Video of the Day: The Dangers of Coming Out in Utah ... As a Democrat

More

Admitting your party is highly stigmatized is unorthdoox, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

It's a common but still wrenching trope: a child has to admit to his traditionalist parents that the lifestyle and values he holds are different and even antithetical to their own, and that he intends to do things they find abhorrent. Mix in a state that's deeply temperamentally conservative and it's even worse. Even in 2012, some things just aren't that easy.

For example, telling your staunch Republican parents you're a Democrat.

That's the premise of this rather witty ad from Ryan Combe, who's running in Utah's first congressional district. The spot actually does a pretty good job of laying out the Democratic platform in broad and widely acceptable terms: social mobility, progressive taxation, equal gender rights, universal health care. As the ad closes, the parents trade recrimination over who's to blame for his waywardness. Then Combe says, "Why aren't you a Democrat? It might not be as bad as you think."

Despite the effectiveness of the message, an ad premised on your own party's stigmatization is not what one might call orthodox campaign strategy. But -- as the spot implies -- it's pretty tough to be a Democrat in the Beehive State. Combe is almost certain to lose in November to Rob Bishop. In 2004, the first district was ranked the most Republican in the nation, and Combe wasn't even born the last time it elected a Democratic representative, in 1978. The state's congressional delegation has only one Democrat, Jim Matheson, and he faces a tough race this fall against rising star Mia Love (he recently announced he would skip the Democratic National Convention). Combe wins points for courage and creativity, but that's probably all he's going to win in 2012.

Hat tip: Charlie Mahtesian

Jump to comments
Presented by

David A. Graham

David Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In