Slogans Anyone? Candidates’ Battle Cries

bagpiper-graphicSo what’s a “slogan,” anyway? According to Online Etymology Dictionary, the word was first used in the political sense in 1704, borrowed from the Geilic “sluagh-ghairm, ” the battle cry of Scottish Highland or Irish clans.

In this year’s ugly presidential race, we have slogans ranging from Hillary’s bland “Stronger Together” to Donald’s dog-whistling “Make America Great Again.”

You call those battle cries? Take a look at the campaign of 1884 when Grover Cleveland & James Blaine duked it out with attack slogans.

Cleveland went after Blaine for his unethical dealings with the railroad industry: “Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, the Continental Liar From the State of Maine.”

Here’s Blaine lambasting Cleveland who had fathered a child out of wedlock: “Ma, Ma, Where’s My Pa? Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha.”

Seriously I suspect the ugliness of the 2016 campaign will not end with the election results. It’s not news that we’ve become a polarized society, & I suspect there are some fractured families & relationships that might never be repaired.

While I don’t like Hillary, she has my vote–I have ten dollars riding on her, & I fear Donald, a man who delights in stirring up hostilities & whose foundation rests on lies & broken promises. But he seems to have convinced a lot of disenfranchised people that he’s their savior. I feel for those people. They deserve better.

While I have strong feelings, I don’t want those feelings to get in the way of friendship. So I’ll end this post with a slogan of my own: “Let the Healing Begin.”

What are your thoughts?

9 thoughts on “Slogans Anyone? Candidates’ Battle Cries

  1. I am in accord with “Let the Healing Begin”. I, too, voted for Hillary. I find some of the things we hear about her very questionable – questions both underlining my support and undermining it. But the alternative is truly frightening. “I love war”, “I love debt”, the stiffing of contractors, the denigration of women, and a clear lack of understanding of the word diplomacy, are only a few of the reasons that I fear Trump.

    It is somewhat heartening to be reminded that elections were more than contentious in years gone by. We believed out society had evolved to be more civil and respectful of differing opinions. Clearly, we were wrong.

    1. My hope is that most of Trump ‘s support came from people who voted for him in spite of the rhetoric of hate & misogyny, not because of it.

  2. Lincoln said much the same thing: “Let us bind up the Nation’s wounds.” We survived the Civil War and its aftermath. We will get past this.

  3. Yes, Lincoln said those words after four years of a horrible war that left dead hundreds of thousands of Americans. Lest we forget, the election year preceding the war had a passel of righteous and angry Southern politicians and other elites spewing hyperbolic language and rhetoric. They were willing to destroy the country to preserve their way of life, and they convinced gullible, poor young men to die for a right to own a black person. Words always matter.

  4. I’m just incredibly sad, and I’m also nervous about the way our fundamental freedoms could change with the election of this demagogue. Some have pointed, too, to the fact that, after eight years of hard work by President Obama (with a notable lack of partisan cooperation), everything that was delicately poised to propel us into a time of reaping some well-deserved rewards now could go out the window. An EPA that doesn’t believe in climate change? Medical coverage for existing conditions suddenly abolished? Trade deals negotiated by an administration made up of one-percenters? All of this under the “leadership” of a racist/misogynist who clearly wants to close doors rather than open them? What will America look like in four years?

    Anyone want to get on the bandwagon with me and start pushing for Elizabeth Warren for President in 2020?

    Thanks for the opportunity to speak my piece. Now let’s get back to what’s important: writing and reading and thinking.

    1. I’m with you, Patsy! Elizabeth Warren would get my hard work and my vote. I’m nervous about what the next four years will bring.

      Leanna, my husband and I were talking about the “Make America Great Again” slogan and its success just yesterday. It reminds me of a story I heard told by Geraldine Ferraro. During the ’84 election cycle, she was visiting blue collar workers who told her they planned to vote for Reagan. She asked them how they could vote for a man whose policies adversely affected them. One worker said, “With him, we’re standing tall.”
      I’m not suggesting Mr. Trump’s election hinged on his campaign slogan, but I think the slogan appealed to a lot of dissatisfied folks in a way that was hard to counter.

      Excellent (and prescient) blog post!

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