The #IAmARepublican campaign was meant to show Americans that Republicans can be normal, reasonable people. However, it's become the latest case of snarktivism, as social media users hijack the hashtag to mock members of the political party.
The attempt to humanize Republicans was created by Vinny Minchillo, who had worked on Mitt Romney's ad campaign during the 2012 presidential election. He launched a website called RepublicansArePeopleToo.com for the cause, and supplemented the message on Facebook and Twitter. He also masterminded a video showing that conservative Americans drive Priuses, publicly peruse The New York Times and struggle through building Ikea furniture like the rest of us.
"On social media, I've been called every name in the book," Minchillo explained to The New Republic. "It's become socially acceptable to talk about Republicans in the most evil terms possible, and that doesn't seem right. We wanted to do this to really remind people that Republicans are friends, neighbors and do things that maybe you wouldn't expect them to do."
While there is no doubt all the statements in the video are true, the campaign has taken a farcical turn. Most notably, The Daily Banter discovered that the photo used to illustrate that "Republicans are black" is, in fact, a stock image that's been used to promote a variety of causes, including the Georgia Association of Black Woman Attorneys and QuickPaydayNow.com.
Also, people are indeed tweeting about what it means to be a Republican—but they're probably not the kinds of sentiments Minchillo had in mind when he created the campaign.
I don't need fancy-shmancy high school diploma to know dinosaur fossils were put there by satan to trick smarty-pants libs. #iamarepublican
— mcdowdy (@mcdowdy) October 3, 2014
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) October 2, 2014
— The Real Carmen (@Carmeanie) October 3, 2014
#IAmARepublican because I accept all races, religions, and classes of ppl. As long as they're white, Christian, and rich.
— Aaron Thorpe (@AaronThorpe3) September 30, 2014
#IamARepublican because I need the menfolk to tell me what to do with my ladyparts. And white Jesus. Amen and pass the ammo.
— Mari Steed (@culchiewoman) September 30, 2014
Minchillo should chalk this one up as a learning experience. Republicans can get burned online, too.