The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is running this extremely ugly and xenophobic ad against Pat Toomey, who is the Republican U.S. Senate candidate for Pennsylvania. The ad includes all the classic racist Orientalism touches, from gong sounds to fortune cookies. The goal of the ad to slander Toomey with a quote of his where he says “It’s great that China is modernizing and growing”. Gasp! Oh the horror!
The economic growth and modernization in China over the last 30 years has lifted literally hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, and if you don’t think that’s an unmitigated great thing then fuck you, I hope a Chinese person does “steal your job”.
I know campaign ads shouldn’t affect us. We should vote based on policies and expected welfare impacts of those policies. But at some level these political ads become pollution, a pure negative externality. And I can’t look past it when a party or politician is willing to spew pollution to get elected. If you’ve got to denigrate a whole nation of people and one of the greatest economic miracles of the last 50 years, and stir up a hornets nest of ugly xenophobia in order convince people you’re the man for the job, then you’re demonstrably not the man for the job.