DiDi, I was excited to see this article pop up on my Facebook wall. I thought, “Finally, someone else sees what I saw.” Well, we did… kind of, but from different perspectives.
My background is production, communications, and marketing, so I’m accustomed to looking for subtext in the media. The ad’s true agenda isn’t people sitting down to discuss their differences, which would be excellent and necessary, especially these days. Its agenda is decidedly slanted — to change the opinions of one side.
Those in the ad with right-leaning views focus on the issues and those who differ from them. They describe themselves using negative adjectives and come across as prejudiced. For example, the man who believes women exist to have our children or the man who doesn’t believe in climate change are extreme examples of these issues. There are plenty of people — women included — who reject modern feminism, who recognize climate change but question the causes, and who understand the science behind gender. Notice too that all three “villains” were white males.
Juxtapose that against those with left-leaning positions. They were moderates, diverse, soft-spoken, talked about how things make them feel, and used victimhood descriptions for themselves. The audience is expected to sympathize with them.
I don’t know what commercial you were watching, but they didn’t find common ground. When the views are revealed, it’s those on the “right” who recognize their need to change. The ad subtly reminds us that they are obstacles to so-called progress. At the same time, one could look at the ad and see that it is also those on the “right” who are more willing to compromise, change, and allow for diversity of thought/opinion. It is typically those on the “left” who un-friend people they disagree with and seldom budge on their beliefs.
I disagree with your definition of progress. Ironically, modern progressivism is historically regressive. Its intentions are to take us back to views and practices held before the Enlightenment, especially in government, business, and scientific matters. All it really does is disagree with whatever position conservatives hold, and it tacks -ism or -phobia to words to create new villains and causes, while ignoring (or defending) true villains. It transacts in hysteria the way other artists might work in oils or clay and never seems content to leave “good enough” alone. It falsely believes we can achieve Utopia through our own efforts or with enough laws.
You are right, however, that corporations, the media, and even race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have no interest in fixing problems. They profit from conflict. A four-minute commercial will resolve nothing. Truth be told, a lifetime of discussion won’t either. We must recognize that our issues — from poverty to racism — are human conditions, not byproducts of certain boogeymen. They will be with us until Christ returns and this world passes, but they can be mitigated in the meantime.
To turn your negative into a positive, “bigotry, sexism, and transphobia are just differences of opinion that are up for debate, and deserving of civil discourse.” That’s called free speech. That’s also called diversity. Without civil discourse, nothing changes; we don’t even know if we define those words the same way. The hammer of law cannot change hearts or minds. Legislating against such things only breeds greater rebellion.
We need to be much more discerning when ingesting media. Over time, it does influence our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings, even the subtle things. It’s important to understand the source/money behind the media we watch and what their views or positions are. Cultural engineering is very real.