I was alone among my friends when it came to the ad below. It is called “The Woman Who Made Up Her Mind.” The ad was produced by “Better Together,” the campaign that argued against Scottish independence. The ad features a mother sitting at the kitchen table talking about her worries, her family, and her children’s future.
The ad was spoofed, pilloried, and derided around the world. The “Yes” campaign ads were hip, funny, energetic, positive, celebrity filled, and this ad was dour, outmoded, and looked aged. Paul Kelbie of the Associated Press wrote, “While the “Better Together” campaign has been derided for old-fashioned, even patronizing ads, the breakaway side has engaged voters with a slick and humorous campaign that presents a dynamic picture of Scotland.” In fact, some even attacked the ad as sexist.
But the ad was not targeted at the hip urban youths trying to blaze their own trail through independence. It was targeted at moms, pensioners, and others who were worried. It was not slick because they are not slick. It was personal. Most importantly, the ad connected to a lot of worries. Those worries won out in Scotland and the “No” campaign won.
I have been thinking about that ad a lot lately.
New polling in our own country shows that moms are worried about their children’s futures. They want some adults around who can tell the President that no he cannot go back to the golf course, he has homework to do. They want someone to tell Washington to leave their families alone. They want someone to kill the bad guys. They want someone to secure the border. They just want to know the grownups are in charge.
The past six years have seen the undoing of almost seventy years of gains abroad. Foreign policy is the one area the President does not have to rely on Congress. The inter-party fighting should not matter. But China is rattling its sabers, Russia has crossed into Ukraine, anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe, ISIS is cutting off American heads, commercial airliners are missing in Libya, and the list goes on.
Here at home, the left tells us we are all going to die because the oceans are going to rise. When Barack Obama and the Democrats had complete control of the government they could have done something. Instead, all they did was make it more expensive for us to go to the doctor.
A fatalism has set in. Neither side in Washington seems to offer more than platitudes about our best days being ahead of us. Neither side acts like they really mean it. Instead, they’re both picking at the carcass.
There is a really worry in Middle America that children will, for the first time, be worse off than their parents. People just want hope. They want someone to tell them, and act like they mean it, when they say tomorrow will be better. Really, what Americans want are grown ups again.
Republicans have an advantage on this. They never win on domestic policy. They win on keeping us safe and keeping the world at bay. They always have. But they also win when they recognize that government is the problem for so many and not the solution.
I think the GOP, without a message, can have one simple message — we’re the grown ups who will keep you safe and get out of your way. Many middle class mothers remember their grandfathers fondly. They were men who stormed beaches to kill monsters. They don’t see men like that around here now. They don’t see anyone honoring their grandfathers’ legacies. The world has come undone. America needs grownups, not technocrats, to fix it.