AUSTIN, Texas — Nancy Thompson is a mother of three and the founder of Mothers Against Greg Abbott, a political action committee she refers to as the new MAGA.
“I had some Sharpie markers, and I wrote one line in blue and one line in red and one in blue and the other in red and then I stood back and looked at it. The acronym is MAGA,” said Thompson.
Thompson says the idea for Mothers Against Greg Abbott came about a year ago, when concerns over mask mandates in public schools were growing.
“My son was really sick and in the hospital and Greg Abbott said that he was not going to require mask mandates in school and I was really angry because my son was super sick. The doctors said to be careful he doesn’t catch COVID when he goes back to school. I couldn’t sleep. I was really overwhelmed, and I didn’t know what else to do,” Thompson recalled.
Thompson believes that moment sparked a movement resonating with over 50,000 members who all wanted change in Texas politics. Thompson, along with fellow moms of the group, are producing ads to express their concerns on hot topics like COVID-19, gun legislation and access to abortion care.
The group created a series of fictional videos telling the story of real issues affecting Texans. The latest video is of a doctor telling a pregnant patient that her unborn daughter has a life-threatening issue. During the piece, the patient asks the doctor for medical advice. The doctor pauses and goes to a telephone in the room to call on the Texas governor to discuss how he should proceed.
“A lot of the campaigns were just taking it from how real women are feeling and how we’d like to fight back, so this isn’t a politician talking to people, this is just a real person. We are not running for office, we are not politicians, we are just a group of parents who would like to make a difference,” said Thompson.
The video immediately caught fire on Twitter, pulling in 7 million views in one day.
According to a 2020 study posted in the journal Science Advances, based on the 2020 presidential election, researchers found that political ads have little impact on voters’ preferences. The study concluded the effects of such advertisement are small regardless of context or the message.
Thompson says she wants Texas moms to be their own person.
“You don’t have to vote the same as everyone else. In order to vote for change, we have to team up together because right now we know the Texas GOP has gone too far,” she said.