Meghan Markle is explicitly getting involved in American politics for the first time. She’s written a letter advocating for paid parental leave and Republican leaders are not happy about it. Some are going so far as to say she should be stripped of her royal titles.
Paid Parental Leave
Markle and Harry are passionate believers in numerous social issues. They’re full-time philanthropists and one cause dear to them is paid parental leave. In the United States, there is no national paid parental leave. Calling herself an “engaged citizen and a parent,” Markle writes: “I’m writing to you on behalf of millions of American families who are using their voices to say that comprehensive paid leave should not be a place to compromise or negotiate.”
She also correctly notes that most nations with the wealth of the United States “have paid leave policies in place.”
Missouri Republican Strikes Back
Republican Representative Jason Smith from Missouri heard this plea for rights that many other developed nations share and lashed out. In a letter to the Daily Mail, he writes: “Ms. Markle’s latest interference in U.S. politics reignites the question in my mind as to why the Royal Family does not simply strip her and Harry officially of their titles, particularly since she insists on sending this under the pretense of being the Duchess of Sussex.”
Markle and Harry have both been outspoken supporters of Black Lives Matter, something tabloids do not like. It seems Smith isn’t a fan either He disregards her plea as “laughable,” and says paid parental leave “is aimed more at helping global elites get huge tax breaks than helping the working families she claims to have dined with.”
At this point, we have to note that paid parental leave does not need to be a partisan issue. According to the Pew Research Center, there’s been widespread support for paid family leave for years now. Smith is obstructing something a vast majority of Americans, folks who put him in office, want.
Made No Difference
Sadly, that’s neither here nor there. Markle is hated and vilified by many, so Smith might be hoping to win some brownie points with constituents by bashing her letter. She’s got just as much a right as anyone to advocate for what she believes in and has a large platform where she may be able to make a difference.
Markle’s letter made no difference. Democrats slashed it from Joe Biden’s budget plan over pushback from Senator Joe Manchin. The fight for paid parental leave will have to soldier on.