Watch Trump's New Campaign Ad Bashing Democrats & Journalists For "Attacking" Him

Donald J. Trump for President

The rest of the country may be reeling from the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, but its president is apparently back in the USSR. Lifting a page straight out of the Soviet propaganda playbook, Trump released an ad against his enemies only a day removed from his non-response to the white nationalism that was on display in Charlottesville.

While he did fail to directly condemn the white nationalism and neo-Nazism espoused by the people wearing Make America Great Again hats at the violent protest, his ad certainly didn't pull any punches against who he apparently views as the real enemies: the press and the Democrats. "Democrats obstructing, the media attacking our president, career politicians standing in the way of success ... " the ad begins, along with some threatening music in the background. Despite those roadblocks, the ad says, "President Trump's plan is working." It then goes on to list his so-called achievements: adding one million jobs, unemployment at record lows, the stock market at record highs, all the things you've heard the administration brag about before — regardless of whether or not those things are actually true and whether nor not Trump can legitimately claim any credit for them.

Donald J. Trump for President on YouTube

If the Trump re-election campaign (yes, that already exists) had released this ad, say, last week, it might have provided a slightly humorous and entirely bizarre moment in the news. How can the administration brag of its achievements when it has entirely failed to push through any meaningful legislation? After his blatant failure to outwardly condemn white nationalism and label it what it is, however, the ad takes on a more sinister tone. Does it matter that the president is taking more credit than he is due for the status of the stock market when he's also effectively fueling the white supremacists' fire? Even fellow members of the Republican Party spoke out against the president over his remarks about the events in Charlottesville, encouraging him to "call evil by its name." A white supremacist website literally called his comments on the matter "really, really good." Yet, instead of distancing himself from actual American neo-Nazis, Trump is putting his name on an ad that makes an odd claim about "the strongest military in decades."

In fact, this would be a strangely propagandistic ad even in better circumstances. It's not normal, for example, for a sitting president to release a campaign ad only seven months into his first term. It's not normal for a president to paint the opposition party as an enemy, standing in the way of progress. It's not normal in the United States for a president to so glibly claim unrelated successes as his own while at the same time refusing to acknowledge his failings as a leader and as a politician. Nothing about that ad is normal for the way that politics functions in the United States — and releasing it on the Sunday following the horrific violence in Charlottesville just makes it even worse.