It goes without saying that the mid-term elections in 2018 will go down as one of the most fiercely fought campaigns in political history. When people across the United States head to polls on November 6, they will cast their vote for an array of Democrat and Republican candidates representing a huge swath of American political philosophy. And a lot of those people will be total boneheads.
While the number of worthwhile Republican and Democrat candidates dwindle, the number of candidates willing to do anything and everything to take home a victory is on the rise. As November 6 lurches closer, it’s important to remind ourselves that democracy isn’t about winning, it’s not about sides, it’s about moving society to a better place.
With that in mind, let’s take just a few moments to pinpoint a few campaign tactics that have entirely missed that point in favor of bringing home the gold.
Democracy might be in trouble, folks.
No, It’s Not Heritage, You’re Just a Racist
In one Mississippi Senate race, Republican Chris McDaniel is proving that obliviousness can be a viable campaign tactic. McDaniel, who is running against veteran politician Mike Espy, is expressing his love for his home state by going to bat for his favorite piece of “heritage”: the Confederate flag.
Not only does McDaniel’s Twitter profile picture feature the stars and bars prominently, but McDaniel has also put Confederate flags on his campaign posters.
When your campaign is out there touting the power of one of the most hateful symbols in American history, it’s time to rethink your tactics.
Any Democrat Relying on Hillary Clinton to Win a Race
At the beginning of October, Hillary Clinton traveled to Chicago to endorse Illinois gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker (https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-met-hillary-clinton-campaigning-for-pritzker-20180930-story.html). Though Pritzker has long supported Clinton’s ill-fated political campaigns, bringing her on board to run the campaign trail — even in Chicago — is a bad idea.
It’d be like a Republican candidate asking Mitt Romney to speak to the ordinary folks. Oh, while we’re on that …
Any Republican Relying on Mitt Romney to Win a Race
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake has had enough of Capitol Hill (and who can blame him?). The GOP candidate up to replace him, Martha McSally, is now fighting for her political life against a Democrat who may take the longtime Republican seat.
Enter Mitt Romney, who’s out to turn the tide in favor of his fellow party member. Here’s the issue, though: you can’t expect to gain an advantage by parading around a guy who got pwned by Obama and who thinks poor people are a nuisance.
Red State Democrats Are Firing Guns in Campaign Ads
You probably wouldn’t be surprised to find a West Virginia Democrat toting a gun as he talked about how to make the state better … until you learn that man is Joe Manchin, a Democrat who cocks his weapon while talking about the need to support healthcare laws.
There’s something truly odd about the member of a party that advocates gun control taking literal aim at legislation he doesn’t like. Democrats throughout the South are happily using firearms to trick NRA-lovers into swinging blue.
That Democrat Who Loves Prying into GOP Private Lives
In the run-up to stupid Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation, some Democratic officials were so intent on turning the tide they were willing to dip into unethical territory.
Jackson Cosko (https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/us-capitol-police-arrest-suspect-behind-doxing-of-at-least-one-senator), a 27-year-old staffer working for Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee happily revealed private information to the public with the intention of shaming Kavanaugh’s supporters into silence. He thought he was hot shit, too, at least until he was charged with five federal counts of “doxing.”
This Name-Calling Person Who’s Out of a Job
In politics, it’s completely fine to call out your opponent for their on-the-job failings, but it’s probably a good idea to keep the most hurtful jibes off camera. That’s the harsh lesson that almost chair of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Nancy Douglass learned when she was filmed calling Democratic candidate Randy Bryce a “deadbeat” in a new campaign ad.
Amid the firestorm that ensued, Douglass abdicated her position as chairman of the WBA before she was even able to serve a single day.
Phil Bredesen Endorsed Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation
Even though Taylor Swift’s attack on his GOP opponent is getting most of the ink, it shouldn’t be understated that Tennessee Democrat Phil Bredesen went against his party to support the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.
In a statement, Bredesen explained, “I believe a Senator’s responsibility to ‘advise and consent’ is not a license to indulge in partisanship, but should focus on the qualifications of the nominee, their ethics and their temperament.”
Even as not one, not two, but THREE women came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexually inappropriate behavior, Bredesen proclaimed he felt Kavanaugh still met those requirements. It’s cool, though, because he still called Christine Blasey Ford a “heroine,” and Taylor Swift thinks he’s nifty, so he must be an okay guy.
This Republican Campaign Manager Who Got Righteously James Gunn’d
Republican candidate Valerie Clark is hoping to mount a comeback and reclaim the seat she lost in 2016, but the people she’s surrounding herself with aren’t making the job easier. In 2013, Aaron Zhanik Brock made some pretty alarming comments on Twitter that were recently brought to light.
To her credit, once she found out about his shady past, Clark immediately dismissed Brock, but there’s some serious doubt about he own leanings when you consider that one of her highest ranking staffers once tweeted, “You vote for black, you can’t go back. You vote for white, it’ll be alright.”
And you might be tempted to invoke James Gunn’s unfair dismissal (he said some nasty stuff on Twitter, too), but it’s important to remember that Gunn never singled anyone out in his comments, he wasn’t trying to serve as a leader of men, and he never tweeted, “Hillary Clinton better not be the next President. I’ve seen women drivers. I don’t want to see women presidents.”
Okay, that last bit is extra funny because Brock was working for a woman.