Monday, February 6, 2012

Politicizing apolitical Americana... Will the GOP/Right Wing surrender their biggest advantage by protesting the Clint Eastwood Chrysler Super Bowl commercial?

I've written from time-to-time about how Democrats and Liberals seem so willing to cede what should be basic apolitical American values to the Right/Republican wing of America.  Pundits, even liberal ones, brand movies as Conservative because they espouse family values, morality, private charity, personal responsibility, monogamy, the right of self-defense, entrepreneurship, patriotism, etc.  Never-mind that such American values are technically apolitical and are shared and practiced by people of all political stripes, the 'Right Wing sound machine' did a bang-up job in the 1980s and 1990s basically branding much of Americana as 'conservative', and we stupid liberals went on and allowed them to do it.  The Democratic wing has long struggled with rebutting an opposition that successfully branded itself as 'explicitly American' and has defined the debate by defining the vocabulary.  So to those criticizing last night's Chrysler commercial, which aired during the Super Bowl and was narrated by Clint Eastwood (longtime Libertarian/Republican) as some kind of pro-Obama propaganda, knock yourself out.

Go ahead and tell the American people that empathy, resiliency, and a can-do attitude represent the politics of Barack Obama, and thus liberalism in general.  Go ahead and claim that Eastwood's monologue about how America gets right back up after being knocked down is some kind of fiendish endorsement of Obama's arguably successful bail-out of Chrysler and General Motors (for the record, the US government sold off its last shares of Chrysler six months ago and Eastwood opposed said bailouts).  Go ahead and claim that American Exceptionalism, the idea that America is a unique and special nation that stands apart from the rest of the world is left-wing political propaganda.  It's just a Chrysler commercial, with one of our most iconic actors espousing a relatively generic bit of inspirational rhetoric based around the new-found strength of the Detroit automobile industry.  If the GOP wants to claim its inspiring rhetoric is inherently political, and that they oppose it, so be it.  Those of us on the Left have struggled for years as a result of the Right Wing basically staking an unquestioned claim to the vocabulary and ideology that best personifies America.  If the current Republican party wants to voluntarily give it back, we'll gladly take it.

Scott Mendeslon  


Ggilliam26 said...

Hey, Scott, for the record, it was a Chrysler ad.

Scott Mendelson said...

Oh god! Shows how much I know about cars. Thank you.


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