Opinion | Scott M. Estill: Furries and other election issues
It’s that time of year again when the Broncos football games are interrupted with an endless loop of political ads, although the ads are currently better than the football. For this year, the two biggie races in Colorado are for governor and U.S. Senator.
According to Fox News, current Colorado Governor Jared Polis holds a 17% lead over his opponent Heidi Ganahl, while for senate the race is a bit tighter with current U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet holding a 10% lead over Joe O’Dea. It is always difficult for any candidate to unseat an incumbent candidate, as both Republican candidates for statewide office are discovering. Nationwide, incumbents win at a 94% clip — a hall of fame winning percentage in any sport.
There is a reason Mr. O’Dea is making his race a potentially close race while Ms. Ganahl is fading fast. O’Dea is a moderate Republican in a land of extremes. He is similar in style and substance to Bennet. Yes, the pro-life leaders have endorsed Mr. O’Dea, but it was a tepid endorsement given his position in favor of restrictions and not elimination of health care rights. He is focusing his campaign on inflation, energy and security, and so are many voters. However, as a fiscal conservative he may wish to reconsider his position on diverting funds allocated to the IRS (to update technology, replace retiring employees and perform additional audits on the wealthy) to border security. Instead of removing a revenue source from additional tax audits on wealthy donors funding most campaigns this year, he may want to see if there is any wiggle room in the current $778 billion allocated to provide national defense. In case you were wondering, the silver medal in defense spending goes to China, with $229 billion in spending.
The rest of the Republican party could learn a thing or two from Mr. O’Dea’s “boring” campaign of staying on point and being disciplined about his message. There is no mention of any election fraud or endorsements from pillow manufacturers on his website. I think the Democratic party would be making a mistake to underestimate his campaign and his chances of success come November. This race is going to be very close.
Before I cast my vote, I would like to know how Mr. O’Dea would have voted on the previous four U.S. Supreme Court justice nominations. We know how Sen. Bennet voted. The thought of Mitch McConnell having another senator in his back pocket for judicial nominations is concerning to me and many other Colorado independent voters.
For Ms. Ganahl, her positions reflect a traditional Republican platform — tough on crime, pro-life, and keeping immigrants outside the borders of the U.S. and Colorado. While her conservative positions may be slightly out of step with the more liberal Colorado voters, it also does not help that she cannot stop saying stupid things, including this:
“Not many people know that we have furries in Colorado schools … kids identifying as cats.” Stop right there, Ms. Ganahl. Whatever you say next is going to be tough on your credibility. “It sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it’s happening all over Colorado and schools are tolerating it. It’s insane.”
The reason it sounds ridiculous is because it is ridiculous. And she would like my vote for governor?
She continued with “I just heard from over 100 parents identifying 30 different schools that this is happening. Jefferson County, there’s a lot of this going on.”
Jefferson County disagrees and actually had to put out a statement reassuring us that “there is absolutely no truth to this claim.”
I feel better knowing this evil rumor has been debunked. Only in 2022 would the Jefferson County School District need to put out: “There are no litter boxes in our buildings and students are not allowed to come to school in costume. There are no furries or students identifying as such during the school day.”
This is not how you defeat an incumbent. According to the Campaign Workshop blog, the way you take down an incumbent is to point out some faults (arrogance, scandals, broken promises, etc.), along with understanding the numbers with respect to polling and the constituency voting. Finally, what is the difference between you and your opponent (who happens to have the advantages of being an incumbent)?
Until the Republican party stays on point with messages that are important to voters in states like Colorado, it will continue to lose statewide elections. What’s wrong with the economy, fiscal responsibility and national security? Instead, candidates like to stray into messages concerning restrictions on women’s health choices and what may be lurking within the confines of a school library. Ms. Ganahl should have followed Mr. O’Dea’s lead and kept her furries safely at home. He has an election to win, while she will no doubt be wondering why Colorado voters overwhelmingly reelected Gov. Polis to a second term.
Scott M. Estill’s column “Challenges, Choices, Changes” publishes biweekly on Thursdays in the Summit Daily News. Estill is an attorney, author, and public speaker who lives in Dillon when not traveling or attending to legal matters in Denver. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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