The free-market group Americans for Prosperity, founded by billionaires David and Charles Koch, has been releasing a string of painfully earnest ads.
A recent spot encouraging Douglas County residents to call and thank their school board for advancing the so-called “school choice” movement features a congenial former teacher, Denise Denny, reading a script that hits key talking points AFP uses in its fight to gut the public sector and obliterate unions.
The ad’s tone: milk and cookies. Its goal: Support vouchers so public money can get siphoned into private schools, including religious ones — separation of church and state be damned.
Denny’s performance feels like something out of a restless-leg-syndrome-drug commercial. It’s hard to believe she’s not a real actress playing a matronly ex-schoolmarm.
But Denny is no actress. She’s an active participant in the Tea Party Patriots and a fervent door-knocker lending the Koch’s group grassroots credibility.
And online, the rhetoric Denny embraces is nowhere near so gentle as the AFP ad. On a Tea Party Patriots page, she recently posted Anita Stapleton’s screed against the Jefferson County Teachers Union that compares union members to Hitler and implies they are domestic terrorists.
America, as we know it, is under attack! Not from terrorists from other countries, but from within our own state borders…
…the teacher’s union has convinced students that the review of the history framework is related to censorship. They are exercising CONTROL over the minds of the students, which in turn is driving their civil disobedience (Hitler’s Germany in action). The children should instead be protesting the psycho-social profiling and pressing for the ending of data collection through assessments, surveys, and inappropriate assignments!
Another AFP ad, one Denny shared on her Facebook page, is a sterilized, patriotic romp through U.S. history.
Warning: The frenzied pitch of this ad’s narrator might either send you into a panic attack or convince you to pick up a torch and go running for Americans for Prosperity.
Either way, if you wondered if the art of propaganda was dead or passé, the answer is a resounding no. Earnest patriotism is back and very well funded.