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Stephen Miller’s Vile Ads Are the Dangerous Culmination of the GOP’s Midterm Strategy

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Vanessa Cárdenas: Miller’s ads “aren’t an outlier as much as a culmination of the GOP effort to undermine the American promise of a multi-racial democracy.”

Washington, DC – In the Washington Post, Philip Bump highlights a new ad from Stephen Miller’s “America First Legal” organization that is a vile and explicit racist appeal to white fears and racial anxieties. As Bump writes in,“Political appeals to White insecurity are now explicit”:

“This idea that Whites are disadvantaged is cultural and generational and amplified repeatedly in an increasingly unconstrained right-wing media. Miller’s unsubtle intertwining of hostility to immigration and race manifests in this ad that specifically asserts that White America is on the decline.

The appeals used to be coded, quiet. Present and identifiable, but shying away from specific “they’re coming for you” language. The coding is gone. The elevation of racial fear is explicit. The Southern strategy is gone; the Jim Crow appeals to Blacks usurping power are back.”

Rather than an outlier, the new Miller-affiliated ad – joined by similar TV ads and a mailer from Miller’s organization – are the culmination of a key plank of Republicans’ midterm strategy: the GOP’s relentless nativist fear-mongering centered on mainstreaming the “replacement” and “invasion” conspiracies that formerly were limited to the white nationalist fringes. Our ad tracking project has identified:

  • More than 700 examples of Republicans amplifying the white nationalist “invasion” and “replacement” conspiracies in midterm messaging 
  • This includes 80 candidates up for federal or statewide election this November as well as the top GOP PACs

More ominously, these extreme appeals to racial grievance are also impossible to separate from real world violence. As America’s Voice Political Director Zachary Mueller noted earlier this week, “When Republicans tell their supporters over and over again that Democrats are trying to ‘replace’ you by orchestrating an ‘invasion’ of non-white migrants to take your country from you, and that those same forces have rigged your ability to hold them accountable at the ballot box, they are all but telling people that political violence is their only recourse. And some individuals will respond accordingly.”

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“Republicans’ closing argument in the midterms is a tall tale of fear, hate and chaos which undermine our promise of an inclusive democracy and is counter to our democratic values. Their narratives are pulled straight from the white nationalist playbook with overt attempts to stoke racial fear and divide Americans in a manner that is both ugly, false and has proven deadly time after time. 

Whether at the U.S. Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home or a grocery store in Buffalo, people who listen to, adopt and identify with these messages have committed real acts of real violence that have left people hurt or dead. Stephen Miller’s ads are a particularly vile and vicious example of a larger GOP trend; they aren’t an outlier as much as a culmination of the GOP effort to undermine the American promise of a multi-racial democracy.”