On July 14th of this past summer, Hilary Clinton and her campaign team released an attack ad towards the GOP candidate Donald Trump titled “Role Models.” This ad is a compilation of small segments from speeches that Donald Trump has delivered in the past.
The content of this ad focuses on these segments taken from many different speeches that embody Donald Trumps’ use of foul language, harsh ideologies, and what some may view as racist remarks.
According to an article written by the New York Times, “The ad paints Mr. Trump as unpresidential and unfit for office, in the eyes of both children and, the ad assumes, their voting parents.”
For almost the entirety of the ad, Donald Trumps’ segments are shown and then the camera angle shifts to the audience watching them, which in this case, were children. After opening with a statement from Trump, the camera immediately pans to a young, seemingly innocent child’s face with a dull expression on. This trend continues when segments are shown with Trump cursing, and making what seems like racist remarks, ultimately leading to the question that Hilary is posing, “Our children are watching. What example will we set for them?”
An attack ad is an extremely persuasive way for candidates in local, state, and federal political races to bash their opponents by showcasing typically negative content about them. This attack ad approved by Hilary Clinton was not exactly a successful one for a few reasons.
The first flaw with Role Models is the unrealistic aspect of it. It constantly shows children lying around the television as if they are watching what most children typically watch, cartoons. This gives an unrealistic perspective that children are actually intrigued by a political speech. There are millions of adults who grow weary and bored with political talk and speeches, so to think that these young children (no older than ten years old) are actually affected by these segments of Trump, is rather impractical.
The second flaw with this attack ad is that, not only are children typically uninterested in watching politics on television, they usually are far to young to even comprehend the content. In Role Models, the first segment of the ad has Trumps voice in the background saying “I love the old days, you know what they used to do to guys like that in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher folks.” Once again panning the camera to a child’s reaction. In this case, as well as many others throughout the ad, it is unlikely that these children understand what Trump even means.
The last head scratcher with Role Models is Hilary Clintons true motive with this attack ad. Although it is known that the goal of an attack ad is to point out the flaws of their opponents, if Hilary is truly trying to keep children from hearing Trump’s messages, then why bring them back to light through her ad? As previously stated, children typically do not witness any political speeches for the reasons already mentioned, they are not interested and are too young to comprehend them (at least the children shown in Role Models). Hilary and her campaign team posting this type of ad are giving children another channel to witness what she deems to be a bad example.
Overall there seem to be lots of flaws in this attack ad approved by Hilary Clinton and her campaign team.