Samuel Jackson Wake Up Ad: Why Trash Talking Never Inspires Anyone


Obama aide Kareem Dale, a partially disabled man who is Special Assistant to the President for disability policy, told a group of volunteers at DNC headquarters Thursday they should "win this motherf*****." Dale is the most recent example of the sour, nasty, vicious tone of the past six months of campaigning, which includes Michael Moore's enraged senior citizens, and Samuel L. Jackson's "Wake the F*** Up!" children's book ad.

Judging by the fist-on-chin postures and busy texting of most of the audience, Mr. Dale did not inspire rapt attention. The "All Abilities" group he was speaking to was meant to reach out to LGBT and disabled voters. In another ham-fisted message repeated ad nauseam during this grueling campaign season, Dale added that the disabled would be "absolutely killed" under "Romney's plan." Dale then brought food into the mix, mentioning Romney's "waffling," and said that "the proof is in the pudding." Damn fine pudding, too!

If Dale genuinely wants "his side" to win, he should recognize that nobody was ever convinced, and few are highly-motivated, by tired stock phrases, talking points, and especially not "motherf******." Just because Samuel L. Jackson has a devoted fan group who love to hear him swear doesn't mean that anybody's going to vote for anybody else because he tells them "Wake the f*** up!" 

It's true there are some crude-talking conservatives, but more often, I'll hear this type of talk from liberals. When I question them, the conversation usually goes like this:

"Why do you use foul language?"

"Because I hate _________________ (fill in the blank with opponent's name/stock phrase)."

"Do you think people will pay more attention if you yell or curse?"

"Uh . . . (repetition of thing they hate, or new addition of new thing they hate)."

"People will listen more if you don't curse or swear."


They say our country is more divided than ever. If the polls are to be believed, 48% to 48%. So half the country are cursing, swearing, threatening, insulting, but all the cursing, swearing and threats in the world will not move people from what they've decided to do or not do on November 6. 

The ideas Mr. Dale stands for, including advocating for and supporting those with disabilities, are important. These ideas, and disabled people themselves, are, in fact, a lot more important than being demeaned by foul language and fake threats. Disabled people will be "killed" by Romney? Really?

This overheated rhetoric does make an impression, and mostly on young people.

At a Michelle Obama rally on November 1, adorable 9-year-old Brandon told reporters that if Mitt Romney wins the election, he and his father will go "back to the crop fields."

Really? According to Joe Biden, "They want y'all back in chains!"

I wonder if Mr. Dale, Mr. Biden, Mr. Moore, Mr. Jackson and the others who are also unleashing storms of foul language and absurdly exaggerated threats will ever understand that "hope and change" and "kill the motherf******" can never fit comfortably into the same sentence.