North Carolina’s lieutenant governor is a far-right (and I’m really struggling here with my nouns, because all the descriptive ones I can think of are obscenities, so I guess I’m gonna go nondescriptive) gentleman by the name of Dan Forest. He’s pretty theocratic, pretty attuned to ALEC, pretty awful. And he’s running for the Republican candidate for governor.
I hadn’t seen any ads or signs for him, but I was in Raleigh this weekend. And along the highway I saw several sets of vaguely Burmashave-style signs: “RUN FOREST RUN!” they declared, one word per sign, before a more traditional campaign sign.
Now, I’m aware that my pinko liberal elitist union thug social justice warrior self isn’t exactly the target demographic for these ads. And I have never actually seen all of Forest Gump, just snippets and scenes here and there.
But I have to say, this seems like an odd campaign choice to me. My understanding of Forest Gump is–well, that he’s not the person you want for your state’s governor. It’s not a kindly comparison. Despite that, in digging around for other campaign materials for him, I’m seeing this hashtag being used–and not just recently, but as early as spring 2019 (and possibly earlier).
Is this just a welcome breath of self-effacing humor, something I thought conservatives had forgotten about? Is this a tweak at liberal elitists like me? Or is there something else going on here?
I kind of worry that this is the direction of the GOP now. Just more and more into theocratic authoritarianism. I mean it worked for Trump, so maybe people like Tom Cotton and Forest are the future of the party.
Also why is the lt governor a republican if the governor is a democrat?
I mean, I noticed on the radio yesterday that Chipotle’s is having some other lawsuit about food poisoning in its meals. I don’t buy the “any publicity is good publicity” argument, not least because that argument is chiefly put forth by people who make their living generating publicity.
The sign made me think, Huh, Forest is an intellectually challenged incompetent dude who got into a position of importance through sheer dumb luck, yet people don’t realize that and are cheering him on. I noticed it, but the way I noticed it really tests the “any publicity is good publicity” trope.
I’ll go there. There is a vast swath of the Republican base that doesn’t trust nor like candidates of above average intelligence or education. Smart = elitist. Forest Gump is a great role model for them; an honored veteran, accomplished athlete, a wildly successful entrepreneur - yet not smart enough to be up to no good.
You had to go to Raleigh to see those signs? They’re all over Henderson County. There’s one (4?) right down the street from my house. There’s a bunch of them in Asheville too, which I don’t get. Not really a conservative stronghold there.
Now someone has put these up on my commute. Obviously it’s illegal to remove any candidate’s sign. But I’m wondering idly about the legality of printing new sign with the same font and red background that read “AWAY” and interspering them so that the signs read
The only shenanigans I remember in California were by Republican Lieutenant Governor Mike Curb under Jerry Brown’s 1978-82 term as Governor. Brown was running for President in 1980, but he didn’t have the numbers he did in 1976.