Yes, she’s yelling…and still no one is listening.

“Speak softly and carry a big stick.” – President Theodore Roosevelt

The Chair of the Cobb County Republican Party, Salleigh Grubbs (who also serves on the Executive Committee of the Georgia Republican Party as the Over 80K Caucus Chair) seems to be yelling a lot lately. Before she was yelling about the need for Ed Lindsey to be removed from the State Elections Board, she was yelling about the upcoming elections. When a local candidate announced his re-election in Cobb, Salleigh Grubbs was yelling again (I removed the candidate’s information as the candidate can’t help who is yelling on their behalf).

Adding “Yes, I am yelling!” seems to have become pervasive on social media and in blogs, columns, and other posts and articles. While there are some experts on the web like Wes Boyer and Samuel Stoddard who promote yelling as a way to be persuasive (along with other techniques like interrupting, lying, biting, and flailing arms, among others – it’s a very funny article), generally speaking, yelling is seen as an ineffective method of communication, leading “to activation of the threat system: fight, flight, or freeze.

According to Bernard Golden, Ph.D. in his article in Psychology Today, “Yelling may result from feeling overwhelmed, hurt, and fear and is often an attempt to feel heard. However, it actually undermines listening by both parties, as you become focused on gaining a sense of safety and control.”

While saying “I AM YELLING!” does not engage the same emotional triggers like being in front of a person who is actually yelling does, it is akin to the age-old practice of typing all in caps, which is widely considered “rude” and also ineffective to communication. If you really want to double-down, type “Yes, I am yelling!” it in all caps. like I did at the beginning of this paragraph.

I bring this up because winning a campaign is all about three things:




Earlier this week speaking to Politico, I expressed my concern about Donald Trump’s inability to have a consistent message which will make this election closer than they should be and reinforces his negatives to all voters except for among his most hardline supporters.

The reason for the article was Trump’s attacks against his primary rival Nikki Haley – and I use rival loosely given her chances are almost nil at suddenly stopping Trump. At this point, he needs to ignore Haley and be trying to get her 30% of GOP voters on board. Not calling her “birdbrain” and asking why her husband is not with her when he’s actually serving our nation overseas.

If the Democrats dump Biden, I don’t see Trump winning. If they stick with Biden, Trump has a chance, but it should be more than just a chance.

But the messaging is just as bad on the local level as the local parties, the point of the spear for grassroots engagement, seems bent on both purging the base of the Party of all who don’t fit their narrow definition of who is actually a “Republican” while catering dogmatically and solely to that rapidly shrinking base.

This is no better illustrated in West Cobb as large, yellow signs reminding people to vote in the March 12 Presidential Preference Primary have started popping up courtesy of Cobb GOP House District Chair Jerry Ramsey. While it would seem natural that a House District Chair would be engaged in activities to encourage a get out the vote (GOTV) effort, the difference here is the signs, rather than simply providing a reminder of the date, include a photo of Donald Trump…actually, his mug shot photo.

Ramsey was featured in a Washington Post article in August 2023. Despite his role in the Cobb GOP which should be focused on organizing the dozen or so precincts in his House District, the article highlighted Ramsey’s mission as being something else:

Ramsey, his family, and the head of the county’s Republican Party [Salleigh Grubbs] had met at a local barbecue restaurant. He was still wracking his brain for ways to motivate his fellow Republicans to turn out for Trump and show them what was really at stake in 2024.

He floated an idea to the GOP chair: Maybe the answer was to invite someone who could provide proof that the election was stolen. Douglas Frank, a high school math teacher with a chemistry doctorate, had been making the rounds nationwide, evangelizing that he had an algorithm that proved that 2020 was rigged. His theories had been widely discredited, but Ramsey believed them.

Ramsey, like many in the new MAGA base of the GOP, believes the prosecution of Trump is a cause célèbre to rouse the general public (or at least a majority of general election voters) to rise-up in favor of the unfairly persecuted and prosecuted Donald J. Trump, but swing voters have been telling pollsters the opposite. While winning over swing voters has always been critical in American elections, as, to paraphrase Richard Nixon, to win the primary, you have to run as far to the right (or left if you’re a Democrat) as you can, then to win the General Election, you have to beat your opponent back to the center, it is now even more so with Party identification now at the lowest level ever recorded among voters.

On January 12, Gallup released a shocking poll showing 43% of voters consider themselves “independent” while only 52% of voters consider themselves either Democrats or Republicans (27% each). While Independents have been as high as 43% before, 27% is the lowest point for both parties since Gallup started polling the issue in 1988.

Another example is the announcement that the Cobb County Republican Party will be hosting Dominion conspiracy theorist and My Pillow founder, Mike Lindell. As the Marietta Daily Journal points out, “Lindell is being sued by voting machine companies Dominion and Smartmatic for claiming they conspired with foreign powers to rig voting machines to steal the election from Donald Trump. Dominion is seeking $1.3 billion in damages from Lindell and My Pillow.”

Once again, an event like this with Lindell simply adds more to the narrative that the GOP is still clinging to past grievances than promoting positive and winning ideas. Unless Cobb, and the other County Republican organizations, starts working on broadening the Republican base, it becomes much more difficult to win the state.

People feel like they have to yell to be heard. When you have a good message, no yelling is needed. But after four years of claims of stolen elections, voters’ eyes have glazed over and they don’t want to hear it anymore, especially if it’s being yelled. If the message is good, then you can speak it softly and people will lean in to hear it.

In the end, even the Bible warns us about yelling, “Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude” (Ephesians 4:31 CEV).

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