Family ties are no match for Trump’s divisive politics

President Trump with members of the first family at the 139th Easter Egg Roll at the White House on April 17, 2017. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

When politicians campaign for office, it’s common to find family members by their side. These days, office-seekers might be advised to watch their backs.

In Arizona, a campaign ad released Friday features six men and women denouncing Republican Rep. Paul A. Gosar. One says the candidate “isn’t doing anything to help rural America.” Another: “Paul is absolutely not working for his district.” And: “He doesn’t have your interests at heart.” Only at the end do we learn that all six are siblings of the congressman, supporting his Democratic rival, David Brill. For the record, Gosar’s mother says she’s firmly behind him. The congressman on Saturday tweeted of his brothers and sisters, “like leftists everywhere, they put political ideology before family. Stalin would be proud.”

In rural Virginia last month, Bobby Goodlatte tweeted that he was donating the maximum ($2,700) to the Democrat seeking to fill the seat of a Republican congressman who had held it since 1993 — his father, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.

In Wisconsin, a police officer, James Bryce, has appeared in an ad attacking the Democratic candidate running to replace retiring Republican Rep. Paul D. Ryan, the House speaker. “I don’t think people want to be represented by someone who’s shown contempt for those in law enforcement,” Bryce says.

He’s talking about his brother, Randy Bryce.

Wisconsin is also where the parents of Republican Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson each donated the maximum to the campaign of . . . incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin. His parents, Nicholson said, simply have “world views” that differ from his.

The first response here is to chalk these family fissures up to President Trump, whose capacity to divide brother from sister and parent from child is now a staple of media coverage. Trump’s own White House “family” is not immune to feuding: Adviser Kellyanne…

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