Donald Trump's Instagram Assault On Hillary Clinton Is Super-Sinister
Donald Trump, the physical embodiment of an Internet comments section, has come out with a new viral ad attacking former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and it might be the most unhinged piece of media that has been released by the campaign to date. Trump's Instagram attack ad on Hillary Clinton is beyond ridiculous, and more than a little sinister.
The ad, released exclusively on the Facebook-owned social network Instagram, begins with an aggro-dramatic score that would be right at home in a B-action movie. On a plain black background, the words "When it comes to facing our toughest opponents" are spelled out in bold white lettering, while the music ratchets up a notch. Cut to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in wrestling headgear and white robes flipping some poor schmuck over in a dojo.
Cut to a dark-skinned man in gray fatigues and a ski mask, pointing a gun directly at the screen. The spectre of Russian aggression invoked before a frightening image of a Daesh fighter are a base appeal to the lowest common denominator in American civic discourse; at this point, the viewer is supposed to be primed with fear and anticipation at the horrors that these foes supposedly want unleash upon the heartland.
Against the same pitch black background, the words "The Democrats have a perfect answer..." appear, again in bold, white, capitalized letters. The next frames show Hillary Clinton onstage at a campaign rally in Reno, Nevada, in February. After going into a digression about an old campaign ad she remembered from Arkansas politics, she imitated a small lapdog, while insinuating that Republicans behaved like stubborn, yet ineffectual, animals. Bustle's own Joseph Lyons took a look at why the media coverage of Clinton was problematic at the time, but the Trump campaign has turned it into a ridiculous, sinister, but compelling piece of campaign propaganda that is provocative in more ways than just the content alone.
Releasing the ad on Instagram, a social media platform that is popular with women, particularly Black and Hispanic Internet users — which use the platform at a higher rate than their white counterparts, according to a 2015 study on social media platform user demographics by the Pew Research Center — is a way of engaging with Hillary's base on their home turf. However, Trump may be missing his mark. Young users are the most engaged on Instagram, and according to exit polling out of Illinois from CNN, for example, young voters are overwhelmingly breaking for Bernie Sanders. If He Who Should Not Be Named is chasing the young, metro-area voting population who also happen to be Clinton supporters, well, that's not a very large percentage of the vote share at all.
In fact, in Illinois, exit polling from CNN shows that no GOP candidate was even able to pick up a statistically significant share of the youth vote, period. The figures speak for themselves.
Trump's ad finishes off with a short clip of Putin audibly laughing. The B-list action movie soundtrack is nowhere to be heard. The words "We don't need to be a punchline!" are splayed across the screen, before a rendering of the Trump campaign logo shows up on the screen. The usual navy-white-red color scheme has been abandoned for stark white letters on a black background, just like all the other title cards before it. Stark black and white in a political logo just isn't done here in the United States. Trump's looks sinister, but it's also passé. Check out the ad in its entirety below:
The likelihood of a Trump presidency appears to be waning fast as talk of a brokered convention GOP convention builds. Trump and his operation will likely spend the rest of their time as a candidate for the nomination attempting to ramp up the drama, and do whatever is necessary, in his eyes, to continue getting press coverage. Without it, his candidacy would likely dissipate into dust.