Marco Rubio's 'Mad Men' Tweet Totally Misses The Entire Point Of The Show
On Sunday night, AMC aired the series finale of beloved show Mad Men, which is about an advertising firm in the '60s and '70s that gave us a taste of what life in America was like back then. In summary: boozing, adultery, sexism, racism, and smoking while pregnant. For the majority, the antiquated era was a highly flawed one, but not for 2016 Republican candidate Marco Rubio. In response to the show's finale, Rubio tweeted "#MadMen finale — a reminder 20th Century was great," a message brimming with wistful nostalgia at those days when men dominated the workplace, cheated on their wives, and spent their days at the office drinking Scotch. Perhaps we'll see a return to these... simpler times if he's elected.
Rubio, who apparently believes himself to be some kind of modern-day political Don Draper, joined the 2016 presidential race when he announced his candidacy in Miami last month. Ironically, his overarching message during his announcement speech was that he was the candidate of the future, and in fact, slammed other candidates for living in the past. He told the crowd at Miami's Freedom Tower:
Grounded by the lessons of our history, but inspired by the promise of our future, I announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America. ... Just yesterday, a leader from yesterday [Hillary Clinton] began a campaign for president by promising to take us back to yesterday. But yesterday is over, and we are never going back.
Hmmm, that's interesting. The Florida senator doesn't exactly seem ready to let go of yesterday. After the Mad Men finale aired, Rubio tweeted this:
The most worrisome part of that tweet is not its contradictory message but the fact that for Rubio, "yesterday" is the 1960s. As in half a century ago. OK, yes, Rubio does end his tweet on a forward-looking note, announcing a "New American Century," but the problem there is that he's acting as if he's coming fresh off of an era of pervasive workplace sexual harassment, socially accepted racial discrimination, and cigarette-filled hospitals. His message seems to suggest that he's going to be the forward-thinking candidate we need to challenge these norms. But, um, others started doing that nearly 50 years ago.
Rubio's doltishness is further underscored by the line "it's over & it isn't coming back." Thank you, Rubio, master of the obvious, for letting us know that the '60s are over.
The most damning aspect of the tweet, however, is Rubio's fond perception of a decade that the show worked so painstakingly to present in the darkest manner possible. Sure, there were numerous positive aspects of the '60s and early '70s — the sexual revolution, the start of the racial tide change, and other revolutions born out of the prominent counterculture, not to mention the fashion — but the crux of Mad Men was exposing the dark secrets beneath the happy American family exterior.
What Rubio could have touched upon in his tribute to the show was a connection to the unnerving similarities between the '60s and today — lingering hints of institutional racism, domestic violence, and the persisting pay gap. A better candidate ode to the show would be this message: Mad Men masterfully portrayed an era with painful accuracy, and if it has taught us anything it's that any negative aspects that still exist today are perhaps the most important issues to tackle first.
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