Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Jessica Gomez, Republican.

A Republican Candidate for State Senate: Jessica Gomez

Alan DeBoer decided not to seek re-election.  Jessica Gomez, who is serving as a volunteer assistant during this session, was ready in the wings to step in.

"Community.  Come together."
Here is her introductory video:


The video is very professionally produced.  Twenty seven different scenes in 90 seconds. Soft dissolves between them.  Earnest male narrator.  Gentle music underlay.

The message was soothing and warm.  Jessica spoke repeatedly of community, of working together, of avoiding "finger pointing."  

She speaks of "safer neighborhoods," "community first," "community means everything to me," "working with your neighbors, your friends," "a team that works together collaborating on solutions", "benefit to all", "come together, work together" and then "community that values our diversity and our cultural differences."

It is the opposite of the Tea Party and Trump.  It is opposite of Fox News. It reverses the formula that worked for Trump and the GOP, the tone of populist anger, accusation, we-they division, and ethno-natinalism.  There is clearly a market for that tone and Trump now enjoys 85-90% support within GOP voters.  

Outrage. Click here. 
Trump accuses and condemns:  Obama is a fraud, Hillary is crooked, the media is fake, Mueller is biased, and now most recently in today's news, the FBI dropped the ball, the sheriff deputies were "cowards "and "disgusting," and people here illegally are murderous thugs.  

The archetype of that kind of thinking is in this NRA ad.  The ad runs repeatedly on Fox and it reflects a strong form of GOP media and voter outrage.  It has divided and conquered.  The GOP has won with this.  I put it here to highlight the contrast with Gomez.

Jessica Gomez is re-defining the GOP message.  The question is whether Republicans will accept it as a GOP message.

Either Republican voters will call her out as a fake Republican, a Republican in Name Only, or they will breathe a sign of relief, happy that the GOP can nominate someone sho speaks to the value of cooperation, shared institutions, and ethnic diversity..

This is an ad that Jessica Gomez's Democratic opponents could make, if they had the money to produce it.  It is a beautiful ad. It reflects Democratic values.  It reflects my values.  I like it.

Republican voters might not like it. Gomez doesn't condemn or exclude anyone. Republican voters have been accustomed to hearing outrage, and many have developed a taste for it.  



  1. What's wrong with finger pointing?

    I've always felt that a well pointed finger is pretty effective, depending on the finger. The "let's not point fingers" tactic is one that basically says "Don't point your finger at ME", which generally makes me feel like asking "why not?". It's right up there with Republican faves "not a good time to discuss gun control", and the perennial favorite, "that's already happened, let's move on".

  2. Peter, I am not surprised that you like the tone. There is much to like in it. I also want you to entertain the idea that you are a DINO (Democrat in Name Only). You held up Senator DeBoer as a RINO while ignoring his voting record (almost always with the rest of the Rs). It seems to me that words mean more than actions to you. Perhaps try to dig deeper and understand that our community deserves more than empty promises. Votes matter, it is unlikely that Jessica Gomez will vote any differently than Senator DeBoer. She is unlikely to stand with working people, renters, communities of color, unions, etc.

  3. Dear Anonymous,

    Thanks! I am trying to define a Democratic-liberal-practical-electable form of political good sense. If I sound like Democrat in Name Only to you or others, it is because I am trying to express my own opinion, and it differs a little from the Standard Acceptable Democratic Thought. That S.A.D.T. loses elections in Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, NC, Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin. To me that means that Democrats are doing something wrong. IF we had lost all those states to someone of extraordinary quality, then we might console ourself that the opponent was a once-in-a-generation superstar. Instead, we lost all those states to a vulgar guy with a bad record who successfully voiced a program of xenophobia and white ethane-nationalism.

    So, I draw from this a response: maybe, just maybe, the S.A.D.T. needs a little work. My close look at campaigns says that message does matter, at least a little on the margin, and this blog attempts to look closely at message tone. She sounds like a Democrat in tone. Tone matters, a lot in my opinion.

    Thanks for reading closely. I appreciate that you noticed that my writing and opinions aren't exactly orthodox. I have this hope that if I keep plugging away, maybe 500 readers a day, the sense of what is Democratic thinking will change in my direction. Alternatively, if Democratic thinking goes more deeply into its silo, and we lose yet another direction, then maybe that will teach the lesson. If we lose enough elections people will start to wise up. The country will be a disaster, however, in that meantime, so I try to avoid that. I soldier on.

    Peter Sage

    1. I like your way of thinking Peter. Something needs to change in both parties. Democrats are not effective in getting their message across if the likes of Donald Trump can be elected, particularly in traditional Democratic strong holds. Divisiveness is not productive from either side of an issue. On the other hand, I understand the concern of Anonymous as to how the GOP party would influence her vote if she were to be elected. The party system fails us all when party above all is the deciding factor.

  4. And turn out matters. A lot. Ds have been winning out of cycle races because anti-Trump sentiment is energizing the base. Hillary - not so much. Knute Buehler is also running on softer, typically Democratic values. Will hard core Rs sway with the tide and turn out for these softer, kinder candidates? If not, get out your surf boards for the wave.

  5. There are so many reasons to vote "Not-Donald" in the 2018 elections. This will take the form of Not-Donald republicans that split from the current administration, AND the democrats. Peter is suggesting that we take a good at both groups, considering their message/platform... AND how that connects with their "electability." Well, why not? If political polar-extremes work FOR donald's election, let's consider other election options that will work to overthrow donald and the reactionary-right. In other words, balanced/respectful candidates willing to work-with and consider-the-viewpoints-of both sides of the aisle.
    I love democracy, when it works.


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