Alaska has some very active political campaigns going on right now. It tends to be a conservative state but one of their Senators is a Democrat and is up for re-election. In a year when control of the US Senate - and the future makeup of the Supreme Court - could easily be determined by a handful of votes in some rural backwater, that makes for some high octane campaigning. But on our recent trip it was actually the race for Alaska Governor that caught my eye. There are three fellows running*. The incumbent Republican, a Democratic challenger, and this guy:
We have here in Wisconsin another fellow named Scott Walker, he is the incumbent Republican Governor and an interesting figure in his own right. But the Alaskan Walker is a guy named Bill, a lawyer and former mayor of Valdez.
I should be up front about my own politics, I generally lean in a conservative direction on matters of public policy but don't care much about what people do with their personal lives. Bill Walker's campaign seems to be in line with this viewpoint, I rather like his website that goes on at length about how awful it is that the Governor's Mansion got a sweetheart bid 1.5 Million dollar paint job, and that the spare legislative offices in Anchorage have glass elevators and bathroom stalls with maple doors. So Bill, if you read this blog take what I have to say as the advice of a friend: Fire your media consultant.
When I saw the first few signs of the type shown above I thought, hmmm, surely this was a slip up. They would never want to draw comparisons to Britain First, the recently emerging far right, anti-immigrant, close to neo-nazi organization in the UK? (THIS is a partisan but fairly on target summary of the group).
Must have been a slip up, no?
Sigh. You really have to be careful about this sort of thing. You would not think well of a Liberal/Progressive candidate who had campaign signs reading "Fellow Citizens, We March Together to the Worker's Paradise!".
So Conservative candidates need to take a little time and try to avoid slogans that sound vaguely like right wing totalitarian nonsense. I mean, what next, some three part slogan that has the toxic ring of "Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Fuhrer"?**
*This being Alaska there are a whole slug of minor and curiosity candidates. There is a guy who was born on Kodiak island and went to school in a log cabin. There is a gold miner. There is a fellow described as an "inn keeper and frequent candidate".
**For the record, Bill Walker is NOT a neo-nazi and would properly regard any such suggestion as a grievous offense. Everything I have read about him makes him sound like a stand up guy who would make a pretty good elected official. Remember, this is friendly advice here. You won't make it to the political big leagues with this kind of campaign decisions.....