» AndY wolf – awolf@my.apsu.edu

It has been over a week since the “Halftime in America” ad featuring Clint Eastwood aired during the Super Bowl.

For those who missed it, the aging “Man of Men” reminded us of the struggles our nation has faced over the years and how we can make a comeback.

Immediately, the ad was panned by critics from both left and right wings of the political spectrum, attempting to attribute a political agenda to the message.

Karl Rove, the former Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush, attacked the ad, claiming it echoed one of the central themes of President Barack Obama’s re-election bid.

The left wasted no time in trying to lay claim to the ad, with liberal filmmaker Michael Moore and Obama’s Communication Aid David Axelrod claiming the two-minute spot seemed to be “a call to give [Obama] his second half.” Eastwood, a long standing Fiscal Conservative and Social Liberal, denied any political agenda whatsoever.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Personally, I didn’t see the ad as political in any way, shape or form. If anything, it was a welcome breath of fresh air.

In a highly personalized society, it seems we as Americans are ever so earnest to unjustly attribute everything to some sort of political agenda, we often forget to stop and appreciate the honest-to-goodness hard work and spirit many Americans put forth on a daily basis.

We are often so caught up in in our factions and ourselves, we often miss the point we are more than just political parties and individuals. We are Americans.

It only seems this is evident in the face of disaster.

On Dec. 8, 1941, we were not Republicans or Democrats. On Sept. 12, 2001, we were not liberals or conservatives. We were Americans, united together in the face of danger and uncertainty.

In World War II, people put down what they were doing and put their differences aside in order to produce and utilize great resources in a war against tyranny and oppression.

People took pride in their work and etched their initials in the rivets that held our planes, tanks and ships together. In 2001, men and women of all walks of life scurried to Ground Zero to aid rescue services in the cleanup.

In 2007, I can proudly tell you firsthand there were no Republicans or Democrats in a war zone. Only Americans, and brothers at that. You know the old mantra “stand by your man?” The same applies to your country.

This country has the potential to be everything we want it to be, to be great again. We just have to set aside this petty bickering and move forward as a nation.

To end a football-related topic with a football quote, I believe it was a line from “Any Given Sunday” — “Either we heal now as a team, or we will die as individuals.”

If you missed the “Halftime In America” ad, you can find it at www.youtube.com/user/chrysler?feature=pvchclk. TAS