McCain Ad: "Love"

John McCain may not have meant his new ad to be so provocative, but “Love” raises all sorts of interesting philosophical and political questions.  He contrasts the Summer of Love and all its carnal implications with his love of country — and the very different experiences he had as compared to the young people in America at that time.

It was a time of uncertainty, hope and change. The “Summer Of Love.” Half a world away, another kind of love — of country.

John McCain: Shot down. Bayoneted. Tortured. Offered early release, he said, “No.” He’d sworn an oath.

Home, he turned to public service. His philosophy: before party, polls and self … America. A maverick, John McCain tackled campaign reform, military reform, spending reform. He took on presidents, partisans and popular opinion.

He believes our world is dangerous, our economy in shambles. John McCain doesn’t always tell us what we “hope” to hear. Beautiful words cannot make our lives better.

But a man who has always put his country and her people before self, before politics can.

Don’t “hope” for a better life. Vote for one. McCain.

This does more than just belittle the “hope” theme. It provokes an interesting contest between competing visions of the nation, of service, and of “love” and what it means. McCain’s ad draws battle lines between philos and eros and takes one last shot at a decade that produced the most self-referential and self-absorbed generation of Americans ever seen — the Baby Boomers.

The imagery and the text make clear that McCain believes in the classic values of sacrifice and honor, especially in service to the nation. That sacrifice extends to his political career, which he has risked for issues he felt important to the country. Nowhere has that been more true than on Iraq. While Barack Obama continues to waffle and hedge his bets on withdrawal, McCain staked his presidential campaign on victory — and proved himself right and Obama wrong on the surge and the stabilizing effect it has had on Iraq.

It’s an effective and affecting ad. Will it work? That depends in large part on how people see the 60s. For those who lionize it and its excesses, McCain’s ad will seem silly and pointless. For those who see it as a moment when America lost its way, McCain’s ad will have great appeal, especially in its emphasis on philos over eros. Those of us who believe that the 60s were a mixed bag can still appreciate McCain’s point.

Note: We neglected to mention that Allahpundit is on vacation this week. He will be back, tanned, rested, and ready, next week.