Campaign ads are very often dishonest in one form or another. When they don’t mislead you, they often omit key facts and use such gauzy language that they don’t really tell you anything. That candidate supports veterans? Great. This candidate is against wasteful spending? Fantastic. I like that. Candidate C wants to Make America Great Again? Sign me up. I’m all for being great.
As these claims are being made, though, there are often carefully selected scenes playing on the screen — scenes intended to evoke very specific feelings about the candidate and/or their opponent.
Which is why the video above, from Dissolve, is so fantastic. It really just nails it almost completely, and it’s well worth your time.
My favorite lines:
- “My advisers say that these sepia-toned photos of my parents are proof of my human origins.”
- “Here are a bunch of different people, matched with career signifiers — like a helmet, a uniform or a stethoscope — on the off chance that you identify with one of them.”
- “My favorite place is a local diner, because it makes me seem like a regular joe.”
- “But I’m not racist. Here’s a Hispanic family who doesn’t mind being associated with me.”
- “And if you’re thinking about retirement, here are some old people smiling. Thank God they’re still alive to vote.”
- “My opponent thinks thunderstorms are good.”
- “My record shows that I can construct a narrative by keeping the details pretty vague. Families, the economy, faith and education are all things I’ve addressed in non-specific ways.”
- “You can’t deny that these people are clapping.”
- “Right now is a critical time, because of the past and the future — and this American flag.”