Such a gloomy time to be an American. The year was 1975. Watergate indictments. The fall of Saigon. Janis Ian's "At Seventeen." You think 2016 is bad? Ha!
Forty-one years ago we were weary of political hackery and a war that had gone on too long and taken too many young people. Caught between The Captain and Tennille and an impending disco revolution, music and fashion seemed to be letting us down. And yet, we were trying our darndest to generate some kind of enthusiasm for 1976's Bicentennial celebrations. Our hearts weren't in it.
Coca-Cola to the rescue! "Look up, America! See what we've got!" Stop yer whinin' and pull yerselves together! Things ain't so bad, eh? I mean, we have Times Square, Fred and Ginger, and baseball. And Coke. Simple. Naive. Rah-rah. But catchy. And moving. And you felt a teensy bit bettter about the old homeland. After all, how bad could it be if you have W.C. Fields and square dancing?
I love this commercial (remembering that it was a product of its time) and think that on this Independence Day 2016 we need reminding of what we have going for us. No, not the nativist, anti-immigrant, bigotry sort of patriotism; rather, the we're all in this together, we can work it out, we all have gifts energy that we're famous for. E pluribus unun: out of many, one.
So those of us on our real high conservative horses and those of us on our real high liberal horses and those of us on our real high libertarian horses and those of us on our real high I-just-don't-care horses need to climb on down for this one day. Wave that flag. Read the Declaration of Independence. Raise a glass to James, Thomas, Benjamin, John, and the others who led in the formation of this most imperfect union.
Look up, America! E pluribus unum! Have a Coke! Happy 4th of July!