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IA Closing Ads 4: Cruz/Trump

January 30, 2016

Cruz and Trump subscribe to the Amygdalian theory of attracting voters—named for the Stone Age scourge and popular philosopher, known to the Romans as Glans Amygdala (some say he ruled in what is now Scandinavia, but others say Transylvania, the steppes of Central Asia, or even Mongolia). The Machiavelli of his epoch, it was Glans who promulgated the famous Three Principles of Eternal Governance: Be Afraid, be very very afraid; Be Aggressive, be very very aggressive; Vote Republican, vote very very Republican.

Each of these candidates has already established His anti-establishment identity, in the minds of his potential authoritarian voters: Cruz as a fundamentalist crackpot and Trump as a wealthy charmer. Everybody knows that. Each has established his bona fides as agent of chaos. The result is that their closing ads need only be aimed at each other, and thus by projection, themselves.

So I was disappointed by the limpness of the Cruz attack on Trump. What is Cruz trying to say? The visuals are all of Trump, and they are not vicious. We hear Trump say things that distinguish him from Cruz and that won’t endear potential Iowa voters to him. At the end we see a photo of an angelic Cruz, and we are told that we can trust him. I was also disappointed because there is very little in the way of image, story, or conversation—so what can I say?

The recent Cruz ad that I’ve seen, attacking Rubio, uses the device of visuals of R that make him look sickly or distorted, accompanied by his own damning words, and a female over-voice who tells us that “they call him ‘The Republican Obama’.”

In another :30 spot, Rubio is looking out of focus. He declares that he does not now and never has been a supporter of amnesty for illegal people; but the voices of Rush Limbaugh and a Fox guy call him out: he was a member of the Gang of 8 (Red Chinese?) that included Democrats (we see a photo of him shaking hands with one of those).

Those are on this NYT page.  Don’t waste yr times.

Trump, always the master of metaABCs, never is closing. He knows that to close is to lose audience share, as in dead air or a tubal blackout. The play must go on.

Trump attacks Cruz on a subject that is a Trump strength: immigration.

Wearing his famous red power-cap Trump is thumb up. He shows footage of a verbally bumbling Cruz in “conversation” with an attacking interviewer; then shows himself in “conversation” with an unseen, unheard interviewer, to whom Trump sincerely repeats his scaring points.

Nothing of any depth in either candidate.

I gather that these ads are sponsored by the candidates’ campaign organizations; but there are other attack ads, paid for by their PACs, that I haven’t found. I’m guessing that those would be less disappointing

At this point btw I’m guessing that Trump will be nominated by the Republicans, because he enacts the largest number of the psychopathologies of American democracy, e.g. classism, sexism, racism, violence, worship of wealth, the con, exceptionalism . . . , while his weakness is his lack of fundamentalism.

[Prev page; next page will offer some reflections.]

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  1. IA Closing Ads 3: Hillary (2) | tomkoontz

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