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Don't Think of a Republican

Lonnie Ray Atkinson’s new satire, Don’t Think of a Republican, features the fictional campaign of a “lefty progressive” who runs, and wins, in a working class, red congressional district.

This literary masterpiece is a compilation of the scandalous rhetoric and the unprecedented electoral truth-telling employed throughout the ground-breaking campaign trail of US Senator H.F. Valentine.

How do we reach across ideological divides? How can we encourage wide participation and constructive deliberation? This audacious book is an organizer’s handbook and an (as yet) imaginary campaign tool.

Excerpts from the book have been posted on this site (scroll to related posts at the bottom of the page), but there's nothing to stop you buying it in the meantime.

And do check out the reviews of the book by Alexandria Shaner and Bridget Meehan.

The book has two authors:

Senator H.F. Valentine: Valentine is the book's main author and he made his initial run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2022. A candidacy in which he, despite championing policies as progressive as any of Bernie Sanders, or as he would say – because he was championing such policies, went on to win a GOP primary in a solid red Republican district. After winning said primary, he easily won the general election and began turning shit completely upside down in the U. S. Congress. Having imagined he would only get away with serving one term, he went, as the more crass of us might put it, balls out and began proposing legislation so audacious yet simultaneously common-sensical, and thus extremely popular, that it made fools of any in the establishment class who were tasked to explain why such policy solutions should be out of reach. During which time, he continued making speeches and giving interviews and holding town halls that would help change the conversation on a wide range of issues by offering the public a different frame through which to look at their collective dilemmas and respective remedies. And just as he had done during that unprecedented primary run, he spared no honesty calling out members of both parties for their venality and political cowardice. The entire time accumulating just enough media attention, just enough voter respect, and just enough general name recognition that when a special election was called in his state for a U.S. Senate seat vacated under allegations of the current senator’s corruption, the moment was just enough right for a political badass like H.F. Valentine to step in and make history – again.

Lonnie Ray Atkinson: RU member Atkinson is the book's second author. A writer born in East Nashville (back when that shit meant something), Atkinson was just slick enough to come up with the crazy-ass idea of running a lefty progressive in a red-district Republican Primary. When asked shortly after to join the Valentine for Congress campaign team, his verbatim response was, “Heeeeeeeell Yeah!” In addition to writing the original essay and foreword for Don’t Think Of A Republican, he is the author of A Good Kid and His Ghosts and Tough Guys, Bad Dudes, And Other Men My Father Knew.


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