The Trump campaign, never one to be overshadowed by horrifying naked statues of the candidate, has finally released its first TV ad, entitled "Two Americas: Immigration." Is it the worst thing he's ever done? Not by a long shot. But it's still weird, dog-whistle racism and fear-mongering. In other words: it's a campaign ad.
First, a little backstory. Compared to the Clinton campaign, which according to Mashable has spent over $60 million in TV ads, Trump 2016 didn't spend a dime on the air before today. This ad is changing all that, with $5 million being thrown behind it in the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida.
The ad comes in the midst of a campaign shakeup; campaign manager Paul Manafort resigned today after getting demoted following the hiring of Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway. (Whether top Trump lawyer Michael "Says Who" Cohen will face any consequences for his hilariously bad interview on CNN recently remains to be seen.)
On to the breakdown:
"In Hillary Clinton's America, the system stays rigged against Americans."
The ad starts with a statement that's generally true of any candidate. What makes it totally bonkers, though, is that the B-roll the Trump campaign chose depicts a long line to vote at a polling place. You know, like what has happened in states where Republican legislatures have passed restrictive voting laws.
"Syrian refugees flood in."
OH NO THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING!!! Racist dog-whistle #1! The commercial doesn't say why exactly this is a bad thing — there's no mention of immigrants committing terrorism — but instead leaves it up to Trump supporters' vivid, paranoid imaginations.
"Illegal immigrants convicted of crimes get to stay…"
Just plain not true. The Clinton campaign has repeatedly said they will deport undocumented immigrants who pose "a violent threat to public safety." (Also, racist dog-whistle #2: Mexicans are scary!)
"…collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line."
See the backs of brown folks' heads and be mortified! They're coming for you! Racist dog-whistle #3: acting like undocumented immigrants are wrecking the American system when, in fact, they're paying $12 billion in taxes each year, largely into systems they cannot legally benefit from.
"Our border open, it's more of the same — but worse."
Gotta love that B-roll of people riding a freight train. I don't know where it came from, but I'm going to assume it's exactly what the Trump campaign says it is: a whole bunch of Hispanics riding into America to steal jobs and commit crimes, waving happily at the camera as they do so. Terrifying!
"Donald Trump's America is secure!"
Helicopters are the only things that make me feel safe.
"Terrorists and dangerous criminals kept out."
But what about all the people on the train? They're already here!
"The border secure. Our families: safe."
You know the families are safe because the cute white people are kissing and the black people are staring off into the distance. I'm 70% confident that the black people in this ad are stock footage models. Recent polls show Trump with between 1% and 6% support from African-American voters. In other words: whoever these actors are, I hope they're getting HELLA paid (unlike Trump's interns).
"Change that makes America safe again. Donald Trump for President"
Battleships don't make me feel safe. Go back to the helicopters.
"I'm Donald Trump, and I approve this message."
Usually a guy in a baseball cap giving you a thumbs up is your dad, because you are seven and playing tee-ball. This time, he's a major party's candidate for President. God bless the United States of America.
What do you think? Was this commercial more racist jingoistic bullsh*t, or are you fuming right now? Let us know in the comments below or @WhatsTrending on Twitter!