What Finally Led Rose McGowan to Stump for a Fringe Republican in California

slate.com
6 min read
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The #MeToo activist has found a home in the GOP.
Two days before Tuesday's gubernatorial recall election in California, Rose McGowan gave a press conference with Larry Elder, the conservative radio host who would have replaced Gov. Gavin Newsom if he hadn't kept his seat. The activist and former actress renounced the Democratic Party, which she has previously supported, and encouraged California voters to "be brave, do something that's weird—like maybe voting Republican, even though it will feel strange."

McGowan's scattershot speech swung between digs at prominent Democrats, broad indictments of "the system," and non-specific praise for Elder. (For his part, Elder spent the entirety of the 18-minute speech staring blankly into middle distance.) McGowan lingered on seemingly random personal anecdotes and leveled complaints against "the media," which she says has "smeared" her in the past. "So many of the people you work for are part of it, and you know it," she told the reporters in the room. "And I don't know why. Like, what is the game? Is it short-term power? Is it short-term gaining? What is so—why would you sell out your people, your citizens, yourself, your family, your loved ones, for what? For money? For the illusion of power? For the stranglehold you have on keeping people undereducated, underemployed, and terrorized by your government?"

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It's not entirely clear what McGowan was referring to here. But with its grandiosity and claims to knowledge of the inner workings of a Democratic machine that's keeping the common person down, McGowan's spiel did sound right at home at a contemporary Republican campaign event. At times, she sounded a lot like a conservative YouTube star: fixated on conspiracy theories, using the rhetoric of exploitation to condemn rich Democrats, convinced that she alone can see some set of truths the media is bent on covering up. McGowan also put on a fake whiny voice to poke fun at people—presumably progressives—who…
Christina Cauterucci
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