“Mirrors”–The best ad of the 2016 Campaign

So many political commercials include heavy background music, bombastic overstatement delivered by a gravelly voice-over, cliched grainy footage of an opponent walking in slow motion away from the camera. I’m convinced that such snark and bombast is usually self-defeating. Good political communication is generally more straightforward and intelligent than that.

This Hillary Clinton ad is a straight-up attack on Trump’s sexism, using his own voice to tell the story. We watch various girls looking in the mirror, while we hear Trump in the background offering various coarse sexist comments that demean women. There’s some subtlety operating there, too. Watch each girl, and listen carefully to each comment Trump offers.

I have two wonderful daughters. Maybe some of you fathers do, too. If so, you’ll understand why this one lands like a punch to the gut. We can’t allow this coarse, grifting demagogue to get anywhere close to the presidency. Our mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters especially deserve much better this campaign season.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect, tnr.com, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

8 thoughts on ““Mirrors”–The best ad of the 2016 Campaign”

  1. I have three young daughters. They think Trump is a pig. But they can't stand Hillary Clinton even more. And they're too young to even know the half of it. For instance they're too young to know that Hillary has supported and enabled her husband who is an even bigger pig and by many accounts has actually raped several women. At the very least she has turned a blind eye to her husband's philandering and using women as sexual objects rather than recognizing their dignity and worth. My daughters do know about abortion, and that Hillary has supported an organization, Planned Parenthood, that has killed many baby girls through late term abortions. Trump isn't great for our daughters; Hillary is terrible for our daughters.

    1. With respect to sexual misconduct, why does Donald Trump get a pass on that? According to all credible accounts, he is far worse than Bill Clinton in that regard by any metric you might care to use.

      As for Planned Parenthood,, you're just plain wrong.

      1. One suspects that Trump gets a pass on that among his supporters because, in cheating on (at least) two spouses, he was demonstrating dominance. Whereas Clinton, being the cheated-on spouse, was losing.

        If your only value is dominance, and you feel that honesty and fidelity to principles are the markings of a failure, then you'll naturally perceive this to be a winning issue for Trump.

    2. "My daughters do know about abortion, and that Hillary has supported an organization, Planned Parenthood, that has killed many baby girls through late term abortions."

      Sounds like you're getting exactly the results you aimed for. Well done! Manipulating small children into holding the political views their parents desire doesn't always work. Congratulations.

    3. I cannot understand why you think Hillary Clinton has any responsibility for, or control over, her husband's philandering. Trump does have personal responsibility for his. Not to mention repeatedly expressed sexual attraction to his daughter. Not the example we want to give to our daughters.

      Planned Parenthood provides health care to people who could not otherwise afford it. Abortion is a tiny fraction of what they provide, but only when people request it, and no abortions are paid by government funds. It is legal as the law of the land that that decision is between a woman and her doctor. You have the right to your own religious beliefs, but I do not believe that you or trump have the right to force them on others who do not have those beliefs. I believe differently from you on this issue, so we won't agree. But I ask you as the mother of a Planned Parenthood employee in Colorado that you teach no one to call them murderers and incite others to shoot or bomb them. That is as far from acting as a Christian as I can imagine.

  2. Okay, I agree. That said, I made this add 12 days ago and then HRC releases hers on Friday? Coincidence? tinyurl.com/hfgyb96

Comments are closed.