Bryan Preston (via Instapundit).
I remember a lot of criticism of that ad though, and I'm skeptical of the assertion that "no one on the left thought this ad was over the top." Anyone who liked the ad, I assume, would say that because it's so exaggerated, everyone understands that it's a joke. If that's true, then it's wrong to assert that it "advocated murdering" anybody. But I think some people on the left did criticize it:
[The ad] elicited a furious reaction from some environmentalists. Bill McKibben of 350.org felt moved to write on the popular Climate Progress blog that the film was "noxious":Nevertheless, it's still fair to say that there are a lot of extreme and uncivil graphic depictions and statements that come from the left. The existence of that ad shows that it was believed — by people with the resources to make a very high-quality short film — that they could reach the general public with communication like that. I don't think a right-wing group with a serious intention to reach ordinary people would concoct such a thing.
The climate skeptics can crow. It's the kind of stupidity that hurts our side, reinforcing in people's minds a series of preconceived notions, not the least of which is that we're out-of-control and out of touch — not to mention off the wall, and also with completely misplaced sense of humor.Under a blogpost titled 'That 10:10 video... not in my name', Rob Hopkins of the Transition Town movement for more sustainble communities, wrote:
I have to say I am shocked, and appalled by this, and I'm on their side!...
More at the link.
Maybe I'm wrong about that. I don't like to see the power of violence exploited to sell political messages, but it is an easy way to get people's attention. That ad became viral — and I'm carrying the virus now — because it was so extreme. At some point, extremism backfires, but it's natural for the manufacturers of advertising to push it as far as they can.
What are the other ways to get our attention? Sex? It's hard to get that just right in a political setting. You'll irritate too many women before you do anything interesting. So, you can see why they go for violence. It's a psychological button just waiting to be pushed, and they've got to push something.
Try making ads that sell candidates or policies using the "civility" theme. I mean... try convincing your political opponents that they ought to try to sell their candidates and policies using the "civility" theme.