America the Original
America’s founding ideal was the principle of individual rights. Nothing more—and nothing less. The rest — everything that America achieved, everything she became, everything “noble and just,” and heroic, and great, and unprecedented in human history — was the logical consequence of fidelity to that one principle. The first consequence was the principle of political freedom, i.e., an individual’s freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by the government. The next was the economic implementation of political freedom: the system of capitalism. – Ayn Rand
In the ever-increasing absence of this ideal, today’s Americans are desperate for something – anything – which suggests that it’s still alive. Thus, they turn to multiculturalism.
One of today’s most common complaints about America is it’s lack of unity. The reason for this, ironically, is because America is “unified” around a floating abstraction called “tolerance.” The truth is that America is not a tolerant country. Intolerance is it’s strength. Americans are judgmental people. To be intolerant and judgmental does not mean to want to force people to behave in a certain way, but it does mean to accept the notion that some behaviors can be better (ie: more rational) than others (otherwise what’s the point in resisting a king, or codifying laws, or voting for one person instead of another?). There is nothing inherently bad about the various citizens of one nation, in certain circumstances, choosing to speak different languages, eat different cuisines, dance different folk dances, worship different gods, etc – but neither is there anything inherently good about it. What this commercial is doing is treating freedom as an end in itself – as if what makes a country strong isn’t the rationality of it’s citizens values, but simply that those values are truly their own (ie: freely chosen). The values being their own is a necessary condition of national strength (ie: “beauty”), but it isn’t a sufficient one.
To show a young woman who is wearing an Islamic head dress, as proof of America’s “virtue”, is obscene. The woman should have every right to deny herself the completely rational pleasure of showing off her neck (or at least the pleasure of being unencumbered by wearing that every time she’s in public), but that doesn’t mean that her willingness to do so – in spite the fact that the majority of Americans still (correctly) disapprove of an irrational creed such as Islam – serves as proof of her “Americanism” (ie: her mental independence. Her individualism). All it shows is that she wants to have her cake and eat it, too. That she wants to enjoy the benefits of a rational approach to political organization, while ignoring (and implicitly denigrating) the cause. She’s not willing to apply rationality to her personal choices, so what – besides blind, arbitrary whim – will make her willing to apply it to the choices (ie: judgments) she makes as a self-governing person? She blindly follows her religion’s mandates, so of course any belief she has in America’s principles is just that: belief (as opposed to conscious conviction). No one ever points that out to, or about, such people – and in fact praises them for their behavior at every opportunity – so is it really any wonder that America is becoming less and less free in the in meaningful sense of the term; even if it remains such in superficial ways?
Coca Cola, being a large corporation, is one of the largest victims of America’s lack of true freedom – and as a result of that, it is doing whatever it can to make up for the toll that has taken (up to and including exploiting the most twisted, perverse – albeit popular – notions about freedom in order to make a quick buck).
For more on this subject: see this review of a different commercial, which exploits the same phenomenon.