Three dark-haired men, two with facial hair, sprint for a fence. “Once we’re through we’ll stop Donald Trump!” the one sporting wire cutters says. “Si, And Ted Cruz too!” the second chirps. Two of the men wear “Stop Donald Trump” t-shirts, colored red, white, and blue but thanks to the lighting and the non-acting recontextualized as a subversion of the American way, or what I’d call Americanism. “And Senor Mike Pape!” the clean shaven one says. His buddy thinks he misheard and holds up a roll of duct tape. This third dude explains that the Kentucky congressman “will help Ted Cruz repeal Obamacare.” His buddies’ eyes bug like black waiters in a 1940s film. They’ve got a new enemy: Mike Pape. They back away from the wall. Then an image of the Ted Cruz associate fills the screen: a blue shirted hunk of cassava with parted hair and the bland solicitousness of a Wendy’s manager. Mike Pape approves this message.
The petty racism would be offensive if it weren’t so craven. Unable or unwilling to outfit the men in sombreros and to write Speedy Gonzalez holee-frijoles dialogue for them, the ad’s creators hedge and cast actors who look as preppy as anyone’s neighbors, even in Kentucky. But the implication is sinister: these invaders look like your neighbors. They even speak without accents. I won’t link to the ad; find it yourself. But conservatives who claim they want to expand beyond their rural constituency are fooling themselves.