The Lincoln Project's new ad: America or Trump?

I am fairly conservative by our European standards. But in the US I would be considered so far to the left that it doesn’t even have a name. Go figure.


Obviously we will never see the flag in the same way until the entire nation is forced to confront the true nature of the Civil War. The “States’ Rights” narrative needs to die in a fire.


I wonder. I think you might be equating southerners with white southerners to say so, because you do not see so many black southerners enamored with it. And if the pride and history only goes with those who think of the south as a home for white people and leave out everyone else…well, there’s the racial oppression built in, isn’t it.


Especially since the “rights” these states were looking to protect was the practice of slavery.

I feel most Americans simply cannot and will not acknowledge the deep, systemic racism that has been a part of the country since it’s founding.

While we as a society talk about it and are periodically forced (due in large part because of situations like recent events) to face it, I’m not sure how to fully eradicate it from our core - like a cancer that keeps metastasizing.


The entire history of this nation depends on what happens in the fall.

Will we sink into fascism? 45 isn’t going to live another 4 years so we’ll have Pence.

Biden might not either which is why he needs to pick a strong, young VP.

Done with Monday.

Edited to remove some stuff typed in anger


Darn tootin’. Even white allies often make the mistake of omitting black people from who gets counted as part of “Southern Culture.”

Martin Luther King Jr. and the black Baptist churches that led the Civil Rights movement? They were part of “Southern Culture” too. Just not the White Supremacist part.


Agreed. Apologize for the oversight - I did not mean to skip over that perspective. Unfortunately dealing with generalities can cause a myopic viewpoint such as this.


Their website is also content-free.


I understand. I’m pointing it out because it’s an oversight that’s easy to make, that we are encouraged to make, and yet an absolutely critical one. The truth is there are more black people in the south than any other part of America. You shouldn’t be able to talk about the one without the other.

And yet there is this huge narrative where you think of the Confederate states as basically just plantation owners and small farmers, and now there are only their descendants. That’s the south their flag stands for now, a proud region that somehow has only been white people. And as @Brainspore says, so often even white allies adopt that, setting the south in opposition to black people as if it wasn’t their home.

It’s a lie so ingrained that I think anyone can fall for it without a real effort to counter. So just remember we need that effort. :slight_smile:


Even then it was BS, because part of the escalation leading to The Civil War was insistence by Slave States for the return of escaped slaves from the Free States.


That’s the problem with an issue so deeply embedded into our country’s DNA such as racism and reconciling with our country’s history of slavery, that it can be easily seen in quite literal terms of black and white. Having the Confederate flag become such a symbol of deep racial division where white Southerners have totally appropriated the meaning as something completely different than it’s original symbolism - and left out the viewpoints of an entire class of people - and that this is not only tolerated but celebrated - just goes to show how difficult systemic racism is to root out.

That is one element to the issue - and a big one for sure. The Fugitive Slave laws were a big thorn in the side for abolitionists. What really brought the issue to a violent head in the mid to late 1850’s though was expansion of slavery into the western territories and the dissolution of the Missouri Compromise when the Kansas-Nebraska Act failed to outright ban slavery in the new states.


I agree, a fundamental Tennent of advertising is a call to action (“buy our thing!” as the most common). It isn’t in all advertising (brand awareness ads sometimes don’t have a call for action…but even they do, what is “beef. it’s what’s for dinner” but a slogan made out of a call for action?).

It is possible that the Lincoln project isn’t quite sure what call for action they can get away with, so they just leave it off and hope for the best (“vote for Biden”, “vote for some 3rd party”, or “just don’t vote”)? Maybe they do hope for a Biden win, and think a republican-esque ad might cost him more dem votes then it will gain republican votes?

It is unlikely that they don’t know how important a call to action normally is, these are almost definitely from a real ad agency, or the people on the Lincoln project that are making these have an advertising agency background. So they clearly have a reason to avoid the call for action.

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Everything else being equal, they need to move the needle about 1% in 3 states.

Of corse everything else isn’t equal. Republicans hate Biden less than they hate Hillary. Democrats love Biden less than they loved Hillary. The incumbent is Trump, and I assume willing to cheat to the extent that he can (ok, I think he did that before, but he now has a bigger scope).

But yeah, getting a small percent of Republicans to just plain not vote could be significant. Getting some republican leaning independents to not vote, or to vote for Biden would also be significant.


I think they are planting the “don’t vote for Dolt 45” seed with their current ads and will ramp up the rhetoric as it gets closer to election day. Turn the dRumpf voters ship from its course a little, then torpedo it repeatedly as the election looms in everyone’s minds.


And this is a spot-on take.

At the core of the Lincoln Project is Rick Wilson, longtime GOP operative and noted bastard (see Jeremiah Wright/Obama ad; Max Cleland ad). Say what you will about his past; but if he’s not explicitly issuing a call to action, it’s because he knows his audience.

He’s trying to thread a needle, calling attention to Trump’s shortcomings to discourage Republican votes for him without overtly saying “Vote Biden!” which would immediately cause them to shut down, dig in their heels, and spite vote for Trump.

It’s meant to blunt Republican enthusiasm, and allow them to come to the conclusion on their own that they should either sit it out or cast an opposition vote.

I believe he knows exactly what he’s doing, and what it will produce.


Check out Rick Wilson (@therickwilson) on Twitter. He’s one of the main people behind the Lincoln Project, plans to vote for Biden and regularly calls for disaffected Republicans to do the same.

Whether the ads will ever say so explicitly, I don’t know. But Wilson and his ilk are not shy about trashing/mocking Trump and his supporters, including calling them fascists.

As a Canadian I have no say in what happens in the USA. But IMHO those who oppose Trump from the left and centre need every ally they can get, including (especially?) those who identify as never-Trump Republicans.

Because we all know Trump will not accept the result if it is remotely close, and we all know he will cheat by all available means, legal and mostly illegal. He needs to be buried in a landslide so overwhelming that only the most delusional cultists would think it’s fraudulent. And even then the transition is going to be ugly.

You may not have much if any common ground with the Lincoln Project aside from “Trump must go” and “Trumpism must die” but those are awfully important pieces of common ground, no?


Another thing to note about the Lincoln Project: some, maybe most, of their ads are really aimed at an audience of one: Trump. Apparently he goes apoplectic over them.



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Biden is not officially the Democratic nominee at this point. If the Lincoln Project continues to not mention Biden in ads after the convention then that will be more significant.