Senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is an ardent supporter of her boss, President Donald Trump — but her husband, prominent Washington attorney George Conway, is most certainly not a fan of the president at all. And as Mr. Conway is picking up his criticism of Trump on social media, critics have spent the last several weeks speculating that his marriage with Kellyanne is headed down the drain.
But some, like communications professional and former congressional staffer Jonathan Franks, are hopeful that the Conway household makes it through Trump’s presidency unscathed — for the good of the country.
A marriage politically divided
Writing for Spectator, Franks noted that the Conways are far from the first high-profile couple in Washington to have wildly divergent political views.
He specifically cited conservative Mary Matalin — who worked for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — and liberal James Carville, who worked for former President Bill Clinton.
Though Matalin and Carville often disagreed publicly on political matters, they nevertheless loved and respected each other and set aside those differences at home, a practice that was generally understood and accepted as normal by the media and the general public.
But that is not so for the Conways in the era of Trump, when battle lines have been drawn by extremists on both sides and virtually everyone is forced to pick a team in the never-ending deathmatch.
Bigger than politics
However, while some have called for the Conways to get divorced in order to step away from the divide — including some conservatives who otherwise tout family values — Franks argued that the opposite is what is needed, and the Conways should remain together in marriage.
“At a time when the political has become so intensely personal, chances are we think at least one half of this couple is not just wrong on the issues, but wrong as a person,” Franks wrote. “We pit them against each other as though they were opposing teams at a football game rather than two real people seeking to honor a lifetime commitment with children who are impacted by the outcome of that effort.”
He went on: “I don’t want to play that game. I want to see politically opposite spouses stick up for their beliefs and stick up even more loudly for each other. It would do a divided country good to see this in action.”
He concluded by saying he’s rooting “for every couple who is swimming against the current of the culture, and maybe even the tweets of the president, to maintain their marriage — regardless of their party labels or mine.”
Whether George and Kellyanne Conway decide to manage their differences and remain committed is a choice that is entirely their own — but nobody from either side should be encouraging them to get divorced.
As they say, opposites attract.