We decided that it makes more sense to reveal results in pairs, so the next matchup can commence immediately. And so, this is the last set of first round results; we'll be able to bring this thing home next week.
First up is Group C, which was the slogans from reform movements. Here are the results (winners in bold):
|Slogan 1||Pct.||Slogan 2||Pct.|
|Votes for Women||36.7%||Make Love, Not War||63.3%|
|Votes for Women||64.1%||There Is No Planet B||35.9%|
|Votes for Women||39.4%||#MeToo||60.6%|
|Make Love, Not War||83.7%||There Is No Planet B||16.3%|
|Make Love, Not War||53.9%||#MeToo||46.1%|
|There Is No Planet B||25.4%||#MeToo||74.6%|
That produces these results for Group C:
|Make Love, Not War||3||0||0|
|Votes for Women||1||2||0|
|There Is No Planet B||0||3||0|
It would seem the readers prefer making love to saving the planet. We guess we can't blame them.
A few reader comments on Group C:
S.C. in Mountain View, CA: My rankings for this round were:
In my mind, the first two clearly outranked the other two. I know that the "#MeToo" slogan definitely played (and is still playing) a major part in shining a light on the extent of sexual harassment and assault. As for Votes for Women, I'll take your historical word for the important role that it played in the suffrage movement (and there is no question that that was a very significant movement). I had a hard time deciding which of the two is/was more impactful. I finally decided to rank those two in chronological order, but I wouldn't argue with anyone who wanted to rank them the other way.
- Votes for Women
- There Is No Planet B
- Make Love, Not War
I put "Make Love, Not War," in last place because while I participated in anti-war protests while in college, and heard that slogan, I don't think it played an important part in rallying people against the war. And as far as I could tell it didn't play an important part in the sexual revolution either. It was just a cute slogan.
That leaves "There Is No Planet B" in third place by default. It is a cute pun on "There is no plan B." And while global warming is an existential threat, I don't see the slogan as playing an important part in rallying people to the cause. But as global warming is an ongoing crisis, whereas the Vietnam War is history, I would rank it higher than "Make Love, Not War."
B.A.R. in South Bend, IN: I voted for "#MeToo" because I feel that it made several generations of women realize that we have been subjected to a constant barrage of sexism throughout our personal and working lives. Sometimes it was subtle, sometimes it was brazen, but it was always there. As I saw millions of women tell their stories (and as I told mine), it made me realize that this was bulls***. I think it empowered a lot of women to make their voices heard, with their votes and with running for office themselves. The recent decision against Roe v Wade is just another version of the patriarchy, a bunch of men trying to tell women what to do (or what not to do). You didn't include this phrase but it's related to #MeToo: F*** the patriarchy!
P.J.T. in Raton, NM: I chose "Make Love, Not War" because it was the most impactful for me personally (not to negate the power or importance of the others). Your description of the slogan (over) emphasized its sexual dimension, so that you mostly overlooked its spiritual and moral resonance, and its other entendres, which resemble the core teachings of the Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, and presumably the Christ (though the American Evangelical Christianity of the likes of Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene seems increasingly a hate cult). Even in its naivety, "Make Love, Not War" isn't wrong. Love was the only power strong enough to stop the napalming of children and the horrors of My Lai... We do not burn people alive when Love is our motivation; we can act with mass violence, with aggressive acts of warfare, only when we dehumanize, animalize and vilify the "other," making them less than we. By contrast, we do not bomb, burn, execute or deplore whom we Love. We feed them, clothe and heal them, instead; we welcome them at our hearth. I believe The Beatles meant the same thing in their short and simple song, "The End:" "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." There are no other lyrics. Creating positive karma means we have the means to solve our problems peaceably, and to the benefit of All.
C.L. in Boulder, CO: I found the Word Cup's reform round particularly hard to vote on. If we could score candidates from 0 (no support) to 5 (max support), even if we weren't allowed to have any ties in the election round, all of the reform slogans are worthy of high scores in my opinion, compared to some of the less-worthy candidates in the other two rounds so far.
M.W. in St. Paul, MN: My initial reaction to this list was "Thanks Electoral-Vote for an impossible choice!" But the more I considered it, the easier the choice became. "There Is no Planet B" is certainly significant and a worthy addition, but when weighed as having impact in the moment, it pales compared to the other three. "#MeToo" feels the most impactful of them all, but that could be because we're still living through it. This represents a significant demographic finding their collective voice and the power it harnesses. Still, this movement really owes its moment to the sexual awakening represented in "Make Love, Not War." In that movement, women were realizing that body autonomy was a real and valid claim. I believe that lead directly to Roe v. Wade which, in turn, would provide the empowerment to energize "#MeToo." But the spiritual grandmother of them all has got to be "Votes For Women." That affirmed women HAD a voice to EMPOWER. Claiming that voice would lay the groundwork for the "Make Love, Not War" sexual revolution which would empower "#MeToo." With that line of succession, "Votes For Women" inherits all the power and impact of "Make Love, Not War," and "#MeToo." Easy choice.
