Political Brands
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Political Brands

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy

From ‘I Like Ike’ to Trump’s MAGA hats, branding and politics have gone hand in hand, selling ideas, ideals and candidates. Political Brands explores the legal framework for the use of commercial branding and advertising techniques in presidential political campaigns, as well as the impact of politics on commercial brands. This thought provoking book examines how branding is used by citizens to change public policy, from Civil Rights activists in the 1960s to survivors of the 2018 Parkland massacre.
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Chapter 9: Branding racism

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy


Comic Dave Chappelle asked, “Is Russia making us racist? …Oh OK, oh my God, thank goodness - I thought it was us. If they killed the country that way, then we’re the murder weapon.” Racial divisions were easily exploited by Russians in 2016 because there are real, long-lasting fault lines. This chapter looks at two big themes. The first is the racialized voting by Whites throughout American history, including what this voting block did during the White Primary Cases in the Texas Democratic primaries in the early twentieth century, its behavior in George Wallace’s independent campaign in 1968 and its actions in the GOP in 2016. The second is how the Russians used racism to target African American voters in particular in the 2016 election. Black voters were fed two repetitive messages in the election: to vote for a third-party candidate or not to vote at all.

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