Dear Republicans, "Family Values" Are Dead

Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

A 2016 campaign sex scandal resurfaced this week when a former Trump transition adviser announced on Twitter she had a baby with another former Trump staffer: Former White House Communications Director Jason Miller was (and still is) married, and during the Trump transition, he stepped down just two days after being appointed to the position in December after news of the affair broke. (If you thought Anthony Scaramucci's White House run was short, Miller has him beat by a full eight days.)

Now, the woman at the center of the 2016 scandal, A.J. Delgado, is being criticized for not aligning with Republican "family values." This has turned into an ugly debate, with voices from both the right and the left, in which only women have to answer to traditional "family values."

Delgado tweeted Tuesday that she gave birth to a son, William, on July 10. Her announcement was followed by a Page Six article claiming she had an affair with Miller in Las Vegas right before Trump's last debate against Hillary Clinton. Delgado refuted these claims in multiple tweets Wednesday, saying she and Miller dated for two months, during which Miller told her he was separated from his wife. (Delgado did not immediately respond to Refinery29's request for comment.)

After Delgado defended herself to a self-identified liberal on Twitter who wrote, "The party of family values, ladies and gentlemen!" conservatives swooped in to tell Delgado she shouldn't have slept with Miller because "separated" doesn't mean "divorced," and regardless, they had sex outside of marriage.

Miller hasn't tweeted about their relationship, but told Page Six he and his wife (who gave birth to their second child in January) "are excited to welcome William into the world and into our family."

And unsurprisingly, Miller hasn't received the same backlash as Delgado. While she was criticized on Twitter for sleeping with a married man and having his baby, Miller's part in the relationship was played off as Delgado's fault (the flawed logic that she must not be very bright for believing a married man was separated from his wife!).

The criticisms of Delgado are off-base: She's a grown woman, and who she chooses to sleep with is her prerogative.

And while Delgado responded directly to someone from the left who brought up Republicans' fixation on family values, conservatives consistently use this phrase to oppose choices or people they deem "non-traditional." The same rhetoric is used when fighting against same-sex marriage and abortion access, and often when criticizing women for how they choose to start (or not start) a family or carry out their romantic relationships.

At the end of the day, what are these so-called "family values"? Today, every family is different because people's values are different. There is no one size fits all. If you disagree with Delgado's decision to work on the Trump campaign, criticize her political ideologies and not her relationship with Miller or her child.

As for Republicans who use "family values" to judge other people's life choices: don't. Delgado's personal choices shouldn't be judged, and Democrats' who make similar choices shouldn't be judged either.