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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

McCain's new ad: "Love"



Hitting at the "hope and change" meme (script from The Page):
It was a time of uncertainty, hope and change. The "Summer Of Love." Half a world away, another kind of love - of country.
John McCain: Shot down. Bayoneted. Tortured. Offered early release, he said, "No." He’d sworn an oath.
Home, he turned to public service. His philosophy: before party, polls and self … America. A maverick, John McCain tackled campaign reform, military reform, spending reform. He took on presidents, partisans and popular opinion.
He believes our world is dangerous, our economy in shambles. John McCain doesn't always tell us what we "hope" to hear. Beautiful words cannot make our lives better.
But a man who has always put his country and her people before self, before politics can.
Don’t "hope" for a better life. Vote for one. McCain.
I don't agree that the economy is in shambles, for the mere reason that when I was majoring in economics in college a 5 or 6% unemployment rate was considered an idealized figure that "ain't gonna happen". According to the US Department of Labor the unemployment rate for June was 5.5%. We have a long way to go to get to the "shambles" stage.

But the ad is very good in addressing the issue of image vs. substance, pretty words vs. experience, Obama vs McCain. Those of us who are "up to here" with the ridiculous nostalgia for the Summer of Love will gladly see it deflated to what it really was: an empty roll in the hay by those who had responsibilities and no regard for anything other than themselves.

Ed phrases it a lot more elegantly:
This does more than just belittle the "hope" theme. It provokes an interesting contest between competing visions of the nation, of service, and of "love" and what it means. McCain’s ad draws battle lines between philos and eros and takes one last shot at a decade that produced the most self-referential and self-absorbed generation of Americans ever seen - the Baby Boomers.

The imagery and the text make clear that McCain believes in the classic values of sacrifice and honor, especially in service to the nation. That sacrifice extends to his political career, which he has risked for issues he felt important to the country. Nowhere has that been more true than on Iraq. While Barack Obama continues to waffle and hedge his bets on withdrawal, McCain staked his presidential campaign on victory — and proved himself right and Obama wrong on the surge and the stabilizing effect it has had on Iraq.
The ad not only is a contrast of the two visions held by the candidates, it carries a valuable moral lesson: that it's better to love something higher than our own selfish selves.

I like it.

crossposted

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