It’s a matter-of-fact that the demographics of GOP voters are almost a carbon-copy of those of Fox News viewers: dominantly older Americans living in suburban and rural areas who spend ample hours in front of the television. Everyone else, though? Well, we young city slickers have better things to do than watch propaganda and vote for idiots.
But the GOP seems to have finally caught on to this chasm in voter reach. And on March 18, it tried to narrow the gap with a nifty, spiffy, hipno-techno press release, complete with Brittany Spears and a Disney character in a BuzzFeed style of motion GIFs. That’s sure to wing-in all us young kids, right? Cool, dude! That’s rad! Gimmie five!
Their recent “At the Flick of a Switch” listicle, still displayed on the website of the House Judiciary Committee, is supposed to promote recent Republican-sponsored bills pertaining to immigration. But even this BuzzFeed inspired collection isn’t covering up the stench of their bullsh*t. The pictures are cute, but the message has three fatal flaws that only knock the GOP further back into the 19th Century.
1) The message is full of crap.
In this listicle, House Republicans claim that President Obama told federal immigration officers to “stop enforcing our immigration laws.” And that’s false. Obama did put a hold on deporting many immigrants who were brought here as children; that’s true. If they haven’t violated any laws and will quickly complete citizenship requirements, those youth should be able stay, the president believes. (A conservative judge recently halted that concept, though.)
To claim Obama is “unilaterally shutting down the enforcement of our immigration laws” is complete BS, however. And House Republicans only make that claim to promote four bizarre and self-defeating bills it mentions on the listicle.
The “Legal Workforce Act,” for example, would block about half a million permanent residents, legal immigrants, and U.S. citizens from work. Both the “Protection of Children” and “Asylum Reform and Border Protection” Acts would send children back to countries identified to be high risks for child abuse and sex trafficking. (Those bills would violate a law signed by Republican president George W. Bush, too.)
With a fourth bill, Republicans even want enforcement of immigration laws to be taken away from the federal government, placing it in the hands of local governments. Now think of Arizona’s loony “sheriff” Joe Arpaio, the infamous racial profiler who claims he can detain anyone who appears to be Hispanic. (Sure – just forget the fact that his near-the-border Maricopa County is dominant with Hispanic residents, and whose families have had U.S. citizenship for longer than a wide majority of white Americans.) Would you want someone like that, or even any local law enforcement officer who knows little if anything about federal immigration law, to handle immigration?
2) The message is discriminatory.
The GIFs that the GOP uses in that listicle all but scream “some of our best friends are wetbacks!” And why is that? Because all of the images displayed in this message about the need to deport Hispanic immigrants feature – you guessed it – white people. So who, then, is the GOP hoping to reach with this message? Same answer: white people! And in a theme that reeks of racism.
And yes, there is an animated GIF in the list (60 percent of which shows blondes, nonetheless), but – get ready for it – Ariel the mermaid is white, too!
3) The message only confirms GOP stupidity by reaching the wrong audience.
Any advertiser will tell you that to reach a particular target market, you should promote in venues that are frequented by that target market. And who was the GOP obviously trying to reach? Young white adults, that’s who (even those of the mermaid variety!). We know that, and not just from its “lets only show white people in our attack on Hispanic people” theme, but also from the “lets pretend we’re BuzzFeed” format.
But, only 40 percent of Buzzfeed viewers are white Americans, according to site-tracker Alexa. Only 63 percent are American, even. In fact, BuzzFeed (and other sites that use GIF-based listicles) has a huge following in the Hispanic nations of Mexico and Brazil, even falling in the Top 150 sites of those countries in site visits.
For Republicans to use this format, then, isn’t helping them get their message across. Shoot, it’s like they’re trying to sell air conditioners to Eskimos.
So if the GOP is going to try to persuade young American voters with crap like this, it’s only reasonable that we reply in kind, although in a much more correct format.