The Trump administration has a base. That base is very white. That base seems to be willing to buy anything Trump-related. The base is all in on whatever madness Trump concocts. There’s a second tier of conservatives who are voting for Trump that, while not wearing the silly Trump-branded trinkets of jingoism, want to believe that there is something essentially ideologically conservative represented in Trump that will allow them to sleep at night while kids are sleeping in cages. There is something ideologically conservative about Trump, but it’s mostly the fascistic, xenophobic, anti-Democracy aspects of the Republican Party.
Of course, the trick to massaging the minds of this section of the Republican base is by putting up less … hectic faces of Trump support. If you can have someone who sounds reasonable and not someone shrieking about Obama being a secret Muslim while carrying an AR-15 wrapped in an American flag skin, your ad will come across better.
Unfortunately for the Trump campaign, most of those conservative types either don’t want to admit they support Trump—at least not on camera—or they’ve gone and begun making ads in support of Joe Biden because Trump is such a monster. Gizmodo reports that the Trump campaign has a solution to this issue: Just hire Republican operatives and call them “real people” in advertisements promoting the idea that your regular middle-class multiethnic and multigendered Americans feel like they want to breathe more of that COVID-19 fresh air the Trump administration has brought about.
The ads in question have been running on Facebook, and—along with inspiring music spliced in with images of Donald Trump waving as he walks to and from Air Force One—shows what seems to be a very diverse focus group. Of course, this is a focus group where people say things like “President Trump has kept his promises,” and “President Trump is the right person for this nation’s economy.” While it is filled with technically “real” people, it is not filled with regular folks.
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It turns out that one of the ladies saying she’s afraid of a Biden presidency is Fern A. Smith. It turns out that Mrs. Smith is the Republican candidate running to represent District 51B in Minnesota this November. Fern is staunchly anti-Obamacare, but like Trump, she’s telling people that she really wants to make sure everybody’s health insurance is affordable. How’s she going to do that? Easy—just ask Trump how he was able to do that!
Also in the ad is Steve Wenzel. He’s like your white grandpa. He’s no wacky, sign-waving yahoo. He’s a been a Republican delegate from Minnesota at the last two Republican National Conventions. He’s also a guy who says “China virus” instead of COVID-19 or the coronavirus. So, he is like some of your white grandpas. And in his defense, he’s a Republican, and they’re mostly racist and right now they have so many people to be racist against what with Black Lives Matter, Latino immigrant activists, China being all Chinese, and Muslim people continuing to live peacefully in our country while white guys with guns keep shooting and killing people.
Another Trump Facebook ad shows a regular woman, Kim Sherk, speaking about how awful Biden is and how Donald Trump has been the best candidate for small businesses ever. That’s weird, because over 100,000 small businesses have closed this year during the pandemic, and Trump and the Republican Party have been unwilling to get them the stimulus relief they need. Maybe they can all become banks and get some of that slush fund Mnuchin is holding onto? Well, Ms. Sherk is the first vice-chair of the Cobb County Republican Party. In fact, here’s her bio from the Cobb County Republican Party page.
Kim Sherk has served in numerous positions in the Republican Party and the Republican Women. She is currently the President of the Georgia Federation of Republican Women and immediate past President of the Cobb County Republican Women’s Club.
The Trump campaign is running into problems similar to those that Republican campaigns have run into for decades. A lack of diversity in the party makes for very monolithic advertisements. The Trump campaign is just a bit more extreme, and since it’s run by semi-incompetent scam artists, their work tends to have the incomplete and roughshod patina of a used car that the lot salesman won’t let you test drive.
Watch “real person” Kim Sherk lie through her teeth.
Watch the most diverse group of people ever collected into a room to film a Trump ad.