I’m not one for cable TV. I don’t even have a subscription for it and can’t remember the last time I actually sat down to watch TV, let alone listen to commercials. Sure I catch the occasion sporting event at some local pub or a friend’s house, but even then commercials are overlooked or muted for more important and entertaining conversation.
Nevertheless a recent commercial really stood out and grabbed my attention. In her pursuit for the presidency, Clinton recently released a commercial titled “Mirrors” that shows girls looking at their reflections while video and sound recordings of degrading and sexist comments made by Trump are played in the background. The message is a simple one, if not incredibly powerful, asking “Is this the president we want for our daughters?”
What struck me about the ad was the breadth of people it is actually targeting – not only daughters, sisters, and mothers; but also fathers, sons, brothers, and other men who have found Trump’s tactics, policies, and commentary as affronts to the morality, human dignity, and democratic policy that the U.S. so often advocates.
Underneath the obvious statement that Trump policies are bad for women in general is an underlying argument that a Trump presidency would be one replete with shame and demagoguery. From calling for the reinstatement of “stop and frisk” to arguing for racial profiling , restriction on reproductive health, and both foreign and domestic policies defined by a pro-religious right/anti-Muslim agenda, Trump has appealed to the worst sentiments of our country. He has brought hate out of the shadows front and center, and has normalized racist, sexist, and discriminatory practices and beliefs that do nothing to strengthen our country’s constitutional principles and human rights.
What Clinton’s team is doing right now is a smart move. Trump lies and changes policy positions at such a fast rate that the only way to accurately keep time with his statements would be if the press corps was leashed to his belt and were tweeting 24/7. Clinton can try to attack him purely on policy alone but he will deny, deny, deny. Instead, she is going after his character, which is much more deeply and consistently flawed. He may be able to get away with changing his policy positions by saying that he didn’t have the correct information or complete picture at the time, but to try and distant himself from some of the more awful things he has said in the past few years is much harder.
Our obsession with stories that shock, reality TV, and political drama that seems more like a soap opera than serious discussions have kept Trump’s personal flaws in the spotlight. We love drama. We love when someone stirs the pot; and no one has done this more than Trump. It’s what has fed his popularity. By appealing to America’s most basest and unethical positions in the loudest and most brash way possible he has simultaneously made himself an appealing outsider to those tired of political gridlock but has also stacked the rack against his own chances of winning by marginalizing the demographic groups he desperately needs. To me that seems like a lose-lose situation.
And despite the recent surge of support Trump is receiving this month I am still certain it won’t be enough. Clinton’s ground game is strong and following the debates he won’t be able to hide his incompetence for that much longer. Like many of you I am tired of the Clinton v Trump show. But right now is the wrong time to become apathetic over the race. We need to turnout the vote! So check your state’s registration deadline and make sure your vote counts. Because if you do than come November Trump will finally get his answer – and it will be a resounding no.