Saturday, July 27, 2019

Trump Campaign Video Featuring “The Squad”

So this just happened: The President of the United States has released a video (above) slamming “The Squad”—as four freshmen congresswomen of color have been nicknamed by the media—on his official YouTube channel.

In it, Trump speaks in front of a crowd of his supporters and systematically takes down Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, while interspersing soundbites from them to support his attacks on their positions.

With its light-rock instrumental soundtrack and animations—e.g., a shot of Ocasio-Cortez is freeze-framed mid-grimace and hypnosis-style spinning wheels are superimposed over her eyes to suggest craziness—the video was obviously designed with social-media sharing in mind.

It is, essentially, a campaign ad that paints the far-left politicians as representative of the entire Democratic party; at the start of the video, “The Squad” title splashed on the screen gets a subtitle: "Meet the Leaders of the Democrat Party.” The ad continues a media war against the congresswomen that Trump has been waging on Twitter.

So far Trump’s base seems to be enthusiastically embracing the message of the video, adding comments below it such as “The squad need to be impeached and arrested. Traitors to America!,” from a YouTube user who calls himself Sven, and “Yes. Treason....punishable by death. Death to The Squad. #2020 #TRUMPTRAINROLLIN” from YouTube user Cheryll Hamilton.

The latter comment has, as of this writing, attracted 17 thumbs-up (and no thumbs-down), plus an approving response from a YouTube user who goes by Jack Albright that reads “Every one of them is guilty of inciting violence and unrest. They give comfort and aid to our enemies on a regular basis and should be publicly executed by hanging! Why hanging you may ask?.. lol.. I just want to see how much bigger AOC’s eyes can get.”

Ad Age has reached out to YouTube for comment on those comments and will update this story with a response as soon as we get one.