A video published earlier this month now making the rounds on the internet is drawing all kinds of mockery, and deservedly so. On YouTube, the video is summarized as follows:
It seems like it’s okay to say mean things about someone just because they’re Republican. That isn’t right. Before you write another mean post about Republicans, remember Republicans are people, too.
Former Romney ad guy, Vinny Minchillo, is the brains behind the terrible ad. Minchillo told Fox News, “he’s trying to “catch a wave” of interest by launching “Republicans Are People, Too” shortly before the midterm elections – though he’s not advocating for any particular candidates.
I appreciate the idea: debunking the lame, white guy Republican stereotype. In fact, it’s something I wrote about in a 2012 election post-mortem:
My pals in the conservative world are some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. They’re artistic and creative. They’re film-makers, techies, painters, writers, builders, engineers, attorneys, gamblers, activists, and teachers. Some serve or have served in the military, some work several jobs to make ends meet. Many are brilliant visionaries. They come from all backgrounds, races, nationalities. Some are cityfolk and others drive loud diesel trucks in the middle of nowhere Texas. They’re from all over the country and many from outside of these great United States. They have varying religious beliefs, practices and ideas.
Some are gay, some straight and some still haven’t figured out what they like. They listen to punk and indie rock, love obscure cinema and song and some are inked, pierced and mohawked. Far from the straight-laced, didactic, nerdy stereotype, they know how to have a good time better than anyone else I know. Their political leanings fall anywhere from radical libertarianism to moderate Republicanism. We argue about our ideological and policy orientated differences as much as we agree, yet we’re all connected by one common thread – hatred of Nickelback. But seriously, regardless of our philosophical differences we’re connected by our commitment to America’s founding principles.
Looking at the GOP, the GOP brand and the how the GOP is publicly perceived, reality doesn’t match perception. The faces of the conservatives I know aren’t what the public sees as the GOP. Therein lies the problem. If we’ve learned our lesson from this election (we’re doomed if we haven’t), then we’ve noticed the American landscape has changed, and that like it or not, so has our party.
My opinion here hasn’t changed. We do have an uphill battle in terms of branding and perception, which I don’t believe to be insurmountable. Then videos like this happen:
So awful is this messaging, that it manages to make Republicans look even lamer. Not only is the messaging cheesy and off point, it’s inaccurate.
To start with, I would never assemble Ikea furniture; that’s what the patriarchy is for. And while I am a slave to Apple technology, shop at Trader Joe’s, listen to Spotify, and love dogs (in particular, my fluffy little sidekick), I don’t enjoy stock photo-laden declarations of just how not-lame and hip we really are.
It reminds of something Margaret Thatcher once said: “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
Can’t we just be cool instead of running around, straightening our pocket protectors insisting we are? So, Mr. Former Romney Ad Guy, please, I’m begging you, stop. Leave us to listen to Spotify, sip our locally brewed IPA, and discuss the virtues of individual liberty with our other liberty loving, non-lame compadres in peace.
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