CLEVELAND – Fearing an exodus of moderates as the national party lunges rightward, Minnesota Republicans announced a new slogan in hopes of keeping suburban moderates in the fold.
“They’re coming to take our golf courses!” read a large banner unveiled by party officials at a press conference yesterday. They believe the new slogan encapsulates the drumbeat of apocalyptic foreboding expressed in Cleveland this week, while still targeting the key leisure sports demographic.
“Think of it as a new take on ‘They’re coming to take our guns,’ which has worked really well for us,” said spokesman Biff Wellington III. “But now we want people to be terrified about golf.”
The slogan was a resounding hit with delegates here. One sucker-punched a bearded caterer serving the press conference “just so he doesn’t get any ideas.” The assault was met with cheers from the audience.
Even Sen. Ted Cruz, leader of the party’s rebel faction, lent his full support to Minnesota’s initiative. He noted that as far back as 2012, he’s been warning of “a dangerous United Nations plan” to abolish golf courses.
But state officials chose to discard the United Nations part, suspecting moderates would mistake it for a hedge fund sheltered in the Cayman Islands, making the danger implausible. Instead, Wellington placed the threat at the feet of “big government and libtards, who are systematically destroying this country and not making it very great.”
When pressed for evidence of a takeover, Wellington denounced the question as immaterial. “Nobody’s ever come to take anybody’s gun either, and that slogan’s been killing it for years.”
Still, he admits the times call for state Republicans to generate new fears. Donald Trump is expected to get trounced in Minnesota. And moderates – especially women – are shying away from the GOP’s gun positions. Some, he concedes, have even reached the conclusion that dead children and police officers are more important than man-toys.
“That’s obviously stupid,” he said, noting that the lives of neither cops nor kids are enshrined in the Constitution. “We can always get more where they come from. But we need to face the facts: the babes are bolting.”
Golf is essential to the social structure of suburban Republican strongholds, he reasoned. Without it, “there would be total collapse. Wayzata would look like Zimbabwe or Indiana.”
This may explain why the new slogan quickly gained traction. Last evening, Fox News devoted seven straight hours of coverage to the “War on Golf,” bringing its highest ratings since its “War on Sectional Sofas” in April. Sean Hannity called it “the greatest threat to the Republic since gluten-free diets.”
CNN hosted a two-hour-special titled “Golf Crisis 2016,” during which partisan guests shouted talking points over each other. It was believed to be briefly watched by four people in New Mexico before they turned the channel to Braxton Family Values.
Closer to home, Jerry Leopold, manager of the Golf Emperor in Hopkins, said his store was awash with customers loading up on accessories before government agents could make arrests.
“We’re completely sold out of canary yellow casual fit slacks,” said Leopold. “I’ve only got three mint sweater vests left.”
Leopold hopes to receive one last shipment before he’s imprisoned, but he’s unsure if the truck will make it past blockades said to be erected along the Wisconsin border.
In the meantime, Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt demanded immediate subsidies for private "freedom courses," as he called them. His bill would also make it a felony for any government official to "impede the free flow of pastel sportswear across state borders."