We keep hearing more and more that money is pouring into the anti-Trump media blitz. But why are they so lousy? It’s almost as if they want to look like they’re trying, but not.
For one thing, they’re just repeating the tired, old charges that have had no impact up to now. They are adding nothing to the discussion, and worse, they’re not convincing. I have written many hundreds of commercials, directing many of them. So indulge me as I critique.
You can see some of the ads, thanks to NewsMax.
The first is called, “Scam.”
OK, they tinted the ad blue, so Trump looks sickly, instead of orange. But what is it about? Trump University. Ho-hum. And you know what? People already know he’s a businessman. And they know he’s a shark. That’s why they like him. Trump supporters would laugh at those who would pay thousands of dollars and not have the intelligence or initiative to become successful.
The second is called, “Bob.”
Surprise, it’s also about Trump University. We see this white-haired, balding, “low-energy” person, frowning, saying no one gave him a list of lending sources. Like he doesn’t have a Yellow Pages? He probably looks like he couldn’t deal with Google. And—they “never contacted me. . .” We see him sitting on his overstuffed couch, waiting for the phone to ring. And he seems to misunderstand the entire concept. He complains that no one called him to offer him property owned by Trump. If the purpose of the “University” was to sell Trump’s unwanted properties, THAT would be a problem. Anyway, the guy is pathetic. Makes you want to ask for his phone number to see if he’d be interested in buying a bridge in Brooklyn. Oh, and again, they end with a blue-tinted shot of Trump, from below him, making him look “yuge”—just the kinda guy you’d like negotiating with Putin.
A third one is called, “Fools”
This one shows Trump in full color, but they hit twice the quote, “I love the poorly educated.” It hits him for using “sleazy bankruptcy laws.” Yeah? Well, our real problem is that bankruptcy has been made so difficult—and, no, you can’t get relief from a crushing college loan. Too bad for you. My guess is that Trump supporters will cheer that he has taken advantage of the banks. Who likes the banks?? They also run through three other charges, but they are unconvincing. They’re trying to use the old “throw it all against the wall and see what sticks” trick. Not working.
Again, people KNOW Trump is a businessman, and they think big business is all corrupt. What they’re hoping is that he will become president and use his slick ways to Make America Great Again.
It is so amazing to me that the “owner-manager” party, the champion of “free enterprise,” is trying to trash the poster child for capitalism.
You’ll find a few more of these ads posted by WBUR.
There’s one called, “Sherri.”
This is a version of the “Bob” ad. It’s a little more convincing, since Sherri is standing up—where? In her kitchen, of course. She’s supposedly a single mom. OH—I should probably take this opportunity to let you know that those sympathetic characters may—or may not—be real. Most people are not good on camera, so they hire actors. I have not been able to find out in this case, but don’t fall for someone because you like their eyes. Anyway, Sherri doesn’t complain about the fact that they didn’t do all the work for her. She really just says she spent the money.
And, finally, “He’s No Tough Guy.”
This commercial begins with, “he talks tough about China and Mexico,” so you’re primed for a real argument about his trade experience. For instance, the idea that he has outsourced his products was a strong argument in the debates—except that his answer is that today’s business climate makes it necessary, it’s legal, and it’s a smart business move (capitalism, remember?). Guess who made the same argument? Mitt Romney. When Romney’s vulture capitalism was questioned in 2012, he said, “it’s just business.” He also said that he took advantage of the laws. Sorta like when Al Gore said, in 1997, “There is no controlling legal authority that says this was in violation of law.” If it’s not illegal, it’s alright, right?
Seriously, folks, these ads—coming from groups like “Club for Growth”—really come off as “the pot calling the kettle black.”
Nobody questions that our laws favor the rich. But Trump points out the inequalities and unfairness, and his poor followers think the people who are criticizing Trump are exactly the same people who are responsible for the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. You are known by the company you keep.
Anyway, this was not meant to be pro-Trump. It’s also not meant to be anti-capitalism. Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” The same could be said for capitalism. It’s survival of the fittest—dog eat dog. It works because there is individual benefit, but that doesn’t mean people don’t get hurt. Trump supporters know that.
I just get annoyed when I see advertising being used so poorly.