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AR Dem Marcus Jones Shows How To Run For Congress In A Red State. (Don't Pretend To Be A Republican)
Says GOP incumbent 'isn't a bad guy, he's just the wrong guy'.
From Adam Parkhomenko on the Threads, a really nifty political ad from Democrat Marcus Jones, a retired Army colonel who’s running for Congress against Republican incumbent French Hill, who sounds like he’s more a geographical feature than a member of the House. Jones is so far the only announced candidate in the Democratic primary for next year’s ballot, and if he keeps his messaging focused on the arguments he makes in this ad — for Democrats as the real party of everyday American values — he may have a good shot. Yes, even in Arkansas, where Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Tom Goddamn Cotton are the biggest political names.
Look at this ad, will ya? And for my fellow anti-militarist folks, try to look beyond the military bang-bang, taking out bad guys stuff, because so does Jones, as you’ll see:
We like how the ad takes the military stuff, the “challenge coins” that military people get for completing a mission or other achievement, and uses the idea to both call attention to Jones’s military record — patriotic credibility established — and then to suggest that the biggest challenges America faces are here on the home front.
Where run of the mill campaign ads would follow Jones’s military record by pouring on the rah-rah and the red white and blue, the ad pivots, focusing on a challenge coin in Jones’s hands, as he narrates:
“Feels good when a leader hands you one of these. But I never got one that made any difference to my wife, or my kids, or my Mom and Dad. Because it was always somebody else’s problem, in somebody else’s fight, in somebody else’s country.”
And then it’s about the struggles we face as Americans, and no they aren’t the stuff of culture wars but of getting by and getting ahead:
“Arkansans aren’t looking for a token of gratitude; we’re looking at a fair shot at opportunity, fair wages, health care that doesn’t kill you financially. And a system that doesn’t knock you down every time you get a little bit ahead. And Congress can either build that world or blow it up.”
That. Democrats, please pay attention. This is how to sell Democratic policies in red states, by emphasizing how we all benefit when we all benefit.
And while not naming the threat of “MAGA extremism,” Jones points to it all the same, making an affirmative case for what Democrats support and that other party doesn’t, framing it not in terms of grievance but of values like women’s rights and a fair shake for everyone — and rejection of leaders who want to be “preachers or demagogues.” (Slyly, the visuals here are the late ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and Kim Jong-Un; you are free to think of other preachers and demagogues here at home if you want.)
As for the incumbent, Jones simply says “French Hill isn't a bad guy, he's just the wrong guy.” It’s a good line.
The nifty thing here is that Jones isn’t trying to distance himself from national Democrats — note the “Vote Democratic — ‘People First!’” yard sign in the garage behind him — he’s out to challenge the GOP’s bogus claim to be in sync with “the heartland.” In a recent Arkansas Public TV interview, Jones firmly but gently dismantles that trope:
“What I find most interesting is our Republican colleagues have for a long time spun a narrative about how they’re the party of national defense and they’re the party of the military. They’ve done such a good job that Democrats have believed it,” Jones said on this week’s Capitol View TV program. “One of the things I’m trying to do as I go and engage throughout the district is — to those connections that have atrophied — is try to reestablish those ties. Because the Army in particular is the most diverse organization in the world. It’s drawn from all walks of life, every faith group, every zip code. It’s tough to grow up in that professionally and not be exposed to a lot of different points of view.”
By Crom, here’s a white Democrat running for Congress from Arkansas selling diversity as the truest American value, as demonstrated by The Troops. It’s impressive stuff.
Here’s the full interview.
Damn, we like this guy and we like the way he sells Democratic policies in a very red state. National Democrats, please pay attention.
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