On August 8th, hours after the FBI raid on his estate in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, former US President Donald Trump released a new campaign advertisement on his social media platform, Truth Social. The video is entitled 'Nation in Decline,' and paints a dour picture of the United States under President Biden. Three weeks later on August 31, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a campaign video entitled "Israel is Moving Backwards," which similarly portrays Israel as having severely declined in the last year.
The two former leaders clearly took a page out of the same book, although there are some notable differences. Trump's ad is a full minute longer than Bibi's. Trump speaks in the classic formulaic American political speech style, with nearly every sentence beginning the same way: "We are a nation..." Meanwhile, Netanyahu's style is more subtle, only using his tagline, "Israel is moving backward," at the beginning, middle and end of his monologue in order to transition between topics. Netanyahu's video largely makes use of footage of Israeli citizens - on the streets, in stores, doing whatever activity he is describing in the voiceover - and only cuts to him speaking periodically. Trump's ad heavily features him speaking and footage from his rallies, with relatively little else; most of what viewers see besides Trump or Trump rallies are oil fields and landscapes rather than people.
The two have plenty in common
Despite the differences, Netanyahu's video seems to use the same structure as Trump's. The two core messages, America's decline and Israel's steps backward, are pointing at the same issue: the country has gotten worse since the two politicians left their respective seats of power.
According to the video, the nation is weaker, patriotism has become a taboo, life has gotten harder for the average citizen. The messages contented that good salt-of-the-Earth people built [America/Israel] and now they're being punished by the progressives.
Both videos tell viewers loudly and clearly that the leaders are disappointed with the current state of their countries and, if elected, will do something about it. Neither describe specific policies.
The visual outline of both videos are also parallel. They begin in black and white as the two men mournfully describe the sorry state of the country and show us some of the issues currently at play. Israel has a skyrocketing cost of living and Hamas flags flying proudly while Israelis are ashamed to show their flag in public. The United States is dependent on foreign powers for energy, falling behind China in terms of military prowess, the economy is in the toilet and, of course, patriots are being shamed for their patriotism.
In the last minute of each video, the tone shifts to become hopeful and suddenly the viewer can see colors. The two speakers describe how much potential their respective countries have, if only they could simply harness it properly.
This is accompanied by footage of happy people waving flags, and in Trump's case, wearing MAGA hats and waving Trump banners.