Claudia Conway, much to her displeasure, is back on trend on Twitter.
This isn’t speculation about her feelings: The 15-year-old daughter of former President Kellyanne Conway’s advisor and Republican attorney George Conway “Never Trump” openly doesn’t like being on the news. “Currently trending on Twitter for no apparent reason,” she writes in her TikTok bio. “The media is obsessed.”
And yet Claudia has created a spectacle that you can’t look away from: Here is a teenager who openly undermines her mother, who is already a media villain and advocates left-wing ideas that her parents despise. Her TikTok features jokes about Trump̵
Claudia has been an unexpected and unusually outspoken political voice since this summer when her anti-Trump, Black Lives Matter and “Save Barron” NikTok videos went viral. But it’s also a voice caught up in the misguided hero worship among Twitter’s #Resistance, complicated by the ethical complexities that come with adults dismantling a 15-year-old’s messages. With Claudia Conway’s TikToks again attracting national attention after uncovering her mother’s coronavirus diagnosis and broadcasting an argument between the two live, it’s worth asking if adults should even talk about Claudia Conway and what the media owe She is both a private individual and a teenager and appears to be in a crisis.
How Claudia Conway revealed her mother’s Covid-19 diagnosis and shed light on Twitter
This week, as President Trump and many of the attendees at the White House reception for the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett tested positive for coronavirus, Claudia’s TikToks included breaking news. On October 2, she posted a video claiming that her mother “coughed all over the house” after attending the event, saying that Claudia herself had trouble breathing.
Shortly afterwards, she announced that her mother tested positive in front of the press and was quoted in major news outlets. She also alluded in a comment that Trump’s condition was worse than he claimed, and wrote in the comment section of a video that Kellyanne lied to her about the results. “[She] said her test was negative when it literally wasn’t and I spent all day around her, ”Claudia wrote. A few days later she posted a video of herself in the bathtub entitled “Hey guys, dying of Covid!”
On the evening of October 5th, she published another video in which her mother’s voice can be heard. “Little clarification from my previous posts,” she wrote. “My mother says she didn’t lie to me. She had three tests done. First negative, second two positive. We weren’t in communication. I misinterpreted it. “In the background of the video, Kellyanne says,” Do it now, “to which Claudia says,” It’s me, I’m doing it “and refers to filming the video. “Say ‘correction, my mother had three tests'”, Kellyanne coaches her.
However, that most intimate look at the Conway family dynamic would ultimately be deleted. On a TikTok viewers shared on Twitter before the removal, Kellyanne can be heard saying, “You caused so much glitch. You lied about your damn mother about Covid? About Covid? ”
Unsurprisingly, the rather flashy look at a high-profile mother-daughter relationship set Twitter on fire. Left-wing adults praised Claudia as an American heroine and a better journalist than Bob Woodward. “HELP I can’t stop watching Claudia Conway argue with her mother,” wrote Twitter employee Sam Stryker.
Our hero worship of Claudia Conway is misguided and harmful
The resounding reaction to Claudia Conway’s public image is that she is a spunky teenage outsider perfectly suited to destroying the Republican Party from within. But to raise her up as a heroine or some kind of being designed to save us from the collapse of American politics is to ignore what she and any other alleged Gen Z savior are asking for. Miles Klee writes in Mel magazine: “When you actually listen [Greta] Thunberg and the Parkland group will not necessarily hear how they are planning systemic change. Instead, they urge adults to band together, wondering why it is up to the youth to make a call to virtue. “
Claudia’s videos are ultimately a cry for help from both the larger American voters and the people in their lives. Claudia has spoken repeatedly about her desire to become emancipated from her parents and has accused both her mother and father of verbal and physical abuse. “My dad doesn’t care about me,” she said in the same video. “He probably doesn’t even know my middle name.” In one particularly heartbreaking TikTok, Claudia asks for tips on how to stop breaking up because “nothing really feels” as tears run down her face. And on a recently released livestream, she told her followers in the code, “I’m living right now because I’m scared of my mom.”
Young people who denounce their parents on the Internet are not a new phenomenon. It’s just that they do it most of the time in rooms separate from the adult internet, the public one where every tweet is debatable. Many children keep their Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok accounts private. others have secret finstas where they only give a small fraction of their regular followers access to more private or experimental thoughts.
One might expect the left-wing daughter of two conservative political figures to express her fear and frustration at being born into such a family. We tend to assume that most internal family controversies outside the public eye are in the shadows (or if they are high enough to be broken down into overdramatized six-part Netflix documentaries decades later).
Claudia Conway made this public, however. Though she frequently deletes past posts, many of her most inflammatory TikToks and tweets have remained open. It is just as harrowing a phenomenon as it was when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave up their titles as “Royal Highness” – for once the disputes are disclosed.
The question is, what should Internet adults watching these videos do about it? Many have stressed that Claudia, who is only 15 years old and clearly dealing with unimaginable pressure and attention, deserves privacy, and she does. Claudia herself would likely agree, although she acknowledges her appreciation for her more than 1 million followers. “Why is the media so obsessed with everything a 15 year old girl has to say?” she asks in a TikTok.
This is Claudia Conway’s nasty paradox: how could the media Not be interested in what she has to say? Claudia is just one of a new generation of left-wing daughters of more conservative politicians, a cohort that includes 23-year-old Stephanie Regan, who tweeted “Don’t vote for my father” ahead of Robert Regan’s Michigan state legislation campaign, and 25 Die year old Chiara DeBlasio arrested while protesting against Black Lives Matter in New York City, where her father is Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Of the three, Claudia is by far the most open online platform and has used the platform that is closely related to the teenage rebellion. It often responds to comments and, similar to the #FreeBritney movement, viewers theorize about their wellbeing based on contextual information.
Sometimes the Conways seem like any other family in which parents and children disagree on political views. In an interview with Business Insider (during which her parents were also in the room) Claudia stated, “My mom is my best friend, but we keep fighting over politics and I always get shut down by all my family. “While her mother asked her to remove some of the videos, she” respectfully declined. ” What teenager hasn’t argued about politics with their family or has a parent had their social media accounts monitored? And in every way, Claudia’s social media presence is little different from her age in other girls – there may be politics, but there are also regular photos of a regular high school girl living her life.
Perhaps we should learn this from Claudia: her cries for help, her worrying and sometimes contradicting statements about her family, and her frustration with American politics are not interesting because they are abnormal, they are interesting because they are related. Young people should be allowed to be open, rebellious, emotional, and even inconsistent on the internet without the social media machine elevating them to anything more than they are.
While we as an audience neither have the ability nor the right to “rescue” or “free” Claudia from her family situation, we have a duty to win her and all other young people for a better country and a better system in the Serious. Of course, teens get noisy online. After all, the internet is the only place where they can really have their say.
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