The NRA recently ran an ad in “battleground states” entitled “Stop Clinton, Vote Trump.” The video features a security contractor named Mark Geist lambasting Hillary Clinton for failing his comrades before, during and after the Benghazi attack. Geist’s NRA-branded ad makes no mention of Trump or gun rights.
The NRA has just released a follow-up YouTube video. In his latest one-minute diatribe, NRA Executive Veep LaPierre claims America has been taken over by elites in the media and Hollywood. They get to decide . . . “what’s news and what’s not, what’s true and what’s not, who gets protected, who goes to prison, who gets our money and who gets our vote.”
While I appreciate the subtle dig at Ms Clinton, there are three huuuuuge problems with this video.
1. It makes no mention of gun rights
While the NRA jefe’s not wrong about the unholy alliance between politicians, the “elite” media and deep-pocketed Hollywood enablers, his remarks are what marketing mavens call “off-message.” The NRA is not the National Republican Association. It’s the National Rifle Association. That’s their brand: gun rights. Everything they do publicly should reinforce their branding by at least mentioning gun rights. By failing to focus on firearms freedom, this ad fails to defend and extend the NRA brand.
2. It doesn’t strike a killer blow against Hillary Clinton
Given the NRA’s sloth-like PR process (at least in Internet terms), I reckon this video was produced before the FBI gave Ms. Clinton a pass for her illegal activities. Wrong answer. Clinton skating was the perfect opportunity for Mr. LaPierre to drive a stake through Ms. Clinton’s proverbial heart (if one exists) — by tying her exoneration to insider corruption and the resulting danger of her Anti-Gun Highness’ ascension to the throne. To gun rights.
3. It’s stinks of fascism
OK this is a bit of a stretch. But it’s on my mind, so here goes . . .
Donald Trump’s rise is a populist uprising against the status quo. You might even say it’s a movement against “the elites.” ‘Cause The Donald has. And, now, so has Wayne LaPierre. Who has thrown the whole weight of the NRA behind Mr. Trump’s personality-based candidacy to fix the “rigged” system.
Anger-fuelled populism against The Man isn’t a coherent political philosophy. It’s simple “us vs. them” animus, with a popular leader telling “us” who “they” are. Muslims, Mexicans, politicians, Hollywood producers, liberal media — whomever the restless leader targets. Who’s next? The “International Jewish Conspiracy”?
ALL Americans have a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. ALL Americans should vote to protect them. Campaigning for gun rights should be a unifying force for individual liberty.
We are a Constitutional republic, after all, not a democracy. Democracy is mob rule. I think this ad is an invitation to mob rule, as embodied by Donald Trump, a man without any apparent respect for the U.S. Constitution. Am I wrong?