Forget the flowers for mom this year. One political ad for Mother's Day is warning mothers about a potential danger to their children: the Republican Party. The halfway tongue-in-cheek ad went live last week on YouTube and is part of NextGen America's attempt to win back Congress from the GOP in November.
"This Mother's Day, talk to your child about the GOP," the campaign pushes, mimicking an ad warning about drugs or alcohol. But first, it lays out NextGen's argument.
It begins with a mother looking at pictures around the house as she explains what has worried her about her son. "I started noticing some issues with him maybe in middle school," the fictional mother says, pulling out a yearbook photo where the son's quote is "'Go back to where you came from' — Me."
That snowballed into stealing — "a dollar here and there" — although not from the mom but "from less fortunate kids." And then there was the way he talked to girls, something he was "never afraid" to do. "But things never really worked for some reason," the mother goes on to explain showing a picture of the son wearing a Trump T-shirt and pushing a sign that says "BABY KILLER" toward two women.
"I worried when he went to college," the mom says. One bright spot, she explains, was that he came home often. "I guess he never really learned to do his own laundry," she continues as photos of the son bringing home baskets of clothing with dirty Trump T-shirts in them.
"It wasn't until I met his college buddies that I realized it might be too late," the mom says, her voice choking up. Then flash across the screen pictures of her son carrying a tiki torch at what is implied to be the white nationalists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Many young white nationalists met with the torches — evoking the KKK —the night before the "Unite the Right" rally there last August. That is the rally where a young woman was killed when a white nationalist allegedly intentionally ran her over.
"Only a mother can catch the signs early," the mom goes on to warn while looking at a picture of her son. "This Mother's Day, talk to your child about the GOP," the mom says, finally delivering the message — or punchline — of the ad. She then quickly downs a martini, adding, "I wish I had."
The responses to the ad on Twitter, are mostly negative. Some, in all seriousness, point to the mother's drinking and the lack of a father as a reason that the son has problems. Others stand up for the GOP and children raised by members of the party. Still more are confused as to whether or not it's a parody. "That is asinine, I can’t tell if it’s serious or done in parody," one user wrote. "Is this a special for the onion or something?? This can’t be real," wrote another.
NextGen America started not to have mothers bad talk the Republican Party but rather to stop climate change. Since the election of Donald Trump, their focus has expanded. "Now, the values that drive our work on climate are under increased and unprecedented attack," the group's website reads. "We’re proud to step up the fight for immigrant rights, affordable health care, and core American values — as NextGen America."
Despite NextGen America's enthusiasm, not many mothers may take up the call to have this kind of Mother's Day conversation. It does take away from the happy aspect of the day, no matter their kids' political views.