By Chris DeMarco
During the Virginia Governor’s race, a defamatory campaign ad paid for by the Latino Victory Fund portrayed a white man in a pickup truck chasing after a group of “hyphenated” American children. The children in this ad were a part of the left’s usual rainbow of virtue-signaling diversity, which included an African-American, Muslim-American, and two Latino-American children. Noticeably absent was a child of European-American descent. The commercial is an attack ad on Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie; it portrays all Republicans as being racist white supremacists. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This commercial is wrong for many reasons in the way it portrays things. It portrays all whites as being evil white supremacists. We cannot allow this kind of hatred to be perpetuated. Even the choice of vehicle, a rusty Ford pickup truck, is meant to create a negative characterization of anyone who drives a pickup truck and is from the country; in other words, everyone from the Midwest. Pickup trucks are symbols of American culture and represent the American work ethic and the American dream that if you labor long and hard, you can achieve a middle class lifestyle. The pickup truck in question has a confederate flag on it, which is undoubtedly a racist symbol. However, the ad tries to lump other symbols in with the racist, white supremacist theme. For example, the truck has a “Don’t Tread on Me” license plate. Officially called the Gadsden flag, the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag is a symbol of American Liberty and freedom from oppressive government. It is a symbol of American individualism, which is the furthest thing from Nazism.
The most offensive part of the commercial is that it essentially creates a libelous portrayal of all conventional Republicans as being racists and Neo-Nazis. Ed Gillespie was a moderate, establishment Republican who ran in the moderate state of Virginia. He is neither Alt-Right nor a Trumpian Republican. It is not racist or Neo-Nazi to want illegal immigrants out of the country. Nor is it racist to want to block Sharia supremacism, a barbaric ideology that is fundamentally incompatible with the West. It is in fact radical Islamic terrorists, not whites, who commit atrocious attacks with trucks like the one portrayed in the commercial. If the commercial were to be made accurate, the driver would be a Muslim, wearing a turban and shouting “Allahu Akbar,” as we have seen in both the recent New York City terror attack and the countless vehicle attacks committed in Europe in the name of Islam. It is no coincidence that this offensive advertisement was pulled immediately after the New York City attack.
As horrifying as this all is, it will be beneficial to the conservative movement if the left keeps on producing material as ridiculous as this. It shows just how absurd the left’s hateful, divisive identity politics strategy is. Most Americans know that just because someone is white and drives a pickup truck with a “Don’t Tread on Me” bumper sticker does not mean that they are evil white supremacists. However, we cannot allow the left to frame conservatism as being the ideology of racists. Conservatives must disavow all truly racist ideologies like the Ku Klux Klan. We must explain our beliefs in positive terms; we need to keep American citizens safe and prioritize their interests over those of non-citizen aliens, whether they be from Mexico, Eastern Asia, or the Middle East. We must stress that we believe in an ideology that does not, in any way, shape or form, discriminate on the basis of race or class. It is the Democrats after all who want to exploit race and class for their own electoral benefit as is seen in the commercial. They have driven a wedge into American society and furthered the hate and division they falsely claim to abhor.