The newest Trump campaign ad is troublesome. It addresses the very real and understandable frustrations and fears of citizens who feel widely disempowered by the way power moves and operates in the United States. It references the insurmountable economic inequalities and the institutions that perpetuate them. But then, it boldly and dramatically declares that some kind of “new government,” disrupting the “political establishment,” would actually hold the interests of the “American people” at heart. The ad carries on the familiar, and blatantly untrue narrative of similar campaigns over the last several years: the reason the economy is different now is because of evil Mexican immigrants and scary Asian people. Also, you are in direct and terrible danger of being killed by random Arab people at any moment, yikes! Feel fear, feel anger! Yikes!
It’s very frustrating to watch someone take advantage of the real frustrations and insecurities of our capitalist system, and then joyously manufacture racist propaganda to conjure up support for the EXACT same kinds of policies that this ad and campaign are supposedly critiquing.
And what’s even more frustrating is that, while some Trump voters are working class white people who were failed by the school system and never taught how to read subtext or cast aspersions or look up source material, a whole lot of them aren’t. This campaign isn’t just taking advantage of scared and sad and uneducated white people in the Midwest who don’t have another news channel. Many Trump supporters are well-educated people who should know better – and who DO know better – than to believe the nonsense campaign story. They just know that their elite power and capital will be less at risk with an executive branch controlled by a tax-evading baby, and they’d like to keep it that way.