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Thu Nov 20, 2014, 11:23 AM

What's in a Name?

Let’s try a little mental exercise here. Suppose that you were competing in DU Jeopardy. You pick “Democratic Presidents” for 1,000. The question requires that you provide a name for Grover Cleveland’s presidency.

Tick-tock-tick-tock …..

The “New Freedom”? “New Deal”? “Fair Deal”? “New Frontier”? Maybe the “Great Society”? Nope. These were, of course, the names associated with the democratic presidents that followed Cleveland, up through 1968. (The republican scoundrel Richard Nixon is, of course, remembered for “Watergate.” )

After winning the presidency in 1976, Jimmy Carter became the first democrat in the White House since Cleveland to not have a name for his overall program goals. I think it is fair to say that both at the time, and looking back, his presidency did not have the focus of those before him. While neither Clinton or Obama have had labels for their agendas, it has been easier than with Carter to identify what their focus has been.

Thus, I am curious if you think there is any advantage to having such descriptions of intent? Does it help the various factions within the party to identify with what an administration’s goals are? Might it highlight what the true agenda of the republican opposition is all about?

There is no “right” or “wrong” answer. Rather, it is simple a matter of opinion.

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Reply What's in a Name? (Original post)
H2O Man Nov 2014 OP
tk2kewl Nov 2014 #1
H2O Man Nov 2014 #2
tk2kewl Nov 2014 #3

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Nov 20, 2014, 11:39 AM

1. I think it is good to be able to define policy achievements that have changed society by naming them


this is true regardless of whether there effects are positive or negative, which may of course depend on ones point of view.

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Response to tk2kewl (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 20, 2014, 01:57 PM

2. I agree.

Thanks for your response.

I'm not sure exactly why, but this thought popped into my mind late last night, when I was reading a couple threads here regarding Mondale and the 1984 democratic primary. One of the aspects being discussed was getting registered democrats to buy into and support our candidate -- a dynamic that could well be in play in 2016.

I know that the concept I discussed in the OP might sound unimportant, or even shallow. But when I was thinking of how the media is used by corporations and republicans to define various politicians -- "Morning in America" and Reagan being the grossest example -- I started thinking back to some of the more important presidencies.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 20, 2014, 02:06 PM

3. shallow or not, it's a reality of the social media/meme/twitter world we live in...


so if there is a way to convey a broad collection of ideas in short descriptive terms, i think it's important. of course i wish more people would dig deeper and deliberate on/discuss/debate the issues, but the republicans have proved that branding is unfortunately more influential than substance

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