Slogans & Intelligence

Slogans pervade human society, appearing on bumper stickers, on yard signs, in commercial ads and, especially during this election year, in the rhetoric of politicians.  Designed to make a point and sway opinion, slogans are simplistic statements that, while easy to remember, have little value in human discourse.

Those most fond of slogans tend to be those who have a black-white, good-evil, right-wrong view of life.  The simple message of a slogan either directly agrees with or directly contradicts their personal belief, reinforcing their conviction that the issues we face have but two solutions, both of which will yield predictable consequences.  In their mind, debate and compromise have nothing to offer.

In my experience, individuals receptive to slogans are less educated, less experienced and more provincial than other members of society.  After all, education, experience and worldliness open our minds to the complexity of human life, including our personal development, our relationships and our social interdependence.  Slogans rely on ignorance for maximum effect; intelligence blunts their message.