Conservative ire over Coke’s Super Bowl ad conflicts with their supposed love of freedom
A Super Bowl advertisement for Coca-Cola which depicted groups of Americans from varying cultures singing ‘America the Beautiful’ in their native languages has come under fire by conservatives. Conservatives took to social media to voice their outrage that an American hymn was sung in any language other than English. By morning, pundits had added fuel to the fire.
Former Representative Allen West tweeted that Coke’s commercial depicting a multicultural America was an attempt at “balkanization.” Apparently to Mr. West, merely acknowledging that large groups of Americans from various cultures, of differing ethnicities, all are equally a part of the American experience is an attempting to divide us. The commercial celebrates multiculturalism—it’s about people coming together. Only a nativism rooted in hatred and intolerance for other cultures could paint it as the opposite.
— Allen West Republic (@AllenWestRepub) February 3, 2014
What is most confounding about the conservative vitriol is their supposed love of free markets. A large component to free trade is the dispersion of goods and cultures throughout the international marketplace. Multiculturalism is an inevitable result of such commercial activity. Yet when an example is provided for them to use in arguing that markets are good for people of all cultures, they scoff that groups of Americans would dare to sing about America in any language other than English.
America is wonderful precisely because people of differing cultures and faiths can all come together to celebrate freedom– freedom to choose our own customs, traditions, language, and religions. Freedom to pursue happiness in any way we desire, so long as it does not exclude others from doing the same. Freedom isn’t exclusive to one skin color, language, or religion. That’s what America and liberty are all about. When conservatives complain about that they are doing more to damage American values than any commercial ever could.
The Coke Ad controversy actually perfectly exemplifies the modern-day differences between libertarianism, liberalism, and conservatism. Conservatives are outraged over the content of the Ad, mainly that America is represented as a multicultural society, while liberals have expressed disdain over the entire advertising/marketing process and scoff over the price of Super Bowl Ads. Meanwhile libertarians see freedom and prosperity in both market competition and multiculturalism.
The ad is a brilliant celebration of everything that makes America a beacon of freedom. Despite any flaws, the United States is a place where people of all colors, ethnicities and faiths can come together celebrate the beauty of human interaction, of service to one another and simple enjoyments of liberty.
About the author: Keith Farrell is a political commentator and community organizer. He is a frequent contributor The Libertarian Republic and the founder and president of Spirits of ’76, a nonprofit service club dedicated to solving community problems with volunteer efforts. He graduated from the University of Connecticut and holds a BA in American Studies and Urban & Community Studies. Follow him on Facebook.