As we approach the elections of ’22 and ’24, Republicans have so many, many targets: inflation, gas prices, illegal immigration, fentanyl flowing in through open borders, crime and murder surging, killings of police officers, the war in Ukraine caused by U.S. weakness, the domination of education by the radical left that shuts out parents from decision making, the stifling of charter schools, runaway government spending, enormous deficits and federal debt, increasingly rising interest rates that endanger economic recovery, ongoing unjustified and unneeded restrictions on our liberty left over from COVID, Iranian progress toward nuclear weapons, encroachments on the Second Amendment, the counter-culture and so many more.
How to summarize them for a political campaign? What slogan can possibly express the range of our concerns and the fact that all these problems did not exist when Trump was president, and the Republicans ran Congress?
My suggestion is: Had enough?
The ideas of Marshall McLuhan, so well elucidated in his 1964 classic Understanding Media and his 1967 work The Medium Is the Massage, explain how any good political slogan acts as a catalyst, stimulating the voter to take an inner mental trip through his own mind and find the ideas the slogan elicits. The power of the slogan rests entirely on what is in the voters’ minds. If all it brings is a shrug, it does not work. But if the voters’ grievances are so many and so deeply felt that the slogan triggers a lengthily list of heartbreaks and headaches, it has hit home powerfully.
The mass of discontents brought on by the misgovernment of the Biden Administration will likely unleash a torrent of anguish if catalyzed by the right slogan.
“Had enough?” has a good track record as a successful slogan. In 1946, facing the daunting task of ending decades of Democratic Congressional majorities, the GOP scarcely knew where to turn. Post-war inflation and the unemployment of retiring servicemen coupled with the growing menace of Stalin’s Russia, post-war food shortages, the corruption of the Truman Administration and a nation-wide railroad strike baffled Republican strategists. Unable to choose a singular focus, they asked voters if they had “had enough” of Democratic rule. It turned out they had. The GOP captured control of both houses, gaining fifty-six sets in the House and twelve in the Senate.
“Had enough?” will have a different meaning for each voter as it resonates with his or her specific problems and word view. Just as Trump’s successes and Biden’s failures have no one focus but proceed across a broad spectrum of issues, so the slogan “Had Enough?” gives voters the intellectual leeway, in effect, to each design his own campaign.
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