Alright, let’s just go straight to the tape. Donald Trump released his first campaign ad late last night.
NARRATOR: “That’s why he’s calling for a temporary shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, until we can figure out what’s going on. He’ll quickly cut the head off ISIS and take their oil. And he’ll stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for.”
The spot closes with the image of Trump thundering at one of his rallies, “We will make America great again!”
Since I know that arguing for or against Donald Trump is an exercise in futility (read “Vetting Donald Trump” here), I’m going to try and purely address the ad in question, as opposed to the campaign leading up to it.
No doubt, this ad is exactly what Trump supporters were hoping for. One that’s unapologetic, politically incorrect and shoots from the hip. This ad embodies exactly what Donald Trump supporters love about him.
On the flip-side, this is exactly the kind of ad that Hillary Clinton was hoping for. One that will no doubt put off anyone who doesn’t already have a “Trump 2016” bumper sticker slapped to their car. Liberals will hate it for obvious reasons. Moderates will no doubt find it sensational. More policy-focused, thoughtful Conservatives will no doubt pick its false platitudes apart. There’s one thing that from a purely strategic standpoint, really stuck out at me.
“shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, until we can figure out what’s going on…”
Regardless of where you line up on Trump… that’s really bad writing. I’m amazed it made it into an ad. Isn’t “figuring out what’s going on” kind of your job as President? Why didn’t you “figure out” what was going on before writing an ad? I don’t know who cleared this, but regardless of the message, I think most can agree that better wording should have been used here.
No doubt this will shake things up, and could provide a good litmus test as to where America is culturally. There’s also no doubt that this will do very little to move the needle for anyone who’s already made up their mind on Trump.