The latest ad from The Lincoln Project is titled “Feeble,” and it strings together a collection of Donald Trump’s “greatest hits” when it comes to stumbling over words, lurching around the podium, and repeatedly forgetting that Barack Obama is no longer president. While showcasing Trump’s two-handed efforts to sip from a water bottle and his running into the backdrop of a rally stage, the narrator asks questions like “Are you sure you don’t have dementia?” She also whispers that “[i]t runs in the family.”
The anti-Trump group’s newest ad follows another one named “Impaired” showing a different series of Trump misstatements—including the threat of the U.S. being sucked into “World War Two.” Both are themed around the idea that it’s Trump, not President Joe Biden, who shows the signs of advanced age. Even for those who don’t like Trump, it would be easy to see the ads as being mean or taking some cheap shots. But when Trump spoke out about them on Monday night, it wasn’t to address any of the content or complain about the snarky voice-over.
Instead, Trump complained that, “The perverts and losers at the failed and once disbanded Lincoln Project, and others, are using A.I.(Artificial Intelligence) in their Fake television commercials…” But after reviewing the contents of these ads, it seems the only artificial thing in them is Trump’s skin color. These clips are certified natural Trump.
Trump’s complaint is that the Lincoln Project is using artificial intelligence to make him seem “as bad and pathetic” as President Biden.
But the truth is, no one had to shift so much as a pixel. The ads show nothing but authentic clips from Trump’s recent interviews and rally appearances, highlighting only a few of the ways in which he turns the simplest statement into word salad—along with that bizarre fixation on Obama.
And here’s “Impaired”:
Trump’s New York apartment may only be one-third the size he claims, but it’s certain the space Obama rents inside Trump’s skull is larger than anyone can measure. The ads also make clear that when it comes to making Donald Trump look bad, no one does that as well as Donald Trump.
Of course, it’s not as if no one is making ads featuring AI images. Earlier this week, we focused on how the Republican National Congressional Committee has created an old-timey propaganda newsreel featuring completely AI-generated images in which undocumented immigrants somehow overrun national parks.
That followed a much more elaborate ad created by the Republican National Committee in April where AI was used to generate images of the dystopian future that would result if Americans didn’t put Trump in charge of everything. That ad not only featured a Taiwan invasion and the border collapsing under a zombie horde, it also included scenes like the one below in which “officials close the city of San Francisco” because it’s been overrun by crime.
In response to this ad, Daily Kos put together our own AI-generated response—one which, unlike the RNC ad, is based entirely on things Trump has actually promised to do should he regain the White House.
In this election, AI-generated ads remain a threat to democracy. However, no one would say they represent as great a threat as the sadly real Trump.