Misleading campaign attack ads about China alienate Asian-American voters

With the 2012 presidential election around the corner, campaign ads and propaganda published by special interest groups have made national appearances on popular networks like CNN, FOX and even Animal Planet.

One particular ad has stirred up controversy throughout the Web.

Citizens Against Government Waste released an ad that predicts China as a dominating power in 2030. The ad points China out as the direct cause of American deficit. “Of course, we owned most of their debt,” asserted the professor in the ad, “so now they work for us.”

Americans have become unsettled by this ad, and many have become outraged by it. The ad tries to instill xenophobia into Americans, in effect establishing China as the biggest enemy of the United States, but this perspective is unfaithful.

Through this ad, it would appear as though the Chinese desire to conquer the United States, but nothing could be further from the truth. Dr. Jing Li, an associate professor of history at Duquesne University, states that many people in China believe that “the U.S. has merits; America has some substance” and, as a result, hold the United States as a role model.

This contrasts heavily with American perspective on China. Mitt Romney, the republican presidential candidate, stated on CBS on Nov. 12, 2011, “People say, ‘Well, you’ll start a trade war.’ There’s one going on right now, folks. They’re stealing our jobs. And we’re going to stand up to China.” It would seem like ads like these attempt to separate the two nations from each other rather than conform them together as partners.

However, perhaps the most troubling aspect of this ad is that it alienates the Asian-American community. The ad is shot in low-key lighting, forming an eerie atmosphere, much like one would see in a Joker scene with Heath Ledger.

The commercial represents Asians in a bad light, showing them to be evil and inconsiderate, which is obviously not the case. Many Asians reside in the United States happily as Americans.

There are several problems with this commercial. One, it misrepresents the Asian community and creates a chasm between them and the United States, and two, the ad portrays Americans as inferior. So there are several questions we, as Americans, should pose to ourselves. Do we really want to alienate an entire country and put them against us? More importantly, do we want to destroy all confidence in our own country?

David Li

Madison, Conn.

Sophomore, film and digital media.