Look, some things are sacred. The sound of rain. Cookie dough. Meryl Streep. And the timeless television epic that was Friends, which has now been dragged into one of the most heated elections of midterms season, thanks to a flyer created by Georgia's Republican Party that repurposes the Friends logo to attack Stacey Abrams. A woman all six characters definitely would have voted for, had they happened to live in Georgia in 2018, I have no doubt. (Except maybe Ross.)
There's a line, Georgia Republicans. A freaking line!
I joke, of course. Republicans in Georgia crossed that line back in July with the nomination of Brian Kemp, a conservative, Trump-endorsed firebrand who threatened to abduct "criminal illegals" with his bare hands and once pointed a gun at a teenager in a campaign ad. He's running against Stacey Abrams, a progressive activist with a long and storied history in local politics. Kemp, meanwhile, is best known for refusing to step down as Georgia's secretary of state during his campaign (meaning he's in charge of his own election) and purging voters left and right, leading many voters in Georgia to believe that the upcoming November election may be rigged in his favor already.
Which brings me to the flyer, created and distributed by the Republican Party in the state, which uses the Friends logo (the nerve!) to suggest that Stacey Abrams is BFFs with Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders, three Democrats often used as symbols of the "radical left."
Reads the ad:
Pelosi and Sanders back Abrams for a reason...She's just as extreme as they are. Abrams even called Pelosi a "rock star"...Stacey Abrams and her radical friends Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi want to force their extreme agenda on Georgia families and taxpayers...Radical liberals will turnout in record numbers. Its [sic] up to you to stop Extreme Stacey Abrams and All Her Radical Friends.
It's true that Pelosi, Clinton, and Sanders have publicly thrown their support behind Abrams (as have Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and really every big-name Democrat). And, look, I'm joking about the audacity of the Republican Party in Georgia for repurposing the Friends logo, but I'm sure as hell not joking when I say that the party is also preparing for a bleaker political future in the state. The New York Times described Kemp as an "enemy of democracy," and he's been credibly accused of voter suppression over and over again. He's also firmly anti-abortion, pro-fear-mongering, and anti-voter turnout (he was even caught saying that his team is "concerned" about how many people may vote in November).
The only thing more egregious than tainting Friends' good name is, well, trying to stop a historically marginalized demographic from being able to choose who governs them. So if you're in Georgia, check your voter registration status, and then check it again. And, most importantly, show up to vote on November 6, whether you're in Georgia or anywhere else in the country. It matters.
From explainers to essays, cheat sheets to candidate analysis, we're breaking down exactly what you need to know about this year's midterms. Visit Marie Claire's Midterms Guide for more.
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Jenny is the Digital Director at Marie Claire. Originally from London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and never left. Prior to Marie Claire, she spent five years at Bustle building out its news and politics coverage. She loves, in order: her dog, goldfish crackers, and arguing about why umbrellas are fundamentally useless. Her first novel, EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, will be published by Minotaur Books on February 6, 2024.
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