In his attempt to pivot towards the general election after racking up more GOP delegates on Tuesday night, Republican Presidential candidate and stubby-fingered draft-dodger Donald Trump released a campaign ad on Wednesday. The 15-second video, posted to his Instagram account, targets presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, claiming she isn’t tough enough to deal with terrorist group ISIS or Russian President Vladimir Putin.
To hammer home the point, the ad shows Putin practicing judo throws and an ISIS member pointing a gun, juxtaposed with the former Secretary of State jokingly barking like a dog at a campaign rally. It ends with Putin chuckling along with text that reads, “We don’t need to be a punchline!”
Of course, there is a lot to unpack here, even in a short amateurish video like this one. First off, we have the continuation of Trump’s love affair with Putin. In this instance, he is showing Russian propaganda clips of Putin portraying himself as a tough warrior. Beyond that, he’s buying into Putin’s own narrative that he’s a strongman so fearsome, that we need to shake in our boots at the mere thought of him. (I guess this is what happens when Putin tosses you a compliment.)
Also, let’s just skip over the “punchline” comment, since that is a column of its own. Instead, let’s just highlight the fact that Clinton has actually dealt with Putin as a former Senator and SoS. She’s handled issues of national security, including terrorism, and was a key figure in bringing down Osama bin Laden. Clinton has traveled the world on diplomatic missions and has spoken to more foreign leaders than anyone in this current race. Whether or not you agree with how she handled her time in State, it cannot be denied that she has far more experience on the world stage than Trump.
On the other hand, Trump has spent most of the last decade or so playing a fake boss on a reality TV show pretending to fire people. Now that he’s running for the White House, we’ve discovered that behind all that bravado and badass rhetoric, is an insecure dude who is scared of dissent and those who disagree with him.
Look, he’s so scared of Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that he’s spent months harassing her on Twitter, calling her names, attacking her in the press, and siccing his supporters on her. He’s now dropped out of two Fox News debates she’s moderated and ramped up his Twitter tantrums over her on Tuesday night, calling her “Crazy Megyn” for not bowing down at the altar of Trump. Yet, when he finally went to a Fox News debate last month, he demurred and said she was fair to him.
He’s done the same with other reporters, talking tons of shit about them online or in interviews, and taking away press credentials or having them escorted out of events. Why? Because they were mean and unfair to him. He ran away from a campaign rally in Chicago because he found out that a large number of attendees were actually anti-Trump protesters. Trump even went so far as to tell a lie about the police recommending he cancel the event. Once again, he couldn’t handle the fact that someone wasn’t going to shower him with adulation, so he bolted.
But, yeah, this is the guy who is going to stand up to America’s adversaries. A dude who can’t handle the slightest shred of criticism will be a tough leader. K.