Divide and Conquer: Russia’s War on Western Democracy

First posted 10/17/2016 as “I Like Ike”

The GOP ‘establishment’ bemoans our divided Nation as its Right Wing
PACS produce political ads designed to frighten and enrage its base.

Last night I posted a montage made of images from ’13’, a documentary by director, Ava DuVernay.

The montage is mix of modern and archival footage of brutality against people of color and civil rights activists that plays out as Donald Trump speaks wistfully of the good old days.

In that spirit I thought I would juxtapose two very different political ads produced by the GOP.

Below is a political ad made in the ‘Good Old Days’.

I’m sure there are plenty of people still alive who remember this ad.

The year is 1952.

The ad is for Eisenhower

screenshot from a 1952 political ad for Dwight D. Eisenhower that shpws three stupid looking donkeys standing behind a fence
I don’t know what this image says about Democrats but whatever it is it doesn’t say evil.

Donald Trump might remember this ad; he was six when the ad came out.

Hillary Clinton was four.

The ad was produced by Roy Disney and Citizens for Eisenhower-Nixon.

Its target audience is the post war working class:

screenshot from a 1952 ad for Dwight D. Eisenhower
Economically diverse groups of people like ‘Ike’



The ad below was made after the first presidential debate of 2016.

Screen shot from a September 26th 2016 political ad released by the GOP PAC, Future 45 which shows Isis hostages just before execution.
Screen shot from a September 26th 2016 political ad released by the GOP PAC Future 45

It is funded by a Right Wing PAC with a curious name: Future 45.

Future 45 describes itself as follows: “Future 45 is an independent organization devoted to educating voters about the challenges facing our country as they prepare to elect the 45th President of the United States.

Screen shot from a September 26th 2016 political ad released by the GOP PAC Future 45 that continues to promote the discredited Benghazi Scandal
Screen shot from a September 26th 2016 political ad released by the GOP PAC Future 45.

Our next president will shape the Supreme Court in a way that will influence the direction of our nation for decades to come. The strength of our economy and the security of our nation depend upon electing a strong, proven leader.

A photo of Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin that is faked
Neither of these two people are in the same room.

While Donald Trump is a proven businessman with a plan to reignite our economy and recover American strength through peace, Hillary Clinton is a politician following the Obama model that has landed us in a fragile economy with slow growth feeling less safe than ever.

Americans understand this and are speaking up”

The Obama model that has landed us in a fragile economy with slow growth feeling less safe than ever?

The sentence reads like it makes sense but upon closer examination it’s says nothing.

We are in a fragile economy that feels less safe than ever.

Who made this ad? Putin?

The ad was published September 27, 2016

It aired on the following stations:

CNNW 8
KMGH (ABC) 3
WCVB (ABC) 3
WMUR (ABC) 2
KNXV (ABC) 2
KTNV (ABC) 3
WEWS (ABC) 3
KCRG (ABC) 3
KGO (ABC) 3
WISN (ABC) 3
KPHO (CBS) 1
KPIX (CBS) 1
KLAS (CBS) 1
KGAN (CBS) 1
WPVI (ABC) 3
KCNC (CBS) 1
WOIO (CBS) 1
MSNBCW 1
WTMJ (NBC) 1
WFTS (ABC) 1
FOXNEWSW 1
FBC 2

all Materials found on the Internet Archives

Further Reading:

Trump Is Borrowing Putin’s Media Playbook

How False Equivalence Is Distorting the 2016 Election Coverage

Isolation and Propaganda: The Roots and Instruments of Russia’s Disinformation Campaign

Updated 5/31/2017 to include this RNC ad released November 1st, 2016 after the FBI was rumored to have re-opened the Email Investigation.

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7 thoughts on “Divide and Conquer: Russia’s War on Western Democracy

    1. Thanks for the comment. The Ike ad is noteworthy for illustrating what worked and what didn’t. It is a moment in history when working class people were empowered as never before and yet there are no people of
      color in that photo, the women are housewives and the gays are either in the closet or locked away some where in a hospital or jail.

      We live in another unique moment when everything that was suppressed in Ike’s 1952 is empowered….but the working class is dis-empowered by cuts to the public services that represented their stake in the Nation’s prosperity.
      If we can keep what we have now and restore what was smart about the regulated capitalism with which the Republican Eisenhower agreed we might have a shot at surviving the mess we’ve made of our nation’s political process.
      Eisenhower said something in his farewell speech that I consider timely in view of the reality show of the current campaign:

      Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

      Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

      Like

  1. Isn’t it strange, the time of Eisenhower is seen as this glowing icon of American life, while at the time, the policies that made it so are now seen as evil liberal handouts? The level of cognitive dissonance continues to astound me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s odd because most Americans understood why the New Deal was a good deal. The Nation had serious problems, there are no people of color in Eisenhower’s parade of support but there is also no demonizing of the other party. We’re not a perfect people but what we have now suggests that we’re no longer even trying to educate ourselves in order to make the best possible decisions. Something is very wrong with Trump and his supporters. Something is also wrong with people who don’t ask themselves how a woman a ‘evil’ and as ‘criminal’ as Hillary Clinton has spent so much of her time fighting for good causes. The most disturbing find of all is the complete lack of honesty in the political advertising produced by the GOP.

      Liked by 1 person

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