Sad Songs Say So Much

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

“When everyone else is shouting, the most effective form of communication can be a whisper.” That’s the reason the famous “Better, Prouder, Stronger” ad in the 1984 “Morning in America” Reagan reelection series was effective. And that’s why the commercial that debuted on talk shows this morning, “Mourning in America,” will be effective.

That’s all according to Fred Davis, CEO of Strategic Perception Inc., who put together the new ad for Citizens for the Republic (made up of a number of familiar-name veteran conservatives), which has existed ever since Ronald Reagan established it as a political action committee in 1977.
 

The goal of the new commercial is to make the point that Americans are suffering because of the “failed” policies of Barack Obama and the Democratic party. The goal of the ad is to make a direct connection between the sadness Americans are feeling — struggling economically, feeling like their freedoms are lessening as government overreaches — and their voting power this November.

But aren’t people angry? “No,” says Davis, “the ones you deal with are, but the majority, across party lines are more hurt. More embarrassed that they were fooled. More sorry that their hopes were dashed.”

Davis is confident the ad will resonate because it comes from listening to people. “Look at national polls. Look at who is winning the primaries. Look at who is likely to win the general elections.” Davis describes what we are seeing and what we will see this November as a “sea of change,” that is a response to “overreaching, bad policies at the wrong time in our economic history.”

For similar reasons, he is confident about November. “There’s a pendulum that swings back and forth through the ages, Democrat to Republican, Republican to Democrat,” Davis observes. “It never stops. But, I think the Democrats were a bit shocked that it swung back so fast this time.” 

Of “Mourning in America,” Davis says: “It cuts through all the horrific political noise out there right now. And, it treats people with respect, as adults. It doesn’t beat up on the president, just says he is sadly wrong.”

Here’s the original famous “Morning in America” ad: 


And here’s the text of the old ad: 

 

It’s morning again in America. Today more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country’s history. With interest rates at about half the record highs of 1980, nearly 2,000 families today will buy new homes, more than at any time in the past four years. This afternoon 6,500 young men and women will be married, and with inflation at less than half of what it was just four years ago, they can look forward with confidence to the future. It’s morning again in America, and under the leadership of President Reagan, our country is prouder and stronger and better. Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago?

The text of the new ad:

There’s mourning in America. Today, fifteen million men and women won’t have the opportunity to go to work. Businesses shuttered. Twenty nine hundred families will have their homes foreclosed by nightfall. This afternoon six thousand men and women will be married, each of their children to be born with a thirty thousand dollar share of the runaway national debt. Our government is now taking over the choices we once made in life.  

There’s mourning in America. Under the leadership of President Obama our country is fading, and weaker, and worse off. His policies were a grand experiment, policies that failed. This November, let’s choose a smaller, more caring government, one that remembers us.