Thursday, June 03, 2004

Campaign Slogan Ruminations

Mr. Kerry's campaign braintrust deserves some degree of praise for selecting a campaign slogan from the words of a classic American poet. Expressing one's campaign theme through the poetic words of one of America's finest writers seems an excellent idea.  However, Cotton Mather is nonplussed by the actual bit of verse that Kerry's group selected for this purpose. "Let America be America again?" Indeed, Cotton sat stone-faced and disenchanted following the revelation of said slogan, unsure how one is supposed to respond to its utterance.  In the context of the Langston Hughes poem, the phrase makes a powerful point; ripped from that context, it becomes vapid blather, subject to any interpretation one chooses to give it. Nonetheless, Cotton is most pleased with the general concept of deriving campaign slogans from traditional American verse, and will reflect upon a more appropriate slogan for Mr. Kerry along these line! s. In the meantime, Cotton humbly suggests the following bits of poetry fit well with the purposes of other candidates, present or future:

George W. Bush would profit by adopting a bit of e.e.cummings:

"next to of course god America i love you
o land of the pilgrims and so forth oh"

Bill Clinton, should he seek future office, could turn to L. Hughes as well:

"The steel of freedom does not stain"

Rick Santorum's concern with non-traditional relationships is encapsulated well in this verse of cummings':

"the way to hump a cow is not
to elevate your tool
but drop a penny in the slot
and bellow like a bool"

Cotton will continue his musings on this topic . . .


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