Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Election Political Ad Geography: Afghanistanization of Florida

Once again, as we approach the 2010 United States midterm elections I plan to post maps by various political groups.  The purpose of these posts is not to support the map's message but to analyze the map's geography. If you have an election map or know of one please e-mail or comment.

Background:  Republican Dan Webster is challenging Democrat incumbent Alan Grayson for the Florida District 8 seat of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Ad: An anti-Webster ad done by Representative Grayson.

The above television political advertisement uses the "social conservative Republicans are just like the social conservative Taliban" argument.  Two connected maps are shown on top of the screen.  The top map has Qandahar (also spelled by some as "Kandahar") clearly shown.  The label "Qandahar" is the only part of the map that is clearly readable, even beating out "Afghanistan."  The ad's creators aparently assesses that the general public is aware that Qandahar was/is the Taliban's cultural home. The bottom map shows "Orlando," the major city within Florida District 8.  The implication is that electing Dan Webster as representative will bring parallels of Afghanistan to Florida.

The bottom part of the ad has the Shahada, the Islamic profession of faith.  The end of the ad then has "Taliban Dan Webster" in Arabic-style font.  These two additions are interesting on a cultural level.  Their use seems to be in the negative which is an odd use of Islamophobia for a Democrat incumbent.

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