Vote Now: A Six-Word Motto for the U.S.

We ran a contest recently asking you to come up with a new six-word motto for the U.S. Your response was quite strong, with more than 1,200 replies to date. Anyone looking for a good snapshot of public sentiment during this most interesting election year would do well to scroll through the comments: they are pretty damn illuminating, and not remotely sanguine.

The earliest comments tended to lean fairly hard to the left. Then, apparently because the contest was picked up on some right-leaning blogs, a long round of corrective mottoes came pouring in. Upon entering this fray, a cynic might give our motto contest the following motto:

Leftists Whine; Rightists Parry; Bedlam Accomplished

Or perhaps this:

Dead Split Between Patriots and Hatriots

Considering that this blog at least occasionally concerns itself with economics, I was surprised there weren’t more suggestions having to do with free markets, maybe something like this:

Creative Destruction at Its Very Finest

In the end, there were so many good, thoughtful, funny, heartfelt, and nasty suggestions that it was self-evidently beyond our ability to just pick a winner. So we narrowed the entries down to the following five finalists. Please vote for your choice below, and the motto with the most votes within 48 hours of this post will be declared the winner.

1. The Most Gentle Empire So Far

2. You Should See the Other Guy

3. Caution! Experiment in Progress Since 1776

4. Just Like Canada, With Better Bacon

5. Our Worst Critics Prefer to Stay

Marc Warner

It has to be 5!


..but none of the above really do it for me.


#5 (although I like #3 at close second). I also have one for Canada: America's Cap (from a t-shirt I once saw).



Tony Pearson

#5 (I like #3, but forgets/ignores that part of America are the native Americans that were here long before 1776)

Carl Beyer



#5. Hands down.












#1 "The Most Gentle Empire So Far"




5. Our Worst Critics Prefer to Stay


Definitely #1.





it both encapulates the the fact that america is a pretty decent place, but also that it is not quite perfect and could use improvement. it reafirms that many internal critics of america have a fundamental respect and appreciation for it, and as such a critic i deeply respect that.



Charles D


If I could vote against one it would be #4, the mention of Canada should be reason to ban any slogan.