One day when I was a child I was sitting in the backseat of my Dad’s car. My little brother sat next to me. He was making faces. I said, “Dad! Adam’s making faces at me.” My Dad took a look in the rearview mirror and saw that my brother was really going at it contorting his face as much as possible. When my Dad turned around and my brother knew my Dad was watching he instantly went straight-faced as if he had been doing nothing the entire time.
My Dad told me this story over the weekend to point out that though we are grown adults, my brother loves nothing more than to antagonize me if he can and that this is how I should view my brother’s endorsement of Donald Trump to be President of the United States. “He was over here yesterday.” My Dad said, “He was laughing about it.”
I have no doubt that he was laughing about it and I also have no doubt that at least part of his endorsing Donald Trump is just to push my buttons. My brother has never been heavily into politics. It would surprise me if he’s even voted more than a couple of times in his life. It is not his thing. He is a professional tow truck driver. He has forgotten more about towing cars than I will ever know.
My response to my Dad was this, “The problem is that it’s not funny. His endorsement of Trump looks exactly the same as if he were entirely serious about it.”
When it comes to publicly endorsing a man who has raped his wife and excused it by saying it was legal at the time, who has people in his employ who physically assault reporters, who suggests that maybe we should require Muslims in America to be labelled, who advocates violence to those who disagree with him, and who believes you should treat women ‘like shit’, there is nothing funny about it. There are jokes to be made at the expense of Donald Trump. That’s easy. But saying that you endorse Donald Trump and then later saying you were just joking is like grabbing a stranger’s boob and saying you were just joking. It’s only a joke you because it doesn’t victimize you. What it comes down to is my brother is the one demographic Trump is okay with: He’s a white heterosexual American male with his own business. So am I. I just happen to care about other people.
Now it could be that my Dad is entirely correct and that my brother is doing it just to bother me. That could be true. And it does bother me. So in that regard, mission accomplished. But it’s only from the privileged position of not being someone Trump wants to deport, assault, rape, or otherwise treat like shit that someone is likely to make such an assertion.
I do not know if my brother ‘really’ endorses Trump or not. I know that he too lives in Washington State and that if he bothers to vote and vote for Trump it’s likely not going to matter because the majority of Washington State hasn’t voted for a Republican President since 1984. To avoid dealing with these sort of antics from my brother, I have blocked him on social media. I also deleted one of my two Facebook profiles, but that’s another story.
– Jack Cameron