For several days, the Preble County GOP used a sign in front of their Main Street Victory Center in Eaton with Headquarters spelled incorrectly. I photographed the sign on Tuesday, Oct. 11 and posted it to my Instagram account — with less than 50 followers — today (Thursday) as a joke. (As a reporter for The Register-Herald two decades ago, I wrote a headline in a very large point size with an incorrect word — so I get it — mistakes happen.)
When I drove past the building this evening on my way home, I noticed the incorrectly spelled sign had been replaced.
But, my real reason for photographing the building was the off-putting slogan embraced by local Party leaders, “Deplorable and Proud of It.” The Trump Train, as the campaign is called, does not need the assistance of a slogan that promotes five immoral and unethical positions for Trump to win here. If you’ve lived in Preble County for more than a week, it’s obvious Trump has plenty of support.
Local Party leaders’ error is not following the advice (pdf) offered up by the National Republican Party several years ago after Mitt Romney lost the presidential election (carrying 67 percent of the Preble County vote). In the report, one of its main points was to move past the divisive approach to politics.
The report states,
Public perception of the Party is at record lows. Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the Party represents, and many minorities wrongly think that Republicans do not like them or want them in the country. When someone rolls their eyes at us, they are not likely to open their ears to us.
Slogans like ‘Deplorable’ doesn’t up the win factor for Preble. It alienates borderline conservatives. This becomes important in national elections because the millennials are here and they have — and will continue to have — a significant voice in the direction of the country.
A misspelled word is an honest mistake — embracing divisiveness, though, is strategically foolish.