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ASPartOfMe
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19 Oct 2022, 11:56 am

In Kari Lake and Tudor Dixon, the GOP offers a cynical alternative to Trump

Quote:
Arizona Republican nominee for governor Kari Lake declared in a Sunday interview on CNN that she will accept the results of her state election in November — if she wins.

In that declaration, and in her refusal to say if she will accept election results if she loses the Arizona gubernatorial election, the former local TV news anchor was merely doing an impression of a previous candidate for office who ascended an escalator more than seven years ago, ushering in a new brand of made-for-TV politics. “I’m a reporter, I’ve been sitting on your side of the desk for a long time,” Lake told CNN’s Dana Bash, while casting skepticism on the U.S. electoral system.

These former media personalities have flipped the script on a country full of women desperate for representation by cynically offering themselves as an option, while actively working to diminish women’s rights.

As we enter the final stretch of the midterm election season, we’re seeing the party of Donald Trump forced to perform on the national stage without its notorious leader on the ballot to juice turnout. And the MAGA movement seems to have identified a new type of candidate to hold the front lines and fill the Trump-shaped hole: the hardline female media personality.

In a seemingly hostile political environment for women, with abortion rights and female bodily autonomy on the ballot, multiple states have far-right Republican female candidates like Lake in Arizona, Tudor Dixon in Michigan and Sarah Huckabee Sanders in Arkansas running for governor as Trump stand-ins, sometimes against female Democratic opponents. These former media personalities have flipped the script on a country full of women desperate for representation by cynically offering themselves as an option, while actively working to diminish women’s rights.

In the age of viral clips from even the most sparsely attended campaign events, it makes sense to promote candidates who have an innate understanding of media. In Lake and Dixon, the GOP has two pros at garnering coverage without having to pay for it — a tactic widely used by Trump in the run-up to the 2016 election and throughout his presidency. The current candidates also enjoy a standing invitation on Fox News; whenever they need a lift, a right-wing conspiracy theory podcast or talk radio show will help them deliver their pitch. Their natural skill at media makes them ideal candidates as Republicans try to figure out who they are in a post-Trump world.

It’s likely this is just the beginning of Republican candidates who understand that in order to win the party’s nomination and ultimately the general election, they have to be completely unapologetic in their rhetoric, like the Trumps, Alex Joneses and Tucker Carlsons of the world. The desire to “own the libs” conquers all social conventions, creating an environment free of apologies and regard for consequences. And it’s hard to see how more moderate Republicans can possibly compete with this level of media savvy.

And the prospect of putting a pretty, TV-ready face on ugly politics creates a huge obstacle for the future of feminist politics, tossing the basic idea of “elect more women” out the window. Being a woman isn’t enough, but Republicans want you to think it is.

All along, Lake’s campaign has seemed like an audition — not just before the people of Arizona but before all of MAGA world,” The Atlantic’s Elaine Godfrey wrote recently. “If she wins on November 8, she will have proved that her smooth, put-together version of Trumpism works.” Godfrey describes the “seductive power to Lake’s voice: deep but still feminine; firm, even severe, but smooth. Like black tea with a little honey.”

The fact that Lake is a female facsimile of Trump is hinted at but not explicitly mentioned in the article. Yet her femininity is a crucial piece of what makes her so compelling as a character in the GOP pantheon and has enabled her to take on current Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in a high-stakes race. Her softer touch to hardline policies makes her message easier for voters to swallow.

All along, Lake’s campaign has seemed like an audition — not just before the people of Arizona but before all of MAGA world,” The Atlantic’s Elaine Godfrey wrote recently. “If she wins on November 8, she will have proved that her smooth, put-together version of Trumpism works.” Godfrey describes the “seductive power to Lake’s voice: deep but still feminine; firm, even severe, but smooth. Like black tea with a little honey.”

The fact that Lake is a female facsimile of Trump is hinted at but not explicitly mentioned in the article. Yet her femininity is a crucial piece of what makes her so compelling as a character in the GOP pantheon and has enabled her to take on current Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in a high-stakes race. Her softer touch to hardline policies makes her message easier for voters to swallow.

