Dems, terror, immigration--posted by Tony Garcia on 8/16/2006
The Democrats have fallen into the political correctness trap again.
A Democratic political ad is under fire from Hispanics who say it unfairly compares Latino immigrants to terrorists.Let us see...if offensive it must be pulled. This is not how it should be. (It is the way things are in the state of current events, but it is antithetical to what is healthy in a free society.) Sorry, Mr. Celis, if you do not like it then the ad should not be pulled, but you go after the premise of the ad. You counter the idea or the position in the ad and of the organization.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sponsored a 35-second ad on its Web site that shows footage of two people scaling a border fence mixed with images of Osama Bin Laden and North Korea President Kim Jong Il.
Pedro Celis, chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, said in a statement Tuesday that the DSCC should remove the ad because it vilifies illegal Hispanic immigrants and is "appalling."
But you don't call for censorship.
It is a little disturbing to see the Republican National Hispanic Assembly (presumably somehow loosely tied to the Republicans) engaging in the tactics that Republicans previously decried. That is a sign of weakness...a sign that in a lack of confidence in the position being provided or an admission that an intelligent retort is not possible. In this case it is hard to figure out which the RNHA is feeling.
The position of opposing the portrayal of poor illegal immigration policies as a threat to national security is a not so weak that is warrants a lack of confidence. (For the record, I think that the RNHA is wrong since illegal immigration IS a threat to national safety in more ways than just terrorism. But I do believe the RNHA's position is a defensible one, rhetorically speaking.)
The other weakness indicated by calling for censorship is the position of admitting they have no intelligent retort to the images in the ad. Like I mentioned in the previous paragraph there is a defensible position the RNHA could have taken against their interpretation of the ad.
Now, understand what the ad is doing to understand what you can actually learn from this story. (And what you can learn from this story will be different than either party and their automatons will let you hear.) It is making an argument against Bush (I did not realize he was running) in two parts. First they imply the premise: National Safety are endangered by bin Laden, Iran's Abheimdgihjejgineati, North Korea's Crazy Cockroach (homage to Team America), illegal immigration, and so on. This also logically implies a premise that policies about these things have an impact on our safety...seems obvious and redundent, but they can be different.
Frankly, I agree with this premise. I wanted to point out that premise from the Democrat ad because it means that they are either accepting that premise or acknowledging the public accepts that premise. Either of those is a positive!
Next is the conclusion...that in order to change your (assumed) feeling of being Unsafe you must vote for them (Democrats). Understand that to get from the premise to the conclusion one must connect the dots in between. Failure to do so risks people connecting the dots differently and arriving at different conclusions. The more dots you leave to the audience to connect the greater the chance for your conclusion to seem off-base.
This ad has three dots (assumptions) they want the audience to connect. First that Bush's policies (and by extension those of the GOP) are making you feel unsafe. Second, any change in power will make you feel safe. Third, that the Democrats will make you feel safe just for being change.
I disagree with the assumption that any change will necessarily have improvement.
Far too often in the world of politics the response to things tends to be devoid of understanding what is being responded to. In the case of this ad the RNHA did not understand well enough what they were responding to. Had they understood the ad and what was being provided through the ad they could have formulated a much better, stronger response than, "Censor, censor, wah, wah...race card."
Their response was woefully missing the true mark of the ad...and the real ground that could have been gained was missed. Instead they followed the tact of the dumbest people within the politics...attack with irrevlevance, miss the point and thus unable to sound intelligent on the response. Instead of appealing to the mind they tried to appeal to the mindless by simply crying, "Race."
Certainly it COULD be found as objectionable by Hispanics to have images of illegal immigrants mixed in with terrorists. But to find that objectionable one has to reject (1) that border security actually is a part of national security and (2) that illegal immigration should be ended. I do not reject either of those...and it is shameful that the RNHA has rejected those ideas.