There are a handful of American campaign advertisements and political speeches that have stood the test of time. Consider JFK’s moonshot speech, FDR’s “nothing to fear except fear itself”, LBJ’s “Daisy” advertisement, and Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America”.
I firmly believe that one advertisement – from an unexpected place – has the ability to reframe our national debate and our expectations of the political process. You saw it last night during the Super Bowl. I am of course referring to Clint Eastwood’s “Half-time in America” spot for Chrysler*, embedded after the jump, with transcript.
It’s halftime. Both teams are in their locker room discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half.
It’s halftime in America, too. People are out of work and they’re hurting. And they’re all wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback. And we’re all scared, because this isn’t a game.
The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again.
I’ve seen a lot of tough eras, a lot of downturns in my life. And, times when we didn’t understand each other. It seems like we’ve lost our heart at times. When the fog of division, discord, and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead.
But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right, and acted as one. Because that’s what we do. We find a way through tough times, and if we can’t find a way, then we’ll make one.
All that matters now is what’s ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And, how do we win?
Detroit’s showing us it can be done. And, what’s true about them is true about all of us.
This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines.
Yeah, it’s halftime America. And, our second half is about to begin.
*In a strange bit of copyright controversy, the NFL asserted copyright over Chrysler, LLC’s video on YouTube, including on Chrylser’s OWN YouTube channel! I have inserted the version that appears in the Detroit Freep, which unfortunately has a pre-roll advertisement.