New campaign ad drops from MI GOP Governor candidate Garrett Soldano. Makes a compelling case on his qualifications. pic.twitter.com/lFaR1eCTsZ
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) October 15, 2021
Garrett Soldano released a pretty strange campaign ad last fall. The only words spoken in it came from a voice aggressively asking, “WHO?” and a chorus twice chanting “WE THE PEOPLE!” in response. The rest of the ad was 45 seconds of footage of Soldano firing various weapons at a gun range, set to a heavy, looping guitar riff. …
Soldano’s ad may have been absurd, but it wasn’t atypical. Republican candidates are turning to guns, guns, guns in a very big way ahead of the midterms, serving their potential constituents with a torrent of campaign ads, Instagram posts, and even Christmas cards of themselves toting and firing deadly weapons. Conservatives using guns in campaign ads is nothing new, of course, but the way in which they’re being used in the wake of Trump’s term in office — and particularly in the wake the violent attack on the Capitol that ended it — portends a dark future for the party, and if it regains control of Washington, D.C., for the nation.
Ron Filipkowski, a researcher who tracks right-wing activity online and has highlighted several examples of Republicans going gun crazy in their campaign ads, says the use of guns in ads has “absolutely” ratcheted up this primary cycle compared to 2020 and 2018.
“I started noticing it and was like, ‘What’s going on?’” he says. “I think it’s almost like the [Lauren] Boebert-, [Marjorie Taylor] Greene-ization of the whole America First movement that’s driving the Republican Party now. It’s those candidates who are the ones that are doing it. I feel like the establishment candidates kind of feel like they have to do it too, now.”