Like many Americans, David Glosser has a lot of opinions about politics. When I spoke with him on the phone, he paused his diatribe against the Trump administration only to cough. But unlike most Americans, Glosser—a retired physician who lives in Yardley, Pennsylvania, which hugs the state’s border with New Jersey—is closely related to one of President Donald Trump’s most influential aides. His nephew is Stephen Miller, the White House senior policy adviser known for his hawkish views on immigration, who is helping craft the policies that his uncle so detests.
In August, Glosser published an essay in Politico magazine chiding his nephew by sharing the family’s own immigration story as Jews who fled the shtetls of Eastern Europe. “I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew,” Glosser wrote, “an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.”
Ahead of the midterm elections, a shocking number of political figures’ family members have taken the severe step of publicly rebuking their kin. Most notably, in September, six siblings of Representative Paul Gosar—a Trump acolyte who represents a vast swath of western Arizona—renounced their brother in a television ad for his opponent. Then, in late October, 12 relatives of the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Nevada, Adam Laxalt, wrote an op-ed opposing his candidacy. The brother of Randy Bryce, a Democrat running to fill the House seat that Paul Ryan is vacating in Wisconsin, also attacked his candidacy in a TV ad. And the parents of the erstwhile GOP Senate candidate in Minnesota, Kevin Nicholson, who lost in the Republican primary in August, maxed out on donations to his Democratic opponent. (A spokesman for Adam Laxalt, the only candidate mentioned in this story who returned a request for comment, referred me to another op-ed in response—this one co-authored by 22 of Laxalt’s relatives who support his candidacy.)