Add sweeping panoramas of Puerto Rico, along with a soundtrack that could have been written by Aaron Copland. Edit images of Raúl Juliá (as the dad from The Addams Family movie), Dallas Maverick star JJ Barea, and the great Clemente. Instead of having adults speaking, just bring out some kids and spread a message of hope that tugs at the heart-strings. Add an iPad, too. That is the very grandiose ad by the campaign of PPD (Popular Party) gubernatorial candidate for Puerto Rico Alejandro García Padilla has produced.
The result? A message the promises everything but offers nothing.
Here it is:
As the island faces a historic economic crisis caused by the policies of both major parties (PPD and the pro-statehood PNP), the García Padilla campaign continues the “politics as usual” track of a colony nation that has failed miserably in reaching its maximum potential. Give the people their populism and all will be well. The ad reminds us of what President Obama successfully achieved in 2008, although it is clear that a message of ambiguous hope no longer plays so well in 2011.
García Padilla is clearly the front-runner as he challenges Republican and pro-statehood incumbent Luis Fortuño, an opportunity that we think he is clearly missing out on. Instead of being a little stronger, a little bolder, instead of finally trying to think outside the system and provide real progress for the island, Puerto Rican voters will be getting the same PPD rhetoric that has sustained the party’s leadership for decades.
With more and more frustration coming out of the island when it comes to its political systems, when will the island wake up? When will voters demand real solutions that put their interests first, both from an economic one as well as one to finally resolve the island’s colonial status? Unless the voters demand something different, the grandiose ads will continue and the populace will still depend on the inaction of politicians. And inaction only perpetuates the status quo, one that has done little to bring Puerto Rico into the 21st century.