Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Home-grown campaign ads for a weaponized immigration climate

Inspired by submissions from readers and friends of

This season's campaign ads on immigration - even those of supposed friends of Hispanics - are filled with either frustrating words or disappointing sentiments or both, due to the weaponization of the immigration debate. Witness the use of the word "illegals" as a noun and the call for public services to be delivered only to those who "deserve" them. Is there a major candidate campaigning on the airwaves for a new direction in the dialogue about immigration, one that stands up for people if for no other reason than that they are people?

There have undoubtedly been public servants with positive, constructive involvement with this issue at every level of government, and those efforts are very much appreciated, but has that tone carried over into the candidates' media buys? It seems not.

My question to a group of friends was, how would you advise a candidate who enlisted you to help craft the perfect campaign ad (or part of an ad) in this weaponized immigration debate? The goal was not necessarily to find the catchiest slogan or the most politically savvy balancing act. It was simply to answer this question: what needs to be said?

Responses came in, and they inspired these images. There are no faces or real names in the pictures, because these ads are not for real candidates. They are simply figments of our collective imagination.

Click on any image for a larger version.

Update October 17, 2006: WKRN aired this report on the ads.

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