As a video promoter for over ten years, I have seen first hand the incredible impact political videos can have on the American public. They create ire, controversy and really grind some peoples’ gears… Which is, to me, a much-cherished by-product of our dynamic democracy.
We as a people, need to have spirited political discourse; but since the tragic events in Arizona earlier this month, the vehement vitriolic rhetoric it has generated has the country being careful about what they say to the point of ridiculousness! Highly charged political videos have always reminded me of the old adage: “Though I may not agree with you and the points you are making, I will defend to the very death your right to say it”. The rights pertaining to freedom of speech are amongst America’s strongest and finest qualities, but now more than ever, the First Amendment is being challenged in ways I could have never imagined just ten years ago.
Take for instance, the hesitation we are encountering securing programming for the brilliant video masterpiece “Come Back America” from singer songwriter Nathan Shaffer. It seems that although this clip was produced in 2010, the fact that Sarah Palin and others are seen in less than flattering ways at its end has kept outlets from offering up the exposure it rightfully deserves.
In the video, in front of a burning Capitol building, Shaffer metaphorically hangs the politicians, bankers and radio and TV pundits he blames for the destruction of the American middle class. Its startling imagery is intended to wake people up. The comment “we need to let things cool down before we show this video” that we have been experiencing however, is a tell tale sign that our country has lost it’s way, and I wonder if we can ever get back on track again. Indeed, this very sentiment is what the “Come Back America” video is all about.