At the age of 3, I turned to my mother during a local newscast that featured Ronald Reagan and announced, “Mom, I’m a Republican.” This story was repeated my mother — a solid McGovern Democrat — throughout my childhood, always with a tocsin of horror.
I suppose her trepidation recounting this story during my teens should have been my first indication that William F. Buckley was right: “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
However, my mother didn’t sit me down and talk to me about the perfidies of conservatism and how it leads to personal ruination. Of course she didn’t, since I was 3 and probably didn’t understand how the world works (which probably should have made me a perfect Democrat, but I digress). However, according to a new ad from anti-Trump group Nextgen America, that’s where she failed me.
The new Mother’s Day-themed ad from the PAC begins with a mother examining a framed high school picture of her son, complete with his senior quote: “‘Go back to where you came from.’ — Me.”
Subtlety, thy name is Nextgen America.
While meant to take the form of innumerable public service announcements (“I learned it from you, dad!“), the attempt at satire still seems to indicate that if your kid is a conservative, he’s going to be a wretched individual.
“I started noticing some issues with him maybe in middle school,” the mother in the advertisement says. “The stealing started out small. A few dollars here and there. Not from me, oddly enough, but from less-fortunate kids.”
Oh, ho, ho. I see what you did there. Just in case you didn’t get the joke, the commercial hammers it home with a framed picture of the child bullying the less-fortunate children. (I suppose maybe living in a home where the parents frame pictures of their son beating up other children might be responsible for this — as opposed to his political viewpoints — but why let facts get in the way of this perfectly logical narrative?)
“He was never afraid to talk with girls, but things never worked out for some reason,” the mother says. That’s when a picture of the son screaming at a crying woman while holding a placard saying “Baby Killer” is flashed on screen.
The mother then has a revelation: “It’s not until I met his college buddies … that I realized it might be too late.” And just when you thought the tone of the advertisement couldn’t get any more stomach-churning, the picture cuts to the infamous photo of the tiki torch-carrying white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Only a mother can catch the signs early,” the woman says at the end of the advertisement. “This Mother’s Day, talk to your child about the GOP.”
It ends with the mother downing a martini in one gulp — typical Democrat behavior, I admit. It gets that part right. The rest of it is a twisted piece of vulgar demagogy.
It’s bad enough, but still hardly beyond the pale, to portray all Republicans as thieves and bullies. Once you directly connect the GOP with neo-Nazis, you’ve essentially spent tens of thousands of dollars on an elaborate proof of Godwin’s law.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that Nextgen America is a California-based group funded by liberal billionaire Tom Steyer, according to the Washington Examiner. You need the moneyed insularity of the People’s Republic of Silicon Valley to think that ad is in any way accurate or appropriate.
Much like imagery of the Nazis or the Klan, images from the tiki torch rally in Charlottesville are so ingrained in the American psyche as phenotypes of bigotry and violence that their use in this context is below despicable. The fact that they thought it was appropriate to use here is a telling statement about just where American liberalism is in 2018.
This is to say nothing of the thought-policing that the advertisement is encouraging. Your kids are supposed to be indoctrinated into liberalism, much in the same way you teach them to not join a gang or take drugs. Being a conservative, it argues, leads to white nationalist rallies in which counterprotesters are killed. That’s literally the message. Talk to your kids and brainwash them into the ways of the left or they’re going to turn into neo-Nazis.
I suppose the point of this advertisement was to get attention. I also suppose I’m playing into it by even reporting on this odious advertisement. However, what’s being portrayed here is simply too sinister to overlook.
In less than a minute, Nextgen America manages to set up an incendiary straw man and encourage the propagandizing your own children, all allegedly in the name of satire. Beyond disgusting.
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