We now have a new addition to the pantheon of daughters who (probably) detest their Republican politician dads—Caroline Giuliani, welcome!
In an essay she published on Thursday in Vanity Fair, Caroline urges everyone to please for the love of all that is holy vote for Joe Biden. Her support for the Democratic Party isn’t exactly a secret—in 2016, she notably supported Hillary Clinton, telling Politico that her father “knows and is fully comfortable with it and thinks I have a right to my opinion.” But in her Vanity Fair essay, Caroline, who describes herself as a “filmmaker in the LGBTQ+ community who tells stories about mental health, sexuality, and other stigmatized issues,” goes beyond just endorsing Biden and uses some revealing language about her dad. “I have a difficult confession—something I usually save for at least the second date. My father is Rudy Giuliani. We are multiverses apart, politically and otherwise,” she wrote.
She then shared these heartwarming reflections, describing conversations she had with her dad at the tender age of 12 as “carnage”:
Around the age of 12, I would occasionally get into debates with my father, probably before I was emotionally equipped to handle such carnage. It was disheartening to feel how little power I had to change his mind, no matter how logical and above-my-pay-grade my arguments were. He always found a way to justify his party line, whatever it was at the time. Even though he was considered socially moderate for a Republican back in the day, we still often butted heads. When I tried to explain my belief that you don’t get to be considered benevolent on LGBTQ+ rights just because you have gay friends but don’t support gay marriage, I distinctly remember him firing back with an intensity fit for an opposing politician rather than one’s child. To be clear, I’m not sharing this anecdote to complain or criticize. I had an extremely privileged childhood and am grateful for everything I was given, including real-world lessons and complicated experiences like these. The point is to illustrate one of the many reasons I have a fraught relationship with politics, like so many of us do.
Even when there was an occasional flash of connection in these disagreements with my dad, it felt like nothing changed for the better, so I would retreat again until another issue I couldn’t stay silent on surfaced. Over the years other subjects like racial sensitivity (or lack thereof), sexism, policing, and the social safety net have all risen to this boiling point in me. It felt important to speak my mind, and I’m glad we at least managed to communicate at all. But the chasm was painful nonetheless, and has gotten exponentially more so in Trump’s era of chest-thumping partisan tribalism. I imagine many Americans can relate to the helpless feeling this confrontation cycle created in me, but we are not helpless. I may not be able to change my father’s mind, but together, we can vote this toxic administration out of office.
While she doesn’t go so far as to say she hates her father, this doesn’t exactly read like the tale of a parent and child who have a warm and loving relationship.
And then she all but calls her father a corrupt goon:
If being the daughter of a polarizing mayor who became the president’s personal bulldog has taught me anything, it is that corruption starts with “yes-men” and women, the cronies who create an echo chamber of lies and subservience to maintain their proximity to power. We’ve seen this ad nauseam with Trump and his cadre of high-level sycophants (the ones who weren’t convicted, anyway).
Congratulations to Caroline, to whom I wish nothing but the best! As for her father, he can continue to eat shit.