Whoever you’re supporting — Hillary Clinton (who I’ve endorsed), Bernie Sanders (who I haven’t endorsed, but who I greatly respect and agree with on a ton of issues), or Martin O’Malley (good guy, strong progressive, not going to win the nomination) — I think you’ve got to admit this is an emotionally powerful, uplifting, evocative, inspirational ad — possibly the best political ad I’ve seen in a long time. It’s also probably a smart ad politically, as the average Democratic caucus voter in Iowa (and New Hampshire) probably grew up listening to Simon and Garfunkel and loving songs like this one. Here’s the New York Times’ takeaway on the new Sanders ad (I completely agree).
Mr. Sanders has created an ad with a vastly different feel from anything else seen in the race since Mrs. Clinton announced her candidacy in a hope-filled two-minute video. It strikingly contrasts with Mrs. Clinton’s own minute-long closing argument to Iowans, which is replete with grave warnings and bold promises. And it is likely to stand out amid the clutter of attack ads and boasts from candidates and their allies in both parties.
I further agree with this Daily Kos diary, that the ad is “not about what the candidate can do for the voters,” but “about what the candidate can do with the voters.” I’ll also echo this comment on that diary.
… as a Hillary supporter, say something really positive about Bernie in a Bernie diary, and near the top of the comments: This is an AWESOME ad. It made me cry. I don’t have the words to express how much it moved me. Well done, Bernie Sanders. Well done . Bravo.
I couldn’t agree more. The main point I want to make here, though, isn’t about Sanders vs. Clinton at all, but about the stark contrast between this ad – and really, the entire Democratic worldview – and the apocalyptic, ultra-negative, super-divisive, snarling, nasty, harsh, violent, bigoted, vicious, and flat-out false rhetoric we’ve been hearing for months now. So much for a positive, “kindler/gentler” Republican Party with a positive vision for the future; instead, it’s been gloom-and-doom 24/7, how HORRIBLE everything supposedly is (not true of course), how we need to “take our country back” (from who exactly? I think we all know EXACTLY who Trump, Cruz et al are talking about), how we need MORE goodies for rich people and big corporations, MORE disastrous wars in the Middle East, MORE fossil fuels poisoning our home, MORE economic inequality, MORE of the infamous “Southern Strategy;” etc. Ugh.
Now, I’m certainly not going to argue that Democrats are perfect, but to me, Bernie Sanders’ new ad encapsulates why many of us are Democrats – because we see America largely as Simon and Garfunkel do.
“America” is a protest song that “creates a cinematic vista that tells of the singer’s search for a literal and physical America that seems to have disappeared, along with the country’s beauty and ideals.” Art Garfunkel once described the song as “young lovers with their adventure and optimism.”
And that, of course, is exactly what America should be, and often has been, about: adventure, optimism, a “can-do” spirit, beauty, ideals and idealism.
And, of course, I’d add that this is a nation of immigrants — of our parents grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents — who let their homes in Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, wherever – to seek a new and better life in America. THAT is what we are still seeking, a better life in America; not the perpetual rage, spittle-flecked vitriol, fear, paranoia, and outright bigotry of the Sarah Palins, Donald Trumps and Ted Cruzes of the world. That dark, horrible Republican vision of America certainly isn’t a country anyone would come looking for, let alone risking their lives from all over the world to try and make it here. This November, we should all show up to the polls in droves to reject the GOP’s disturbing, dark, Manichean vision.
For now, though, thank you to Bernie Sanders, for giving us this refreshing ad in what has generally been a disgusting campaign (at least on the Republican side) – and for reminding us of all that’s great about America.