It’s time for me to rant on something that has been really bothering me for the past few days now. Here in VA, political ads are getting disturbing. On Tuesday, November 7th, voters in Virginia will be voting for their next Governor, choosing between Republican Ed Gillespie, and Democrat Ralph Northam. It’s a hotly contested election that is coming down to the wire, with Ed Gillespie taking a slight edge in polls just a few days before Election Day. 

But, all of that sounds normal – just like any other highly contested election contest. There’s one thing that separates this race in particular, though. The disgraceful and utterly repulsive political vitriol coming from the Democrats and Democrat aligned groups supporting Ralph Northam. Just when you thought political discourse in this country could not get any worse, a group called “Latino Victory Fund”, which is supporting Ralph Northam and the Democrats, takes things to a disturbing new low. 

Last week, the group released an ad featuring a group of minority children running down an alley fearing for their lives as a seemingly angry white man driving a black pick-up truck with a Gadsden Flag (Don’t Tread on me) license plate, Confederate battle flag flying from the truck bed and a “Ed Gillespie for Governor” bumper sticker chases them down the roads and alleys, insinuating that this stereotypical Virginia republican voter is trying to mow them down as they run in fear.  

The ad ends with shots of the minority children waking up from what turns out to be a nightmare and a voiceover stating, ” Is this what Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean but the ‘American Dream’?”. 

Virginia voters were not buying this advertisement. In fact, after it was released for only a couple of days, the progressive Latino Victory Fund was forced to take the ad down due to widespread condemnation from people on both sides of the aisle. But, it was too late. The damage was already done. The message of the ad seems to have backfired. Disgusted voters were turned off to the message and, in the end, when all was said and done, it seems to have actually HELPED Ed Gillespie and hurt Ralph Northam (who refused to condemn the ad) in the polls. But, I digress. The outcome (or potential outcome) f this ad is not the point, and is irrelevant. 

Not only did this ad falsely categorize the resident, Ed Gillespie, and all Republicans and conservative voters in Virginia as violent white supremacist racists that wanted to kill minority kids, it also used depictions of children for political gain, and tried to fear monger voters into choosing Ralph Northam. the ad is over the top, disrespectful, outrageous, disgusting, and down right dangerous for political discourse in this country. If a political group doesn’t agree with the other side, that’s one thing. Healthy debate and political discourse over the issues is what American elections and politics is all about. But, when we resort to name-calling, false attacks on character, and the style of fear mongering and race-bating that was included in this despicable ad, we ALL lose.  

This type of political advertisement should not be tolerated here in Virginia, or anywhere in America. While we’d all like to think that the political division and hatred in our nation’s current political climate can get no worse, and needs to be harkened back to a more innocent time, we see an ad like this and completely lose our faith in the process. It’s utterly repulsive that things have come to this, and it NEEDS to stop.