The media has often compared Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” to Barack Obama’s “Hope and change” slogan. In reality, of course, they are total opposites.
To his credit, Chairman Obama made it clear from the outset of his reign that his hope was to fundamentally change America. And even though he hasn’t fully completed the project, he’s come a long way toward achieving his dream of dividing the country into tribes who hate one another, bringing America to its financial knees, and, ultimately, reducing it to the status of a third world country.
On the other hand, Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan acknowledges our Dear Leader’s success in reducing America to a bankrupt, feckless joke and wants to return the country to its once prominent position as a beacon of freedom and prosperity. Whether he can accomplish such a feat if he’s elected remains to be seen, but the meaning of the slogan is clear.
Whether for good or evil, slogans are powerful tools for manipulating the masses, because they can often override the facts. Some are so powerful, in fact, that even if they fail to produce results, they find a way to rise from the ashes decades — or even hundreds — of years later only to be used again as if they were new ideas.
As Thomas Sowell has said, “Everything is new if a person is ignorant of history.” In other words, people who have tapioca between their ears are great targets for slogans.
Adolf Hitler was a master sloganeer, and one of his best was, “Society’s needs come before the individual’s needs.” In other words, fall in line and do what you’re told.
Not to be outdone, more than fifty years later, Frau Clinton recycled Hitler’s words when she said, “We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society.” Even Bernie Sanders has to love that one.
Beware of slogans. As totalitarian regimes throughout history have demonstrated, some slogans can be deadly. But even those that are well intended should never be used as a substitute for facts. This is especially true when it comes to politics. Groucho Marx had it right when he said, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”