Saturday, January 29, 2011

A View of America from the Driver's Seat

Last Sunday, I watched the Packers-Bears game on TV. Usually I don't pay too close attention to the commercials, but there were two car commercials that caught my eye during back-to-back commercial breaks. One for the Nissan Leaf, a new electric car:

The other commercial was for the Dodge Challenger:

You may ask, what do car commercials have to do with politics? Generally nothing, but those two commercials represented to me two very different views of America today. The first commercial for the electric Nissan Leaf seemed to indicate that all Americans who do not drive electric cars must hate animals--especially polar bears whose homes are melting because of that wretched "global warming"! What the commercial conveniently leaves out is that electric cars do need to be charged in order to run. A lot of the energy that powers America's homes come from coal or natural gas--fossil fuels-- that cause "global warming". That natural gas may have even come from Alaska where that polar bear lives! It's Sarah Palin's fault! What the environmentalists seem to overlook is the amount of energy that it takes to make more energy efficient cars. The various components are made all over the world, so the amount of energy to transport the parts and assemble is staggering. Also, at least in hybrid cars, they still haven't exactly determined a way to dispose of the battery once its no longer functional. It can't just be thrown away because it's too harmful for the environment. Also, environmental regulations that have forced companies to make fuel efficient cars have led to producers making less safe cars. In order to make cars more fuel efficient, lighter bodies and frames are used in production, which are also less safe. Environmentalists try to exploit stories of pollution leading to deaths, but there are likely more deaths caused by less safe vehicles than directly by pollution. But, never fear, if such a death occurs to someone you care about, you may get consoled by a polar bear because of your environmentally friendly car choice!

The second commercial, on the other hand, seemed to embrace what is right about America. America still is the most free country in the world. Although, due to industry and governmental mismanagement and the heavy handedness of unions, American car companies aren't what they once were, they have achieved a great deal of industrial achievements and innovations. Henry Ford perfected the assembly line process to get the Model T Ford into the possession of many Americans, and it revolutionized the way Americans travel. However, what that Dodge Challenger commercial indicated was that America has done freedom right. It's true. That's what our Founders toiled and died for. It's what our men and women in uniform still fight for today. It's embedded with in the charters of our nation--the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

I'm no advertising expert by any means. I never took one advertising or business class in college, but simply as a consumer, I'm more influenced by an ad that embraces what's right about America rather than attempting to make me feel guilty for what the progressives think is wrong with America.

Crossposted here.

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