Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Xenophobia - the way to win elections?

I don't like much political advertising, it is usually filled with half truths or sometimes blatant lies.  I dislike America's style even more where so much is just aimed at damaging the opponent's reputation rather than focusing on any issues that matter.

I don't think I'm often shocked when it comes to such political adverts - but I was really amazed and almost enraged when I was linked to Pete Hoekstra's ad where he is running for a place in the Senate - this ad was apparently ran during the Super bowl for maximum exposure.  Here it is for those of you who haven't seen it:

The ad is so clearly racist/xenophobic that even some Republicans have spoken out against it.  This ad is a clear attempt to play onto people's fears of other cultures and the major potential fear that China will over take them as the world's primary super power.  Hoekstra's team have a bizarre explanation:

“You have a Chinese girl speaking English - I want to hit on the education system, essentially. The fact that a Chinese girl is speaking English is a testament to how they can compete with us, when an American boy of the same age speaking Mandarin is absolutely insane, or unthinkable right now. It exhibits another way in which China is competing with us globally.”

Apparently the girl is "100% Chinese", however the ad was filmed in California so to me this is dubious - one would have thought she'd at least had some American education if this was the case, given how difficult a Green Card is to obtain.  Even so, the advert itself doesn't even mention education and surely if you were wanting to improve education in order for American boys to be speaking Mandarin you would be going for some sort of slogan that encouraged education spending, not just running on a platform of spending less.

I really can't believe that he doesn't see that this has at least racist undertones or could be seen as racist and hasn't come out and apologised for that - rather than just claim that 'the liberals' are over reacting.  The problem is however, that attacking Hoekstra over this racism is probably unlikely to effect his popularity as I'd wager that his supporters wont care one bit.

On a side note - I hate how all people on the left are deemed "Liberals" in America - this offends me to be labelled with some people who have absolutely no convictions that meet the definition of Liberalism.

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