The Word Cup: Championship Round
And so we come to the final matchup. It's taken a while, but that's sometimes how it goes. Anyhow, without further
ado, we can reveal that carrying the banner for the presidential slogans will be "A New Deal for America" (74.5%), which
defeats "Hope" (25.5%). And for the non-presidential slogans, it will be "We Shall Overcome" (52.4%), in a victory over
"Give Me Liberty of Give Me Death" (47.6%) that was much narrower than we expected. That leaves you with an absolutely
brutal choice between "A New Deal for America" and "We Shall Overcome."
Here are some reader comments on this round:
- S.D.R. in Raleigh, NC: "A New Deal for America" defeats "Hope": It's been almost a century,
and everyone still knows what the New Deal is. Furthermore, it's had numerous imitators: the New Convenant, the New
Frontier, the Green New Deal. The impact of Barack Obama's slogan is much more limited.
"Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!" defeats "We Shall Overcome": This is a difficult one. Without "Give Me Liberty or Give
Me Death", there might not be a United States. But "We Shall Overcome" galvanized the movement to create one of the
greatest steps forward in American society. I ultimately chose the former because I feel it has more persuasive power
as a slogan, but I'm honestly not convinced I made the right call.
- M.L. in West Hartford, CT: I think you missed the boat on the Obama slogan. When I think
of that campaign, the slogan I think of is not "Hope" but "Yes, we can!" This slogan encompasses the theme of hope, but
says something about who we are as Americans and how we tend to see the world. It is hopeful and optimistic, but also
suggests that we will actively shape the future of our lives and our world and not just sit around waiting for it to
This slogan not only helped carry President Obama to victory, buoyed by a campaign song written by will.i.am, but
reverberates today in the chants of many activists, especially in labor unions (where it is heard in both English and
I don't know whether "Yes, we can!" would've prevailed over the other contenders in this tournament, but I do consider
it a more impactful slogan than "Hope," which is mainly famous due to Shepherd Fairey's indelible use of it in his
famous Obama portrait.
- S.B. in Los Angeles, CA: "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!" is a universal and very
powerful slogan applicable to all peoples throughout the ages all the way down to the present and even beyond. The
other slogans are memorable but kind of stuck in their eras.
- S.S. in West Hollywood, CA: "Hope" and "We Shall Overcome" because they both still ignite
that little fire of optimism that I need right now.
- R.E.M. in Brooklyn, NY: The best presidential campaign slogans are aspirational. The
difference is that "A New Deal for America" became a reality, while "Hope" sadly remains only aspirational in 2023.
Patrick Henry was an enslaver and trafficker in human beings. "We Shall Overcome" overcomes the hypocrisy behind
Henry's "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!"
- K.H. in Albuquerque, NM: I went with "Hope" even though "A New Deal for America" has
almost a hundred years of an impactful track record (see: Security, Social). "Hope" brought us 8 years of Obama, an
unfortunate reactionary 4 years of Trump, and hopefully 8 years of Biden/Harris. Its impact has been profound, yet is
Similarly, "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!" has an impactful track record of over two centuries (see: America,
United States of). It just forgot that liberty for black slaves was not included. "We Shall Overcome" has brought that
teeny oversight into focus in a process that continues to this day. Hopefully, its impact will continue to be felt.
is the final ballot, and don't forget to send in
on the clash of the titans. Final results on Friday. (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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