Daughter of presidential candidate: 6 things I've learned from the election
© Courtesy of Joanna Castle Miller

Like many 30-somethings, Joanna Castle Miller doesn’t see eye-to-eye politically with her dad. But not everyone’s father is running to be president.

Castle Miller’s dad, Darrell Castle, is the Constitution Party’s nominee. With his blessing, the Los Angeles-based comedy writer (full disclosure: She is a friend of ITK) launched “Red, White, and Dad” this year, a humorous online show chronicling her conservative father’s White House bid.

We asked Castle Miller, a self-described “bleeding-heart Hollywood liberal,” to reveal what insight she’s gained from having a parent on the opposite end of the political spectrum run for POTUS. 


1. “Endorsement” has lost all meaning, like “literally” and “Vine”


Two weeks ago, Glenn Beck endorsed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future Popping the progressive bubble MORE. No, wait, let me rephrase: He said he wouldn’t vote for Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE but would instead vote for my father. Media outlets reported he was thus endorsing Clinton, but the Constitution Party took it as an endorsement of Darrell Castle, and some people said it was, in effect, an endorsement of Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions Advocates see pilot program to address inequalities from highways as crucial first step Ted Cruz ribs Newsom over vacation in Mexico: 'Cancun is much nicer than Cabo' MORE (R-Texas), who is no longer running. Beck has since said he doesn’t know which way he’ll vote, before this week endorsing independent conservative Evan McMullin.

Solve for X.

We’ve had so many public figures promise their votes, then recant, then repromise, then double down, then recant. Countless Republicans have said they’ll vote for Trump but won’t endorse him — a distinction without a difference in reality. And while they vacillate, the rest of us peer out from a ship lost at sea, just hoping the harbor we find won’t be Russia or prison.


2. Most of us understand nanobiotechnology better than we understand ballot access

For a while there, some Republicans considered a third party with which to prop up alternative candidates such as McMullin. But they found very quickly their own state legislatures, run by the major parties, had blocked access to the ballot. It was too late, would cost too much money, and required signatures from too many people to be a viable option. 

I’ve spent the last six months watching my father’s Constitution Party campaign fight tooth and nail for one thing: ballot access. They talked about it at the national convention, and then at all the state conventions.

They held seminars, webinars and conference calls. My mother’s all-nighters added up, and she started addressing me by her sister’s name. It was confusing. And it meant my dad couldn’t focus on what mattered most to him, such as shutting down the United Nations. And sleep.

Ballot-access measures vary broadly from state to state, but in states such as Oklahoma, they’re prohibitive to the point of monopoly.

Some of these laws exist for good reason: Most of us don’t want a certified wizard from the planet Fazozo accidentally elected governor. But if you want more than one party, or even just an emergency option, you can’t lean back all smug in your recliner and blame the smaller parties for not being legitimate. The system in place maintains the status quo, and your state representative has no incentive to change that unless you demand it.


3. The lizard people are real, and it’s all of us

I’ve received almost daily lectures about how, as a comedian, “I don’t take this election seriously enough.” But when rumor has it Clinton is a lizard person held together by duct tape, what is there to take seriously, exactly?

Oh, you read Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump endorses challenger to Hogan ally in Maryland governor's race Pence to headline New Hampshire event focused on Biden spending plan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Arbery case, Biden spending bill each test views of justice MORE shot a woman once? Tell me more. Why no, I’d never heard Chelsea Clinton is actually the daughter of Satan, but I can’t wait to check it out for myself. Thanks for the tip!

Judging from the comment sections and your Facebook feed, every single one of us needs a healthy dose of lizard food, because we’re all the worst — especially Uncle Gerry. And, yes, as a nation, we could collectively use some duct tape right now.


4. There are perfectly effective ways to deal with your emotions in the coming weeks

Tequila pairs well with sadness, vodka with anger and bourbon with quiet acceptance. 


5. Technology is itself a conspiracy

My dad and many other Americans have a real problem with Clinton’s email scandal. Meanwhile, I’m trying to ease him off AOL, and I’ve recently helped him understand hashtags. But tech-related conspiracy theories will thrive forever, because anything tech-related is already just a theory for the vast majority of us.

Be honest, you don’t even know what a server is. What does it actually do? You don’t know. You just know YOU would NEVER send emails over a private server if you worked for the government, and you would never, ever accidentally delete emails, no matter how many times it’s happened to various administrations since email was invented.

Then again, watching this campaign season has made you remember that one humiliating email you sent your ex around midnight on Feb. 15. Was that on a private server? What is a private server? You wonder if the NSA has a copy. You deleted it, didn’t you? You don’t remember. Maybe your ex still has it on his server. He would. He probably works for WikiLeaks. You look up the phone number for Gmail. There isn’t one. Could Gmail be run by Russian hackers? This goes further up than you thought. 

Just to be safe, you import an army of carrier pigeons to haul stone tablets etched with code. Your friends and colleagues hire professional Egyptologists to translate from the original hieroglyphics.

It’s a crude solution, but it’s the best option you have right now. Right, Dad?


6. A sense of humor shall not perish from the Earth

My dad and I don’t agree politically, but we get along because we laugh together. It’s not a cynical, spiteful laugh, but a hopeful and desperate one — the survival kind. 

Considering he’s running for president, it’s likely my father stands by his views more than a lot of people. Yet he goes along with his bleeding-heart liberal daughter making a comedy show about him. He allows some levity into his campaign, and somehow we’re still standing. 

With Thanksgiving coming up, joke books should sell like hotcakes. Stock up on old stand-up specials. Plan that prank. Keep out your Halloween costumes.

Our extended families have a lot of rebuilding to do. And if Uncle Gerry’s whoopee cushion can prevent a civil war, so be it. After making it through this election, we can all survive that.