill Clinton for sexual harassment and assault. (See: Marry a Partner, Not a Child)

While both Conways come from the same political perspective, they have one very public disagreement–President Trump. While Kellyanne Conway loudly supports the President, Geroge has been highly critical of him. A few of his critiques are about policy, but the heart of his frustration is about Trump personally.

Here are a few of his tweets to and about the President:

“The Lord made Sunday a day of rest. You could at least take one day off from debasing your office.”

“He lies, as we have seen, about everything, about matters big and small, about things that matter and things that don’t.” (See: I Still Believe Character Matters)

“Do we have a president who is loyal to the country, or loyal only to himself? When you put the question that way, and the object of the question is Donald J. Trump, now that we know all that we know about him and have seen all that we have seen, there can only be one answer.”

There is nothing wrong with any of these tweets. Many agree. Many disagree. But all believe George Conway has every right to express his views.

Yet there is a problem. His wife works for the President. His critique is not the same as if I posted any of these tweets. His comments are a major story because they put his wife in such a difficult situation. To whom will she be loyal–her husband or her boss?

It’s unfair and wrong.

The Conways have two simple options.

Either:

George should keep his opinions to himself and support his wife in her job

or

Kellyanne should quit her job.

They should not publicly air their disagreements, taking shots at each other, dividing their loyalties, and airing their rift for all to see. They should privately get on the same page and then publicly support one another. No one would assume that George suddenly loves the President. No one would think that George and Kellyanne agree about the issue. Yet we would see that they love each other more than they disagree about Trump. We would see them choose each other over a political issue.

Support Your Spouse

A key aspect of a healthy marriage is a strong partnership. Jenny deserves to know that I am for her. Even if I’m not as passionate about an issue as she is, if she is involved, so am I. When she is working hard on an issue that I don’t fully support, I will withhold public comment because I do fully support her.

I would never want to put her in a difficult situation. I would never want her to have to choose between her career or boss and her husband. Even if I disagree on an issue, I’m always on her side. She has every right to expect and know that I am for her. (See: Character Trumps Party)

And I have the right to know that she is on my side.

If an issue is so contentious that one of us cannot support the other, then the other would have to stop their involvement. In the Conway case, if George can’t find any way to stay quiet about the President, Kellyanne should quit her job. But to me, that’s not necessary for this situation. George should simply be quiet. He should choose his spouse over his political views. He should wait until Trump’s term is over and Kellyanne’s job has changed to air his views. Write a book and publish it later, but do not continually embarrass your wife to simply distance yourself from your wife’s boss. To do so is selfish.

George Conway’s words may be right, but his actions are wrong. History may prove him politically right, but his marriage is going to pay a price for it.

 

6 Responses to Don’t Become George Conway
  1. Yuan Yue Reply

    I agree! I have been following your blog for some time and have found it greatly beneficial. Thank you.

    While it does not seem that you would vote for the President in 2020, have the administration’s significant accomplishments for the pro-life cause and religious foster care organizations given you any second thoughts? I can cite if helpful. Thanks for considering!

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I would happily vote for a conservative in 2020, but my assumption/fear is that one won’t be on the ballot from either of the major parties.

  2. J. Parker Reply

    It IS uncomfortable, isn’t it?! I do wonder if George’s animus is more about how his wife has changed in the years of President Trump and wanting someone to blame for that. But, as you say, the public argument doesn’t help matters.

    As a positive example, I used to love watching Mary Matalin and James Carville debate, because they would have strong disagreements on politics and yet showed respect for one another. We should all practice that!

  3. Chris Taylor Reply

    I’m so glad to see you address this, Kevin. My husband and I are in a politically mixed marriage, and through the years we’ve had to figure out how to navigate our differences. We have decided that the other person will always be more important than a political opinion, and if one of us is truly offended by something the other person has posted on social media, the other will remove it. I’m frequently shocked by George Conway’s words. It puts his wife’s job and professional reputation at risk, which doesn’t speak well of him as a husband.

    I’ve often thought about the things you say here: either George Conway should withhold public commentary for now, or she should quit her job.

    I applaud you for the courage to confront these matters of heart and character in such a divisive political climate.

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