The Coca-Cola Company presented an extraordinary commercial on Super Bowl Sunday. Against stunning shots of our diverse American landscape, "America the Beautiful" was sung in seven different languages.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8iM73E6JP8
"It gives way to a series of snapshots of people who represent the nation's incredible diversity," said the company. "Together they make up the fabric of American life: brothers enjoying a movie; friends dancing; families dining out and roller-skating; siblings camping and many others. Each moment is about people enjoying themselves and their friends and families -- and an ice-cold Coca-Cola."
This vibrant commercial reminds us we're a nation of immigrants, most all of whom came hear speaking another language and assimilating into America seeking to become productive citizens while remembering their heritage.
"From many, one" as our national motto proudly declares.
Regardless of your race, creed or color, the commercial tells us, here in America you are accepted for who and what you are - or you should be. You are understood and appreciated - or you should be.
Predictably, right wing media types went apoplectic.
Glen Beck, who infamously and baselessly called President Obama a "racist" said, “It’s an in your face — and if you don’t like it, if you’re offended by it, then you’re a racist. If you do like it, well then you’re for immigration. That’s what it is. You’re for progress. That’s all this is — is to divide people.”
Fox's Eric Bolling, whose network carried the Super Bowl and profited from the commercial, said the spot, "...ticked off a lot of Americans."
One-term tea party congressman Allen West declared, "If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing 'American the Beautiful' in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come -- doggone we are on the road to perdition. This was a truly disturbing commercial for me..."
Fox News' resident homophobe Todd Starnes: "Coca Cola is the official soft drink of illegals crossing the border."
The conservative web site Breitbart added, "Executives at Coca Cola thought it was a good idea to run a 60-second Super Bowl ad featuring children singing 'America the Beautiful' - a deeply Christian patriotic anthem whose theme is unity - in several foreign languages. The ad also prominently features a gay couple."
After listening to some of the talk coming out of their retreat last weekend, Republican leaders in Washington are beginning to understand that mindless and hateful rhetoric like this coupled with tea party intransigence is rapidly destroying the GOP brand.
They are coming to realize that, for the last five or six years, they've allowed the worst right wing fringe elements to lead the Republican Party into a dark, intolerant, ugly place.
Unless and until conservatives break away from the haters on the extremist fringe and embrace the values expressed in the Coca-Cola "America the Beautiful" commercial, they are destined to stay there.