The Word Cup, Round 4: The End Is Nigh
We're going to wrap up the slogans contest this week so we can move on to the blunders bracket. The latter is all
ready to go, and will commence on Friday.
Anyhow, in the quarterfinals of the presidential slogans, these were the results:
- Hope (66.6%) defeats Make America Great Again (33.4%)
- A New Deal for America (78%) defeats Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too! (22%)
We thought "Make America Great Again" might just nip "Hope"; we certainly did not anticipate a blowout in the other
direction. On the other hand, we did expect "A New Deal for America" to win in a walk.
A few reader comments on these matchups:
- P.W. in Springwater, NY: I also voted for "Tippecanoe" over "New Deal," which was not my
original plan. I do think the New Deal, as FDR envisioned it, was impactful at the time and still impactful today.
Social Security and other safety net programs are ingrained in our society, no matter how many times others try to
reverse or repeal them. But in thinking about the impact on the election, given where the country was in 1932, I think
FDR would have won with any slogan—or no slogan at all. But Harrison? It always seemed to me that the slogan really
helped put him over the top.
- M.F. in Burbank, CA: "Make American Great Again" over "Hope." Each slogan helped its
respective candidate into the White House, but only one really survived after that person left. Many people are still
actively trying to "Make America Great Again," and likely will for a long time, but "Hope" is nowhere to be found. MAGA
Republicans are very much a thing. Hope Democrats are not. And since I am trying to choose which slogan has greater
impact, and not which slogan I like better (or which candidate I like better), in my mind "MAGA" has defeated what
little "Hope" I have left.
- S.D.R. in Raleigh, NC: "Hope" defeats "MAGA," because of course it does
"A New Deal for America" defeats "Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too!" The former actually promises something, whereas the latter
- M.N. in Lake Ann, MI: I had a hunch from the start that "Hope" and "Make America Great Again"
would end up head-to-head. I had to think long and hard about this because I don't think we can deny that MAGA set off a
chain of events that is still ongoing, and that seems like the definition of impactful, even if the impact is negative.
That said, "Hope" also set off a long chain of events, and one could even argue that "Hope" led directly to "MAGA." I decided
I wanted to be on the side of "Hope."
And... I had to vote to "Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too!" because I was born a Hoosier and went to university at Purdue, in
And in the quarterfinals of the non-presidential slogans, these were the results:
- We Shall Overcome (78.8%) defeats Black Lives Matter (21.2%)
- Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! (95.5%) defeats Remember the Alamo! (4.5%)
That first matchup included two titans, but in the end, "We Shall Overcome" overcame. And as to
remembering the Alamo, well, the readers largely did not.
The reader comments on these matchups:
- J.N. in Las Vegas, NV: The choice between "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!" and
"Remember the Alamo" was a tough one, and I suspect I've come down on the losing side. My first reaction was to go with
Patrick Henry, reasoning that without the Revolutionary War and our split from Britain, there would never have been a
Texas rebellion, so "Give me Liberty" is de facto more impactful.
But the reality is that Henry made his passionate call to arms in Virginia less than a month before British troops
marched toward Lexington and Concord and more than a month after the crown declared that Massachusetts was in a state of
rebellion. In other words, Patrick Henry's speech is a fantastic bit of writing but likely had a minimal impact.
On the other hand, an independent Texas was not pre-ordained. The refusal of Santa Anna to take prisoners, instead
slaughtering the garrison including those who surrendered, galvanized public opinion both within an independent Texas
and inside the United States. The army of Texas experienced a large surge in recruitment and went on to win the Battle
of San Jacinto and eventually the war. A decade later Texas was part of the U.S. when we went to war with Mexico.
Ultimately there is more reason to believe that "Remember the Alamo" had a tangible impact on history than Patrick
Henry's fiery speech.
It is, to put it plainly, in vain to extenuate the matter.
- S.D.R. in Raleigh, NC: "We Shall Overcome" defeats "Black Lives Matter." I sincerely hope
that in the long run BLM will be as impactful as WSO has been. But at this moment WSO is the clear winner.
"Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!" defeats "Remember the Alamo!" The question is which is more impactful on American
history, not Texas history. And without the sentiment behind "Give Me Liberty," there wouldn't be an American history to have an
- B.C. in Walpole, ME:
- O.B. in Los Angeles, CA: There would have been a Civil Rights Movement with or without "We
Shall Overcome." I am not sure there would have been a movement without the slogan "Black Lives Matter."
In the other matchup, I voted for "Give Me Liberty," because I make a habit of messing with Texas, whenever possible.
is the next ballot; and please do keep
sending those comments in.
The finalists will be unveiled tomorrow, so you have about 18 hours to cast your vote. (Z)
This item appeared on www.electoral-vote.com. Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news,
Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.
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