In a blatantly racist new ad President Donald Trump and the Republican Party have accused Democrats of helping people they call Central American “invaders” overrun the United States with cop killers.
The ad was posted in a presidential tweet and firmly established this president as the most divisive leader this country has seen in many decades. Never before has such inflammatory rhetoric been used this close to an election day.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2018
“The Trump campaign ad is the latest example of the President’s willingness to lie and fear-monger in order to tear at racial and societal divides; to embrace demagoguery to bolster his own political power and the cause of the Republican midterm campaign.”
The ad was produced for Trump and his campaign even though he is not running for office this year. It shows a Mexican man who was deported and then returned to the United States. He was convicted in February in the slaying of two California sheriff’s deputies.
In the video, the grinning Mexican is shown saying “I’m going to kill more cops soon” during a court appearance. At the same time the ad has captions showing at the bottom of the screen which say: “Democrats let him into our country. Democrats let him stay.”
The ad then shows a large group of unidentified people rioting, although it doesn’t say where or when this occurred. It shows them running through streets and pushing down fences. It then shows a Fox News correspondent interviewing a man who is labelled as a “deported immigrant in caravan.” He tells the correspondent that he wants to be pardoned for attempted murder.
“Who else would Democrats let in?” the video asks. An image of the Mexican cop killer reappears before being replaced by text, “President Donald Trump and Republicans are making America safe again.”
“The video, which was promoted by the president Wednesday afternoon to his 55.5 million Twitter followers, came with an urge from Trump to “Vote Republican now!” As of early Thursday morning, the video had been viewed more than 1.8 million times, drawing widespread condemnation.”
Once again Donald Trump has pushed the boundaries of what is considered normal and acceptable in American political discourse. He is clearly doubling down on hate — his main political strength. He is appealing to the base of political supporters who love his white nationalist and anti-immigrant tendencies.
It remains to be seen whether this will serve him — and his party — well in Tuesday’s elections. But one thing that has been made clear is that he has drawn the dividing lines in such a way that Americans will have a very clear choice when they go to the polls on Tuesday. They can choose Democrats — the party of tolerance — or Republicans — the party of hate.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.