Political slogans are among the pillars of any campaign. In just a couple of words or a single memorable, fates are decided.
It's all in the branding.
Donald Trump co-oped Ronald Reagan's 1980 slogan, “Let's Make America Great Again.” And it has become the rallying call for a new reactionary movement within the Republican Party. The motto fuels nostalgic voters, many who long to return to a time when they believed America was great.
While inspiring, and on its face relatively positive, Trump’s signature slogan is framed by a darker undertone. Coupling the slogan with his xenophobic and aggressive comments about Hispanics, Muslims and women, some perceive a more troubling message.
Joy-Ann Reid of MSNBC, for example, gave her take on "Meet the Press" this Sunday: “What Donald Trump sort of hit upon with his ‘Make America Great Again’ message is this sense of nostalgia, that a certain kind of white, particularly white voter has for a bygone era, and it gets right to it.”
The vagueness of the words “great” and “again” work perfectly for a candidate who is more a personality and less an ideologue; one who comes without a robust set of policies. Instead, Trump has marketed himself as a proponent of nativism, a political position that preserves a country for established citizens, not immigrants.
Thus, the policy prescriptions that Trump has touted loudly, i.e., a wall on our Southern border and a ban on Muslims entering the United States, may prop up his "great" and "again" claims.
Hillary Clinton’s experience with media slogans in 2016 has been rockier.
“I’m with her” and “Hillary for America” have now made way for “Stronger Together,” a sign that the campaign has yet to find a slogan that sticks. Whereas Clinton has the substance, with a track record to back up her candidacy, she lacks an inspiring quality seen in Barack Obama or that some experience with Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Still, Hillary Clinton will need to motivate Democrats and millennials to win in November -- and a catchy slogan can help brand her as a unifier. “Stronger Together” sounds like a plea to the Sanders supporters who refuse to leave the primary stage. While many agree that Democrats can only succeed “together,” a smaller contingent disagree on Clinton to carry that banner.