J.Z. in St. Paul, MN: I've heard you can tell how old someone is by what they call this bit of punctuation: #. For someone my age (born in the 70s), it's called a pound sign. Needless to say, this makes for an unfortunate twist of meaning every time I see the slogan "#MeToo."
And now Group G, which was "The Fight for Equality":
|Slogan 1||Pct.||Slogan 2||Pct.|
|We Shall Overcome||84.3%||We're Here. We're Queer. Get Used to It!||15.7%|
|We Shall Overcome||90.8%||¡Sí, se puede!||9.2%|
|We Shall Overcome||64.1%||Black Lives Matter||35.9%|
|We're Here. We're Queer. Get Used to It!||68%||¡Sí, se puede!||32%|
|We're Here. We're Queer. Get Used to It!||25.9%||Black Lives Matter||74.1%|
|¡Sí, se puede!||18.9%||Black Lives Matter||81.1%|
That produces these results for Group G:
|We Shall Overcome||3||0||0|
|Black Lives Matter||2||1||0|
|We're Here. We're Queer. Get Used to It!||1||2||0|
|¡Sí, se puede!||0||3||0|
Few slogans have romped in this competition the way that "We Shall Overcome" did. It has the potential to overcome the whole field. Meanwhile, as to "¡Sí, se puede!" it turns out that "¡No, nosotros no podemos!", at least in this context.
A few reader comments on Group G:
B.C. in Manhattan Beach, CA: What a tough set of match-ups!
In my opinion, "We Shall Overcome" wins, just on the basis of longevity. But it was also extremely impactful.
I heard something within that last two or three days that Martin Luther King Jr. came to tears when he heard Lyndon B. Johnson use the phrase in a (televised?) address. The witness to those tears said that it really struck MLK that LBJ was an ally for the cause at that point.
Too early to tell about "Black Lives Matter." Personally, I think there would have been less controversy about that phrase if it had been "Black Lives Matter, Too." Much harder to dispute.
"¡Sí, se puede!" has also had staying power. But there remains lots to be accomplished with the farmworkers and other organized labor.
And, of course, the Gay Rights Movement has had great success of late—but I think their original slogan has not had the same staying power. I thought it was a good observation that the huge difference in the last 10 to 15 to 20 years has been that more people have come out of the closet, and their friends and relatives have accepted them—and by extension, the LGBTQ+ movement generally.
B.B. in Westminster, MD: I hesitate sending this as it reflects poorly on my decision making skills as a child, but I was commenting to my brother the other week about my children's gender-neutral dating habits; they are too young to be sexually active, but they have dated (holding hands, kissing, etc.) both boys and girls and asked if he could have imagined as a kid in the 90's when gay-bashing was the cool thing to do that we would be at a point where being gay would be the cool thing to do. As kids, we knew the slogan "We're Here. We're Queer. Get Used to It!" and would use it as a joke, but look at what's happened. Representation in the media exploded in the 90's and by the 2000's gay marriage was a serious political issue, even though homosexuality remained illegal in several states. And now, we have generally moved to broad acceptance. I think the slogan was not only catchy but also an instruction to society for how they should overcome their fears and move towards where we are today.
D.M. in Granite Bay, CA: This was the first stage that really compelled me to vote, specifically for "Black Lives Matter." Maybe partly because it's still fresh but it is also immediately timeless in both directions, all the way back to the origins of our nation. It is frustrating that we have a need for this movement but I am thankful that is has taken hold.
J.M. in Portland, OR: When I saw "We Shall Overcome" as the first entry on your list I thought that was that. It conjurs up memories that carry real power and emotion. Then I got down to "Black Live Matter." I had to give the nod to that one just because of its freshness. There is no nostalgia associated with that phrase, it is as alive and powerful today as the first time I heard it.
R.H. in Santa Ana, CA: First time I saw Doña Delores was at a small gathering, at which I asked her "What made you and Cesar think it was possible to organize the farm workers?"
She replied "I did not think it was possible, but I knew it was NECESSARY."
Most likely she'd been asked that question before, but that was the answer she gave, without hesitation.
L.S. in Greensboro, NC: Wow, this is the toughest group yet. With every previous set there was a clear #1, or at most a top 2 (which will advance them to the knockout round). But in this one all four are great, impactful slogans. It's going to be very tough to figure out how to vote. The one thing I can say for sure, there will be slogans advancing from some of the other rounds that are inferior to the two that get knocked out her. Clearly this is the "Group of Death"!
S.S. in Toronto, ON, Canada: I was kind of expecting to see both "Black Power" and "Black is Beautiful," which predated "Black Lives Matter." As a teenager in the 60s, I remember those first two as being quite earth-shaking and eye-opening. I almost think they had more effect than the later, noisier "Black Lives Matter"—which, of course, was very powerful on a different level—but the latter, certainly, in my opinion, rose directly on the foundation of "Black Power" and "Black is Beautiful."
Here are all the ballots for this round of the Word Cup:
We'll reveal the results of this round on Tuesday, so get your votes in no later than 10 p.m. ET Monday. And we continue to appreciate comments on any or all of these matchups. (Z)