Why Ted Cruz’s Great Ad is a Dud

That new Cruz ad fantasizing about lawyers, bankers & journalists crossing the Rio Grande is clever and correct (the debate on immigration would be very different if elite jobs were threatened).  It also seems likely to be an ineffective waste of money.

Who, exactly, is going to have their minds changed by this ad? Voters who are skeptical of mass immigration are probably already picking between Cruz and Trump. They may be not-so-subconsciously offended by the ad’s suggestion that the only reason for their skepticism is narrow economic self interest –i.e. their own jobs are threatened.

Voters who aren’t threatened — i.e. lawyers, bankers, businessmen, other well-paid professionals — may chuckle, while the ad (however erroneously) reinforces their complacency. After all, the scenario of briefcase toting professionals crossing the Rio Grande seems pretty farfetched. If that’s what it takes, they can breathe easy.

Meanwhile, voters of whatever occupation who just aren’t skeptical of mass immigration — surely a group Cruz should want to win over — may be offended by the suggestion that they’d change their principles mighty fast if personally faced with a hit to their wallets.

Wouldn’t a general patriotic pitch to protect American jobs and values, to keep an economy in which anyone willing to work a full day can make enough to live with dignity — a pitch everyone could freely sign on to — be more compelling than the fairly abstract Marxesque debater’s point about how we’re all slaves to our narrow economic interest?

PS: Cruz’s closing promise to build a “wall that works” sets off kausfiles’ proprietary Boob Bait Sellout Sensor. The phrase “wall that works” suggests a wall in itself won’t work, which is what opponents of a crude border barrier always say. (Are they really worried that it will work, as it has where it’s been built?)  In our current political reality, “a wall that works’  translates as “a high-tech ‘virtual wall’ that doesn’t work.”