Is a pr budget a thing of the past?
It seems so in The Netherlands. For the municipal council elections, political parties are running the last leg of the race. Vote is to be made this upcoming Wednesday. To encourage citizens to vote, each political party is allotted an X amount of airtime for a campaign ads on national television. This airtime is on the taxpayer’s dime. The infamous PVV however dropped a proverbial bomb last week with a television campaign ad that is shocking to say the least.
Let’s break down the ad.
Ignoring the dramatic sound effects used. What this video comes down to is.”Islam is discrimination, violence, anti semitic, anti christian, anti female and enslavement “ just to name only a few. Then it ends with the words ISLAM IS DEADLY with blood dripping down. As you’d imagine this ad didn’t go unnoticed by the public. The general population is in uproar about this hate filled piece. Naturally there are also those that love to bathe in the blood of Muslims or this Political party PVV wouldn’t have such a following.
One of the most known campaign slogan “Make america Great again” is almost the same as PVV‘s “Netherlands ours again” both seemingly bold and honorable, but both also have a serious segregating undertone. An us versus them mentality. PVV coincidentally is an abbreviation for the Party For Freedom. It seems Trump and The PVV are using the same playbook. A simple tweet or a mere powerpoint presentation, like the one above is enough free press anyone could wish for. Making a campaign budget a thing of the past. To reach the voters needed, an intellectual debate on primetime tv isn’t the way to go. Those voters won’t be watching that. So, what should one do in order to reach them in a way that their little brains wont go in overdrive from and shutdown? Use short but effective words. Even though it is clearly Islamophobic, untrue and it definitely incites hate. The goal to influence voters is always more important.
I personally don’t believe Geert Wilders (the Head of the party) truly believes the hate he has spewed all these years. What I do believe is that he isn’t scared to step on a few necks for his own come up. What these actions will bring to muslims in The Netherlands this time around, is a guessing game for anyone. Hate is underestimated and the most easily spread feeling for humans. Earlier statements from the PVV have led to bold acts of violence. Such as a mosques set on fire, a severed pig head was set in front of a mosque and a young hijaabi even had beer thrown over her.
Should we fall for this PR stunt? Specifically designed to further one individual’s career? Segregating a population with fabricated accusations? Driving a wedge where there isn’t one to begin? Regardless of one’s actions it is and always will be our own choice as human beings to choose what path we take in life.
My Islam is peace and love.