How Claudia Conway’s TikTok Made Her A Resistance Hero For The Left
That’s Claudia Conway.
She’s the 15-year-old daughter of former Trump adviser Kellyanne and anti-Trump Republican attorney George Conway.
She’s also become one of the most talked-about teenagers in the world because of her TikTok videos exposing news about her mother and criticising the Trump administration.
But the videos have opened up an interesting dilemma for the left on Twitter: is a teenager really the hero we need in the Trump era?
Really, How Much Attention Should We Be Paying To Claudia Conway’s Social Media?
Claudia started drawing a huge amount of attention on TikTok and Twitter in July this year when she began posting deeply critical commentary of both her parents and the Trump administration.
Between a mum who was one of Trump’s most respected confidants and a dad who co-founded the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump Republican stronghold, the family dynamic is obviously fraught with a lot of intense political beliefs.
Back in August Kellyanne and George both stepped away from their duties saying they needed to focus on family after Claudia claimed she was seeking emancipation from them.
Then in late September, this whole story really exploded.
President Donald Trump was diagnosed with Covid-19 and a few days after that story broke, Claudia exposed her own mum’s infection of the virus with this TikTok.
Claudia also started to make comments on social media that the many reports of Trump’s stable condition in hospital were lies.
We spoke to Michelle Rennex about this. She’s a senior writer at Junkee and she’s been following this story closely for a while now.
Michelle Rennex: “Because of the Conway’s close connection to politics, everybody started to take Claudia’s comments as truth, and they started calling her the whistle-blower of our time and [saying] she was the most trusted source of information that America had right now.”
The response from people on the left on Twitter was overwhelmingly supportive of Claudia.
But even though these comments have good intentions, they seem to be placing a huge amount of responsibility on the shoulders of a teenager.
MR: “So, people started to really hail her as a political icon and as a resistance hero, but the problem is that she’s a 15 year old girl and she never asked for that.”
Michelle told me there are obvious political reasons why adults on social media would feel the need to leap on a story like this, especially considering the horrendous stories of bushfires, police brutality and the pandemic that have dominated the news this year.
MR: “I think with a looming presidential election around the corner, people are just desperate for anything that will save us … Just because Claudia Conway is vocally anti Trump and pro Black Lives Matter, people seem to think that she can be the one who can lead us to salvation but … in reality she’s really just a girl who’s struggling and going through her own issues.”
Claudia herself seems to really resent the attention that the media is giving her, and she’s spoken openly about how much she hates being a viral topic.
So, How Should We Respond To This Outspoken Teenager?
Michelle said we really need to avoid putting all of our hopes in lone teenagers like Conway, or even more prominent activists like Greta Thunberg, because they’re talking about problems that require collective action and won’t be solved by a single hero.
MR: “Why do we place children on a pedestal and expect them to fix these problems that older generations have created?
Just because people speak out about these issues and say they want to see change, doesn’t mean that they are the ones responsible for enacting that change. We need to take some responsibility there ourselves.”
Claudia Conway is in a complicated situation at a young age and she deserves our empathy.
As much as her story is really interesting, adults shouldn’t be latching on to her as any kind of political icon at this point. What we should be doing instead is taking on the responsibility ourselves, to make the world a better place for her and all the people in her generation.