Donald Trump’s penchant for immature, ad hominem insults has somehow failed to dissuade millions of Americans from deeming him fit for the presidency. But Hillary Clinton is betting that there’s one massive constituency that might still be moved by appeals to decency: parents.
Clinton’s newest ad shows several young girls and teens scrutinizing their faces in mirrors as Trump spouts off a few of his best misogynist digs: “I’d look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers.” “A person who’s flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.” “Does she have a good body? No. Does she have a fat ass? Absolutely.”
Like Clinton’s earlier “Role Models” ad, in which kids watch Trump insult people and threaten violence, “Mirrors” makes the case that Trump has caused significant damage just by running for president. Kids have watched him bully his way to ever greater success, absorbing the slurs and intimidation tactics of his loudest supporters. If 10-year-old children are already yelling for Trump to “take the bitch down,” what other behaviors of his will they have learned to imitate by his fourth year in office?
Michelle Obama, Clinton’s best surrogate, made a similar “children are watching” argument at the DNC to great effect. It would seem that this kind of emotional entreaty for the future of our country would have a strong impact on parents who are probably voting with their kids in mind anyway. But in an era when a parent can unselfconsciously blame her kid’s “take the bitch down” rhetoric on “Democratic schools,” all bets are off! Maybe we can blame Trump’s misogynist vitriol on some kind of private communist email server.