A couple of posts written around election day deal with one of those issues that just seem to get worse. Eighteen years ago, we began with government-sponsored fears of Islamic sleeper cells, ready to pounce when some sinister force abroad activates them. Now we have honest to goodness invasions of women, children, and impoverished heads of families who come to us looking for help, for protection, for comfort. Forget New Testament beatitudes, or the story of the man who asked, “When did I…?” Our president suggests these invaders are lucky we do not shoot them on sight.
In Trump’s miasmic, factitious world, anything goes. Not just words, but even thoughts lose their meaning. People pleaded with him to drain the swamp, but he pumps the putrid mass to overflowing with his fantasies. For some reason, he decided one of those fantasies ought to appear on Sunday Night Football, about thirty-six hours before polls opened around the country. It was the infamous Bracamontes ad, a thirty second political spot so foul it even won comparison to D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation. That’s saying something.
The Sunday night version of the ad even has the president himself appear at the end of it to announce, “I’m Donald Trump, and I approve this message.” Did I imagine I heard him say that? Nothing seems too far fetched when you stand in the middle of the swamp, with gassy stenches to confuse your senses. I have not been able to find the NFL version of this ad. If you do, please send the link, so I can add it to this post. Meantime, many have written about it. Perhaps they saw it broadcast, as I did during a break in the football action, right there at the end of halftime, I believe.
Why is this ad special? First, it’s thirty seconds long – pretty lengthy by football standards. Second, it cost Republican donors a lot of money. Third, it makes you ask the National Football League, an organization that is super-conscious of its brand and its image, “Have you gone totally, fucked-up crazy?” This is a sports league that runs a long self-promoter before the game, where a sexy singer belts out “GAME ON!” before we see the kickoff. Then they throw up the ad in the middle of the game, as we settle in for the second half. Maybe they thought we would not see it, if they just slip it in. But man, if you are in the room when it plays, you cannot miss it.
This ad warns that if you vote for Democrats on election day, Mexican criminals will come to your door to kill you. If they do not kill you, they will do other bad things to you and your family. It does not actually say that, but if you miss the point, you have not paid attention. If you elect Democrats, Trump wants you to know, we will have more murderers like Bracamontes running around the country, killing people. How do you prevent a Bracamontes infestation? Elect Republicans.
The ad is the worst piece of garbage dressed up as political propaganda I have ever seen. I would not muck up my own garbage disposal with it. Of course, you could throw it out with the trash, but then the racoons would choke on it, and you have the animal rights people after you. So you just have to watch it on your screen while you thought you would watch a football game, and hope it never creeps into your house. The film is so bad you would not show it to the night crawler you’ve saved for your next fishing trip.
That’s all independent of the spot’s message. For thirty seconds, we witness a production-values fail that seems inexplicable, given the Republican party’s hopes for good outcomes in the mid-terms, and for that matter, given the slick image the NFL works so hard to maintain. Then again, if one’s purpose is to make people afraid, perhaps making the ad look like you cut it from a grade C horror movie is not such a bad strategy. Horror movies share a certain look and feel. Oh my God, do not go to sleep tonight!
Here is the actual Sunday Night Football ad!
And if you want a little extra entertainment, compare Carrie Underwood’s showmanship with the Bracamontes sleaze that negates it all: