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“Take Back Illinois.” Seriously? Where Are We Taking It Back To?

02/03/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
There are political slogans that work. There are political slogans that fail. There are those political slogans that end up being the butt of jokes for ages to come. “Take Back Illinois” is bound for that final category. Republican Mark Kirk, who is running for President Obama’s old seat, has chosen this to be his slogan. It is a nice slogan. It is bound to help the Chicago and Illinois tourism industry as much as “Take Back Vermont” helped to boost the Vermont tourism industry. Given the economic outlook currently, that would be a very positive step. The problem is, as a slogan it is not really effective.

First of all, take back Illinois from whom? By choosing this slogan Mark Kirk has made it sound like he is trying to take back Illinois from some oppressive dictator. Perhaps he thinks that he is trying to take Illinois back from the orcish forces of Sauron instead of trying to run for elected office in the state of Illinois. Perhaps he is intending on storming the castle and rescuing the princess from the vile dragon and to take back the kingdom from the forces of evil rather than running to be one person among a hundred voting on legislation in the Senate.

A slogan like this might work if Kirk were running for governor. After all, he could argue that he is trying to take back Illinois from the forces of corruption found throughout the Illinois executive; however, is he planning on taking Illinois back from the United States or something?

Take Back Vermont was intended to try and build support to put an end to civil unions in the state. It had a clear objective, and a clear “enemy”, even if the majority of Vermonters thought that the slogan was silly. In the end, Take Back Vermont did more harm to their cause than help as people from outside the state bought souvenirs, and the people inside the state simply stopped buying from businesses which had that slogan up on their shops. In the end, many businesses in the state that supported Take Back Vermont folded because Vermont has enough of an LGBT Community coupled with a strong number of allies that those businesses simply ran out of customers.

Some slogans work. “Yes We Can” worked, at least until after the election. Seriously, however, Mark Kirk sounds like he’s trying to pick up Illinois and take it back home with him.

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