When memes fail, the Philistine edition - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, September 19, 2021
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When memes fail, the Philistine edition

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It’s hard to say where Gov. Bill Walker was going with his message, which presumably he approved. It was an attempt at a humorous jab at his leading opponent for governor, Mike Dunleavy, who has a a robust team of young and talented Alaskans working on his behalf, churning out social media messages and videos in rapid succession, always seeming to be one step ahead of the competitors.

Those young Alaskans — in their 20s and 30s — have come up with some savage campaign memes over the past weeks, poking fun of Walker and using contemporary references from pop culture.

But the Walker campaign’s David and Goliath, “Standing Tall for the Phillistines” [sic] meme, shown above, isn’t in the same league. It was the decoration on a rambling fundraising letter to the Walker faithful from the governor’s campaign manager, John-Henry Heckendorn.

The letter made no actual sense, but played metaphorical Twister with an old Bible story, while getting a dig in over  Dunleavy’s height challenge of 6’7″.

Heckendorn even threw in a Shaquille O’Neal reference. Sweet.

With the liberal voters that Walker is looking for this season, he may have used the wrong imagery. A recent Pew Research study shows that only 15 percent of those who identify as liberals are Christian. The Bible story theme might have mystified the intended audience.

A screen shot from the Pew study on religious beliefs and political leanings. Read the study here.


Memes are a messaging art form, and not everyone has the talent for them.

Here’s a successful meme, one that is easily understood and requires no 500-word fundraising pitch narrative to go with it. (It came #StraightOuttaDunleavyforAlaska. The independent group that produced this one can be found here.)


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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I heard an add on the radio twice this week wherein Governor Walker talks about how he failed to do his job as governor and because of his failure as governor the state issued a pink slip to a law enforcement recruit in training. It was a weird way to ask people to vote for you again, but then almost everything Walker has done since being in office seems to be aimed at not being re-elected.

    I think if it were me and I wanted to be re-elected I would try and highlight something that I did for the good of the people, if the best you have is that you issued pink slips to law enforcement, maybe you should not be running for governor.

    Of course I don’t understand the Heckendorn method and proven campaigns that have a way of electing child rapists and woman beaters…maybe being honest is this years way of making up for lying about the child rapists and woman beaters last go around?

  • I would have written “Standing tall for the uncircumcised Philistines”

  • No worries, “Phillistines [sic]” is just a big Alaska Democrat word that means “Deplorables” only it’s more biblical.
    And we know how well that worked in 2016…

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