ranchandsyrup

Ask your wife, Nancy Reagan. I know she’ll spit that game.

Turning a famous quote into a one sentence slogan necessarily involves stripping the quote from context. Absent context and original intent, a moment of brilliance and eloquence becomes a blunt instrument of confirmation bias.

Two examples from Ronald Reagan:

Slogan: Government is not the solution, it is the problem.

Full Quote: “In the present crisis, government is not the solution, it is the problem”.

The slogan seems to say that government is always the problem. The full quote limits that concept to a particular time and issues.

Slogan: Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

Full Quote: ““Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago?
Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago?
Is America as respected throughout the world as it was?
Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we’re as strong as we were four years ago?”

The slogan posits the general question. The full quote provides insight on what President Reagan thought should be the scope of the question and how to go about answering it.

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2 thoughts on “Ask your wife, Nancy Reagan. I know she’ll spit that game.

  1. Cuddles McBelly on said:

    Good evening Doctor!

    While I feel fairly certain I can answer the second question/quote in the negative on all points (subjective as it is), I’m not sure I agree with your interpretation of the first. I would ask your permission to presume that we are of the “sound byte” generation and I, in my humble opinion, don’t find the omission of “in the present crisis” particularly damning, as you may mean to purvey.

    Please forgive my impertinence, I mean no offense, I truly believe we both abhor “contextomy”.

    All my love!

    J. D. Carey, Sr.

    PS. You miss me.

    • It’s true, I do miss you Joe.
      My point is that GOP’ers are saying that Reagan fixed things. If we just use that playbook again, it will work again. But the problems are different compared to then. They don’t seem to care that the problems get fixed, only how the problems are solved. I’m more focused on results rather than process, frankly.

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