America By Bernie Sanders Essay

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The Bernie Sanders campaign’s “America” ad, featuring a homonymous Simon and Garfunkel song, is undoubtedly a positive ad, filled with warmth, hope and enthusiasm. The minute-long advertisement switches focus from the candidate to the voters, or the American people. Using classic American images, a familiar folk-style soundtrack and footage of children and family, “America” appeals to optimism and quaint patriotism, especially those of Iowans who are the primary target of the ad. The ad opens with the shot of a snowy day, with wind turbines in the background. The image brings viewers Iowa to relate whatever else happens in the rest of the ad, since Iowa is one of the “top states for installed wind capacity.” The shot, along with the following …show more content…

The lyrics, “Let us be lovers/We’ll marry our fortunes together,” is accompanied by an older couple dancing together at a Sanders event, two women holding hands looking up, two instances of Sanders directly interacting with his supporters (talking and smiling), and bigger shots of Bernie supporters cheering in crowds, the most noticeable of which shows people holding a sign that reads, “WE LOVE BERNIE.” The connection between the music and the images is clear, as the people in this section of the ad demonstrate both their love for each other and for the candidate. The increased number of people in each shot and the words, “We’ll marry our fortunes together,” foster both enthusiasm and a sense of togetherness in the viewer, for both what is heard and seen is the act of people coming together for one, positive cause. The next lyrics, “I’ve got some real estate here in my bag,” reinforce the idea of hard work, family and working together, as the viewer first sees a small child carrying a baby calf, and an older woman and man working with the child to tend to the …show more content…

Stripped of its desire to tell the viewer what to do, the ad is more of a feel-good music video than a political campaigning. The only spoken words in the ad are the customary, “I’m Bernie Sanders; and I approve this message.” However, the “message” is not so clear. Does the Sanders camp wish us to feel that America is supporting Sanders? Or that Sanders, though dubbed a communist, represents American ideals such as the capitalistic American Dream? Tad Devine, Sanders’ senior strategist answered the question by saying that the ad’s message is that “what Bernie Sanders is building is a movement in America.” However, the answer does not reflect the first third of the ad, where neither Sanders or his supporters are present at any point. By placing images to which a ‘real’ American might relate, the ad implies that whatever “movement” Sanders is building, it’s one in which other Americans like the viewer is taking part, and one in which it is only natural that the viewer belongs. There is a superficial connection made between the stereotypical ‘American’ images and the enthusiasm of Sanders supporters. The ad makes no claim that those who identify with the images in the beginning represent the same demographic of people who are cheering him on, but that does not matter: the association between the ad’s basket

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