Our View: A gift that keeps on giving

Posted: February 13, 2013

The folks at Dodge Ram and their ad executives never envisioned, we believe, what an impact their Super Bowl commercial would have on viewers. After all, for all the hype surrounding these spots, it was still just an ad — viewed one day, talked about the next, largely forgotten the day after.

Not so with this commercial, a tribute to the American farmer featuring the prose and, better yet, the voice of the late broadcasting icon Paul Harvey. It took the country by storm, so much that letters to the editor (in this newspaper) have been written about it, not to mention myriad pieces of commentary the nation over.

So what was it about this ad? The glib and pretentious set would have you believe nothing at all — nothing, that is, but schmaltz and sentimentality. The world depicted? Ah, it no longer exists — if it ever actually did. But this ad was not a paean to a world so much as to a set of values — not exclusive to farmers, but certainly exemplified by them. Mr. Harvey’s words, and the still photos that accompanied them, speak to the primacy of hard work, self-reliance, perseverance, resilience, strength of character, and the importance of faith, family, and community.

These are human values that have come to be synonymous with America. And so it is no small wonder this commercial struck such a chord — a chord that continues to resonate. As such, it is a gift that keeps on giving, at a time when America’s collective psyche needs to be jogged, and reminded of those virtues.

And so we praise Dodge Ram for that reminder — and the late Mr. Harvey, too, for his inspiring words.