A good presidential candidate is nothing without marketing, especially regarding their slogans. Who could forget Obama’s “Hope” campaign? Or Ronald Reagan’s “Let’s Make America Great Again” slogan? These slogans often become synonymous with the politicians they represent - but often, they are spoken or plastered on paraphernalia without much thought as to what they mean. So let’s break it down.
“Make America Great Again”
The slogan Make America Great Again (MAGA) has gone hand-in-hand with the Trump presidency since his presidential campaign 2016 but started in his unsuccessful 2012 run. Though the phrase is vague in the official sense and does not refer to a specific time when America was “great,” Reuters asked Trump voters what it meant to them. Among the answers were: "Better economy, stronger borders, lower taxes, better international agreements, Donald Trump, conservative judges, more freedom, and anti-immigration” policies.
The Millennial businessman from Ohio has clearly outlined what “Truth” means to the campaign, citing a Ten Commandments-style thesis.
“God is real.”
“There are two genders.”
“Human flourishing requires fossil fuels.”
“Reverse racism is racism.”
“An open border is no border.”
“Parents determine the education of their children.”
“The nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to mankind.”
“Capitalism lifts people from poverty.”
“There are three branches of the U.S. government, not four.”
“The U.S. Constitution is the strongest guarantor of freedoms in history.”
This appeals to a more conservative and libertarian audience, outlining these things as objective and basing his platform on these objective truths.
“Never Back Down”
DeSantis is capitalizing off his “winning streak” in his political career. The DeSantis campaign, “Never Back Down,” emphasizes his commitment to fight and win the tough battles; his website cites “tackling woke corporations, fighting for parents and keeping indoctrination out of our classrooms, refusing to bow to Dr. Fauci’s draconian COVID recommendations, and keeping his state open and free while creating an economic powerhouse.” His website also states that he has “never lost an election.” DeSantis has claimed that he has kept every promise to Floridians and intends to do the same for America.
“Because the truth matters.”
Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor, launched his campaign with a slogan similar to Vivek Ramaswamy's: “Because the truth matters.” Though Christie does not exactly spell out what that means, his primary campaign video emphasizes celebrating and loving one another, differences and all. He also mentions that, despite its imperfection, America is “the greatest, freest country the world has ever known.” Essentially, Christie emphasizes love, unity, and celebration of our differences and uniting in our shared identity as Americans.
“Stand for America”
Nikki Haley’s slogan, “Stand for America,” represents “Freedom at home, strength abroad,” as well as “policies that strengthen America’s economy, culture, and national security.” On the “Stand for America” website, Haley breaks down what this looks like.
Domestically, Haley wants to combat socialism and high taxes, loosen regulations, government healthcare, and an unsecured border.
We have seen true evil across the globe. We will never stop fighting for what makes America great. But we must do it together. We must remember that what unites Americans is stronger than what divides us politically. Each of us has a part to play, and we need you to stand up with us to keep our country safe, strong, and prosperous.”
As for foreign policy, Haley states that Islamic terrorism, Communism, dictators, drug traffickers, and Russia continue to threaten and oppress not only their people but want to do the same to the American people. She calls for a unification of the country to fight these stated threats.
“Together, we can finish the job for the American people.”
Though current President Joe Biden has no official slogan, his website claims that there’s a job to be finished for the American people. He claims that all Americans are equal and deserve an equal opportunity at success, but “MAGA extremists” are threatening that by cutting social security, taking away voting rights, as well as limiting freedom to marry laws. Joe Biden seemingly claims that he wants to “finish the job” and reinstate these freedoms that “extremists” have threatened.
“Dedicated to the people”
Williamson has built her campaign on connecting with the common American, and “dedicated to the people” means to “support profound, positive, and peaceful change in America - now and for generations to come.” Her homepage video states a dedication to rebuilding the middle class akin to what it was like when she was growing up, supporting universal healthcare, free college tuition at state schools, free childcare, guaranteed living wage, and paternity and maternity leave. Additionally, she wants to keep promises instead of speaking empty words. Her “dedicated to the people” campaign appears to be dedicated to an economic base.
Robert F Kennedy, Jr
“Declare Your Independence: We will end the forever wars, clean up government, increase wealth for all, and tell Americans the truth.”
Son of famed politician Robert F Kennedy (RFK), Kennedy appealed to a more libertarian audience by challenging the establishment government of the military industrial complex, becoming more transparent, and giving Americans an economic boost. Thus, he wants Americans to “declare their independence” from wars funded by the military-industrial complex, corruption, and economic hardship. His website also states how he wants to end Wall Street corruption.
Wikipedia. “Make America Great Again.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Make_America_Great_Again
Vivek 2024. “Truths.” Vivek 2024. https://www.vivek2024.com/truths/
Chris Christie for President Inc. “Love This Country Again.” Chris Christie for President Inc. https://chrischristie.com/
Never Back Down. “Never Back Down.” Never Back Down, Inc. https://neverbackdown.org/
Stand For America. “Stand For America.” Stand For America. https://standforamerica.com/
Biden For President. “Joe Biden Launches His Campaign For President: Let’s Finish the Job.” Biden For President. https://joebiden.com/
Marianne Williamson for President. “Marianne Williamson is Running For President.” Marianne Williamson for President. https://marianne2024.com/
Team Kennedy. “Declare Your Independence.” Kennedy24. https://www.kennedy24.com/
Reuters Graphics. “What MAGA means to Trump voters.” Thomsonreuters.com. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yApXuU7QVqGrlDFTtuFGNrQlKddSyfvxLnjOwn638rA/edit