So God Made A Farmer
I didn’t watch the Superbowl.
No, I’m not un-American. I like football, I just didn’t really care for either the Ravens or the 49ers. Forgive me for saying I couldn’t care less if Beyonce’ reunites with Destiny’s Child. I don’t even have television. Cable doesn’t come out this far and I got tired of paying for hundreds of satellite channels that seldom aired anything worth watching.
But, I do love farmers. When Facebook and Twitter started erupting with accolades for the Ram truck commercial, I did a quick internet search and watched the video. As I noted on social media, I’m a Ford guy but Dodge scored some serious points with that ad.
Being a reporter and a broadcaster with a rather conservative point of view, I’ve always loved Paul Harvey, even though we occasionally disagreed. The basis of the Dodge ad was his 1978 speech to the national convention of the Future Farmers of America, an address that never fails to bring a tear to my eye.
Chrysler Motors has pledged a dollar to FFA for every internet view of the spot.
The commercial is subliminally salted with heroic photos of Dodge Ram trucks and CaseIH tractors (both owned by the Italian firm Fiat.) To those who have an issue with that, get over it. Someone dropped a packet of cash to buy two minutes of Superbowl airtime and they deserve to reap some benefit – even though there are curmudgeons like me who will applaud their work, but still buy from a competitor who produces a more desirable product. It’s called fair trade.
Many liberal voices are rising to decry the spot as commercial pandering and emotional manipulation. Just keep in mind that many of those same voices have never shied away from using images of abused puppies and kittens to solicit money to build their war chest and line their own pockets without committing any real resources to the plight of those creatures they exploit.
It’s a feel-good spot. Not that it should puff farmers and ranchers up with a new-found sense of self-importance, but it may help bolster the image of agriculture in the eyes of many consumers who see this as reinforcement for what they already believe – honest, hard-working, God-fearing people put in long, difficult hours for a lifestyle they believe in that also, by the way, helps put food on their table, clothes on their back and a roof over their head.
For the Greek chorus of environmental zealots, animal rights activists and other anti-agriculture forces it won’t matter anyway. As they keep saying on the interweb, “haters gonna hate.”