This morning a new Kevin Kiley ad was running on my TV. It focuses on his plans to “secure the border.” It’s typical GOP messaging. The same messaging that gave us the tragedies in Buffalo and El Paso. It’s dangerous messaging and needs to come to an end.
Kiley’s latest ad features testimonials from various community members including the mayor of Lincoln, California Holly Andreatta. The ads tell us that Kiley feels that the security on the Southern border is paramount.
Let’s look at this messaging a little closer.
The message seeks to set up an emotional wall between “us” and “them.” GOP messaging has used this technique for decades. The first such ad I saw and remember is the ad George H. W. Bush ran featuring Willie Horton. In it he demonizes Horton focusing on his race.
With his ad, Bush brought race front and center into his campaign against Michael Dukakis. With this racial pandering in place, Bush was able to secure an easy victory against his Democratic challenger. Without it, he would have had to debate Dukakis on ideas.
This messaging is the cornerstone of broadcasts from people like Tucker Carlson and was instrumental in radicalizing Payton S. Gendron who killed ten (10) people in a Buffalo, New York supermarket popular with African Americans.
Prior to that, this messaging radicalized Patrick Crusius to drive 650 across Texas to kill 23 WalMart shoppers in El Paso, Texas.
In both of these cases (and many, many others), the shooter selected his targets based on their race alone. He had the “us vs them” mentality that Kiley is stoking in his latest ads.
“Replacement theory” is a belief that people of color are being brought in to replace white people. This dangerous theory is gaining ground among the many paranoid and delusional viewers of Carlson and the supporters of Kiley. It’s a ridiculous theory that has already led to multiple deaths and will undoubtedly lead to more.
A theory now being championed by Kevin Kiley in his latest ads. A theory that must be put to an end.