In an August interview, Dixon said survivors of rape who become pregnant from the assault can experience “healing” in giving birth, rather than terminating the pregnancy. While she has leaned in to the feminine ideal of being a mom, she’s also gone to great lengths to position herself as the candidate made of tougher stuff than Whitmer.

“The sad thing is Gretchen will tie your hands, put a gun to your head and ask if you’re ready to talk,” Lake said at a campaign event in September, in a reference to the 2020 plot by domestic terrorists to kidnap the sitting governor. “For someone so worried about being kidnapped, Gretchen Whitmer sure is good at taking business hostage and holding it for ransom.”

The rise of Lake and Dixon, along with other female Republican gubernatorial candidates like Huckabee Sanders in Arkansas and Christine Drazan in Oregon, mirror political developments across the Atlantic, where Europe has seen a surge of similarly anti-abortion, anti-immigrant, pro-fascism women win elections.

Bolding=mine

This is not new. The Daughters of The Confederacy were the group most responsible for the wave of Confederate monuments put up around the 1910s. It goes beyond politics. In our time Fox News has hired many “hot” women.

There have been a few other articles noting this phenomenon. In these type of articles I am detecting thinly disguised sexism. The implication is that they are sheep, pawns, people with no agency. Did it ever occur to their critics that they are all in with being used?

Yes, as said in the article it does make it harder to note the misogynist elements in the MAGA world view.


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Sweetleaf
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19 Oct 2022, 3:07 pm

If there was a vomit emoji I'd post it.

Anyways my feelings about MAGA women are:

May they all get pregnant with non-viable fetuses and be denied abortions so they can see what it is like to have to take a 6 hour ambulance ride to a different state to get an abortion with blood pressure rising asking if they're going to die. It's gross that is what they want for themselves and its even grosser they want to force other people to have their lives put at risk that way.

But maybe some of them will pull their heads out of their asses if they suffer some of the consequences and realize how horrific the situation is and come around to supporting bodily autonomy.


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Tim_Tex
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19 Oct 2022, 3:15 pm

Two words: Stepford wives



goldfish21
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20 Oct 2022, 12:14 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
If there was a vomit emoji I'd post it.

Anyways my feelings about MAGA women are:

May they all get pregnant with non-viable fetuses and be denied abortions so they can see what it is like to have to take a 6 hour ambulance ride to a different state to get an abortion with blood pressure rising asking if they're going to die. It's gross that is what they want for themselves and its even grosser they want to force other people to have their lives put at risk that way.

But maybe some of them will pull their heads out of their asses if they suffer some of the consequences and realize how horrific the situation is and come around to supporting bodily autonomy.

:heart: :heart: :heart: :heart:

I usually only award 3 hearts, but this post was easily worth 4. 8)


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CockneyRebel
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20 Oct 2022, 12:18 pm

I think that's a good thing. We need more strong MAGA women in America. They're not all Stepford Wives. A lot of them are strong women who have minds of their own.


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goldfish21
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20 Oct 2022, 12:19 pm

CockneyRebel wrote:
I think that's a good thing. We need more strong MAGA women in America. They're not all Stepford Wives. A lot of them are strong women who have minds of their own.


Yet they seem to be strongly thinking that it's a good idea to strip women's rights away from them.. which I don't see as a good thing. At all.


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20 Oct 2022, 11:43 pm

MAGA women, MAGA men, still fascists and a threat to our pluralistic democracy.


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Sweetleaf
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20 Oct 2022, 11:59 pm

CockneyRebel wrote:
I think that's a good thing. We need more strong MAGA women in America. They're not all Stepford Wives. A lot of them are strong women who have minds of their own.


But aren't you trans? Don't mean to be offensive or anything but like MAGA's would not support you in using the pronouns you prefer, they would not respect that. They'd just insist you are a woman even though you do not identify as such.

Is that what you want?


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