The Conways: A Filipino American family

George, Claudia, and Kellyanne Conway

By Cristina DC Pastor

They’re not the Conners where the head of the family, Dan, works as a contractor, and his wife Roseanne ran a diner in a fictional working-class suburb called Lanford in Illinois.

We are talking about the Conways where the head of the family, George, is a high-powered Manhattan lawyer, and his wife Kellyanne is a senior adviser to the White House. Their eldest, Claudia, has been giving her parents grief because she has been developing a mind – and a political philosophy — of her own. While the Conways would be considered a Filipino American family — unlike the football-and-apple pie Conners — they do not necessarily represent the stereotypical FilAm family whose socioeconomic profile includes a member who is a health care worker. Or one that typically sends bloated balikbayan boxes to relatives in the Philippines during Christmas. Or sings Karaoke at parties. Or eats with their hands and uses layers of banana leaves for plates. George’s educational roots, for instance, can be traced to Harvard and Yale. His father is a defense contractor and his Philippine-born mother, according to reports, worked as an organic chemist.

George Conway III makes no attempt to hide his disdain for Donald Trump, his wife’s boss. He would call Trump nuts and “unfit” for office and has slammed many of his decisions and actions. He co-founded the Lincoln Project, composed of Republicans determined to defeat Trump’s reelection bid and they have been running ads that have gotten under the man’s skin.

His wife, on the other hand, remains totally invested in Trump and would go as far as defending his handling of the Coronavirus epidemic as “decisive” even as almost 150,000 Americans have died from the virus and more than 4 million are infected.

Now their daughter. Claudia, 15, showed up in the spotlight after it was reported that she has been dishing liberal leaning – “Radical Leftism” is the word she used — content on TikTok and that the object of her attacks is none other than Donald Trump, the man who pays her mother a salary of $183K a year as his Assistant and Senior Counselor. She is a supporter of Black Lives Matter, and has spoken out demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, the Louisville, Kentucky woman gunned down by three police officers who barged into her home by mistake. She said she loves her parents and that her mother is her best friend although they have political disagreements.

It is not unusual for American families to hold a rainbow of political ideas under one roof. The Conways are no different. What’s significant is that George and Kellyanne – both conservatives – have apparently cautioned their daughter from sharing her political views on social media. Before signing off Instagram and TikTok, the one-fourth Pinay Claudia livestreamed a fight with her mother, who tried to take her phone away. She said, as reported in the press, “I’m just showing everyone the truth. You’re literally not letting me use my freedom of speech.”

Let’s wait a couple of years. Claudia, who is navigating the terrain between adolescence and adulthood, is clearly not done.

© The FilAm 2020

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