It’s a recurring theme we’ve seen many times from Colorado Republicans looking for a little xenophobic edge in their campaign message that doesn’t come across as, you know, overly xenophobic–warning against Colorado becoming “more like California,” generally followed by an over-the-top description of the horrors of living in what would be the world’s fifth largest economy if it were counted as a separate nation.
Obviously it’s not about material prosperity, which California has plenty of. “California” in this usage serves as a metaphor for every aspect of modern society that conservatives object to, from immigration to men hooking up with one another–which local Republicans need their base to realize are all horrors lurking just around the corner (or in the bathroom as the case may be) if Colorado keeps electing Democrats. In 2018, the Republican Governors Association developed an entire ad campaign around “RadiCalifornia” to boost GOP gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton (it didn’t).
But that’s not stopping local Republicans from busting out the old saw once again!
As you can see, 2022 GOP gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl’s merch store has “Don’t California my Colorado” bumper stickers and lapel pins for sale so that you too can express your contempt for the Golden State. But unlike Connecticut-born Walker Stapleton, there’s a rather glaring problem with Ganahl’s California bashing:
Folks, Heidi Ganahl is one. Ganahl’s bid for office is literally an attempt to “California” (as a verb) Colorado. And like swing voters who have been struggling to understand the point of this unpersuasive message for years, it’s up to you to interpret what that means.
We’d say maybe have some pride in your roots? Too late for that we guess.