On June 12, the NRA uploaded to their official Facebook page one of their most recent ads, and its Orwellian call for its viewers to pick a side is a low point even for them.
Narrated by conservative commentator Dana Loesch, a recurring theme in the ad is “They” — meaning liberals.
“They use their media to assassinate real news,” Loesch starts out, as sinister music plays behind her. “They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again.”
Loesch went deeper with her conspiracy theory, saying former president Barack Obama is the prime mover of “the resistance,” whose only intention “is to make them march, make them protest, make them scream ‘racism’ and ‘sexism’ and ‘xenophobia’ and ‘homophobia’ — to smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports…”
This new NRA ad is barely a whisper shy of a call for full civil war. https://t.co/N33s2KyvVz
— THE UNDERTOW, by Jeff Sharlet (@JeffSharlet) June 28, 2017
The message is clear: the Hollywood elite is utilizing the media to disseminate a secret propaganda campaign by Barack Obama meant to incite violence in the streets which is being carried out by gays and black people with the intent of “bullying and terrorizing” gun loving patriotic Trump voters which forces police to “do their jobs” which liberals in turn use to make police look mean.
Sound like a message intended for stable-minded and responsible gun-owning adults?
“The only way we’ll stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.”
Watch the ad below:
There’s a small glimmer of hope with this disturbingly blatant attempt at incitement: it doesn’t seem to have been received very well.
In the comment section of the NRA’s post, a large number of people expressed their disgust with the ad’s tone, many of them seeming to have conservative backgrounds. Below are a few examples, which have been edited for grammar:
“I am well equipped and was a sniper in [Vietnam]. My income now is social security and veteran disability which Trump wants to cut.”
“Who’s ‘they’ that she refers to repeatedly? I prefer to refer to my fellow Americans as ‘we’. In fact, I feel it’s the only way that ‘WE’ can finally work towards compromise so that ‘we’ Americans can all feel safe again.”
“As a firearms owner, a former registered Republican and now an utterly disgusted independent: This is a 700ft tall example of why I not only cant give the NRA a penny of my money, but will fight to oppose their existence at every turn. The NRA does not represent firearm rights. It represents the firearm industry and part of that process is to keep America in a constant state of conflict and fear to drive sales. This video is Orwellian nonsense designed to make you cheer and fist pump for your ‘freedom’ like dogs drooling when the bell gets rung. …”
“This is probably the worst propaganda video I’ve yet seen from any side. It is up there with the Nazis TBH. The twisting of ideas, and exemption of context is appalling. I will be doing everything I can to denounce the NRA from here on in and this video in particular.
Anyone who disagrees needs to read as many dystopian novels as possible. Then read theories on totalitarianism and fascism by scholars like Hannah Arendt and Umberto Eco. Read until the little click happens in your head. If it doesn’t… you are too far gone.”
“I was wondering how the firearms industry was going to handle their marketing now that they can’t use Obama and Clinton to trigger panic buys.”
“From someone in advertising, this is a terrible piece of work. You’re alienating, attacking, the strategy is extremely flawed. You’re not going to gain followers or understanding, you’re only gonna increase the divide and damage sentiment for your organization. Terrible spot for an even sh*ttier organization.”
You can see the post and entire comment thread here.
[H/T Jeff Sharlet] Featured image via screen grab