May 14–Before Donald Trump became president, he occasionally performed for World Wrestling Entertainment, the corporation that dominates professional wrestling.
No one would confuse Trump with the late Bruno Sammartino, a powerhouse wrestler. But Trump understood professional wrestling — a business less dependent on athletic talent than on ranting, bragging and stretching the limits of profanity on television.
Trump’s days in wrestling were a sign of what was to come in his campaign for president. He mocked a disabled reporter and encouraged his supporters to pummel protesters at his campaign events. Trump even promised to pay any legal fees incurred by the attackers.
Democrats criticized Republican Trump for turning political discourse into a nasty and occasionally violent spectacle.
But now Democratic congressional candidate Pat Davis of Albuquerque is paying the president the ultimate tribute. Davis is imitating Trump by going to extremes in his own campaign.
Davis appeared on television last week and used the foulest tongue in the long, inglorious history of political advertisements.
“[Bleep] the NRA,” Davis said at the beginning of his ad.
He went on to say he would change Congress if Congress won’t change gun laws. Not many will remember that part of his ad. Davis’ message was drowned out by his profanity.
Still, Davis maintains that his ad on CBS affiliate KRQE-TV was a success because it captured public attention and upset the organization he denounced.
“We had 500 emails by lunchtime from NRA trolls,” he said.
That’s what it’s come down to in the Trump era. Davis shed heat instead of light, then claimed victory.
Aside from the obvious attempt to draw attention to himself, Davis explained why he resorted to profanity in his ad.
“We asked, ‘How do we talk about this issue?’ ” he said. “This expressed what people are saying at events.”
People make a lot of comments at rallies, many of them unfit for publication in a family newspaper. Davis knows as much. He no longer cares.
His ad was an act of desperation, a maneuver to gain enough fame — or infamy — so voters will remember him.
An Albuquerque city councilor and former police officer, Davis diminished himself in his 15-second ad. Like the wrestlers who performed with Trump, Davis appeared interested only in getting a reaction, any reaction, from the audience to separate himself from a crowded field.
Davis is one of seven candidates in the Democratic primary election in the Albuquerque-based 1st Congressional District. Three have no chance of winning. Another, a former U.S. attorney, has money and is advertising heavily in hopes of building momentum.
Then there is Davis, who calls himself one of the front-runners. He says his main competitors are former state Democratic Party Chairwoman Deb Haaland and Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, a former law professor at The University of New Mexico.
For the moment, Davis is at center stage because of his ad.
“After we spoke,” Davis wrote in an email, “the NRA finally responded. They made a cheesy web video and shared it on Twitter and Instagram with their members.”
That tied the score. The NRA was as lowbrow as Davis.
I suspect that voters in Davis’ district will care more about his record on the Albuquerque City Council than his campaign gimmick. For instance, Davis voted to fund the erratic and inefficient Albuquerque Rapid Transit project, still a sore spot for many.
If anything, Davis has shown that Trump’s influence is growing. Incivility can be the heart of a campaign.
Davis has a rationale for that, too.
“People being polite hasn’t gotten us anywhere,” he said of conflicts with the NRA.
All the Democratic candidates in the 1st District are running to the left, against Trump. Now, with Davis mimicking the president’s campaign style, the race has taken a turn.
Davis said he might air variations of his ad about the NRA. He hopes to grab more publicity in the process.
His opponents will fill the airwaves with denunciations of Trump — all with clean language.
Someone with a civil tongue is going to Congress as the representative from Central New Mexico.
Davis might not know it yet, but he just talked his campaign to death.
This article provided by NewsEdge.
This article provided by NewsEdge.