5, 6, 7, 8 Let’s take the time to contemplate . . . the eruption of slogans we have seen and heard in the past year, from the powerful words of politicians behind the podium to the voices of people chanting in unison for their cause to be heard.
Slogans continue to categorize political eras, organizational goals, and notable movements. Remember Tea Party members’ “Tell the Truth” and “You Will Fail! We Will Prevail! God Bless America!” or the people of Egypt shouting “Down, down, Hosni Mubarak!” and “Leave! Leave! Leave!”? More recently, while Capitol Hill takes on the Federal Budget, the papers have been buzzing about statements like Speaker of the House John Boehner’s “So be it” and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s “Show us the jobs!” Meanwhile, public schools in my hometown of Madison, WI have been closed for a third consecutive day as teachers storm the state capital with other public sector workers to oppose Governor Scott Walker’s “budget repair bill.” Protesters in Madison are using a range of slogans from the old, strong, and familiar “Kill the Bill!” (also used by the Tea Party to President Obama) to the new and driven “Hosni Walker!” It’s incredible how such short sayings manage to represent such a wide range of sentiments, from outraged to demanding, apathetic to desperate, empathetic to emphatic.
So, let’s take a moment to explore the rhetoric of slogans. What exactly makes these short, determined statements so memorable and effective? What other words have been imprinted on your memory? How do slogans determine so much in so few words?