What do you get when you cross partisan polarization fostered by cutthroat primary elections, a love for the second amendment and a disdain for big government? Proud rifle-owner, unabashed technophobe and purveyor of the skies, Republican House candidate, Matt Rosendale, shooting down menacing drones.

 

Of course this kind of outlandish political ad is nothing new, especially considering the aforementioned nature of (party-affiliated) primaries, where moderate candidates are easy targets for more ideologically extremist challengers. And particularly among those sprouting from the party fringes, where their individual political stances alone are not differentiating or distinguishing enough, the tendency is to rely on more personal traits, vocations and dexterities to convey and emphasize their credentials over those of their their opponents. The conservative end of the political spectrum, with its hands-on, DIY mentality, is especially fertile ground for this kind of approach whereby the candidates can physically demonstrate their ability to practice what they preaches, deliver on their grandstanding and execute (almost literarily) their lofty pronouncements. They are simply putting their hands where their mouth is.

 

You may recall the Joni Ernst ad with her declarations of hog-castration masrtery, a testament to her exemplary prowess & no-holds-barred disposition, as well as a (tacky and cringe-worthy) metaphor for cutting pork in Washington. In the same spirit of sprucing up, by force if necessary, the central government, and cleverly incorporating that right-wing staple of constitutionality, personal weaponry, Montanan Matt Rosendale demonstrates in his new topical ad his position on NSA surveillance programs and big government's meddling with private citizens at large. Since you cannot shoot down, wrestle or waterboard a data mining program like PRISM, and punching random NSA contactors could be misconstrued for psychosis, the ad people cunningly substituted a nefarious, incorporeal piece of code for an evanescent, yet clunky, metal contraption; they are after all both unmanned "vehicles" under the stealth control of their overlord, the federal government. Due to a limited budget this commercial may seem a bit underwhelming but once the funding spigots open up as Mr. Rosendale gains his due publicity, subsequent political ads will feature more realistic activism like shooting down satellites, the government apparatus doing the heavy-lifting of surveillance, or at least (in case of over-the-counter armament lacking the technological capability or 3D CGI not advanced enough for You Tube) nudge them out of orbit.

 

Expect more of this brand of political ads-cum-spectacle as the polarization of the political landscape continues unfettered. Coming attractions may include a virile, outdoorsy type, showing off his skills in skinning raccoons, alive, with his bare teeth ("Weasels of Washington, you're next, yeehaw!"). Or possibly, a mama-grizzly, Palinesque persona, setting up leg-hold traps or digging pits to ensnare some constitution-hating IRS minions or EPA lackeys, who shamelessly vie to chip away the individual freedoms of American patriots through wasteful taxes and pervasive regulations ("I gotcha, ya skunky tax-and-spenders!")

Apr.25, 2014 | US MADNESS

US Primaries: Sticking To Their Guns