Daisy Ad or Peace Little Girl Ad was aired only once during the 1964 election from the offices of incumbent President Lyndon Johnson, but went viral and proved effective. Watch the ad and see the fear in the eyes of the little girl against nuclear war. President Lyndon Johnson’s opponent was Barry Goldwater, a republican and senator from Arizona. He was the first to invoke the “Law & Order” slogan to win an election. He talked extensively about using nuclear weapons against the Vietnam war, abolishing social welfare programs,and he also propagated more power to police. But when Lyndon Johnson talked of keeping American boys safe at home and not sending the American troops to war in Vietnam, his promise appealed to the American voters. And, Lyndon Johnson won the election in a landslide victory. He had won 44 of the 50 states, and his popularity vote at 61.1% still remains the highest. Senator Goldwater’s “Law & Order” shouts did not land well with the voters in 1964, but soon in the future the same slogan will get used by Ronald Reagan.
President Trump is using the slogan Law & Order frequently in his tweets. In simple terms, Law & Order means a tough stand against crime. The saying is synonymous with strict penalties, capital punishment and three strike law. However, at its core, this is an extreme right leaning stand that believes in punishment. It ignores the underlying causes of the crime. Ronald Reagan helped Goldwater with the Law & Order ( Time for Choosing) speech for the 1964 presidential election. Goldwater lost that election, and later when Reagan ran for the election of a governor, he used the slogan for law & order again, but this time he modified the speech. Instead of focussing on bringing order against racial and social policies crisis at home, his speech focussed on order against communism.
Excerpt from the speech : “The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing…You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream — the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.”
Though the Law & Order slogan did not work for Goldwater, it was a success for Reagan. In the 1966 election for governor of California Reagan was competing against incumbent Pat Brown. Reagan had two themes : “to send the welfare bums back to work”, and “to clean up the mess at Berkeley.” and this time law & order speech worked. He won the 1966 governor election with more than 57% of the vote. The slogan Law & Order would get used again by presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon . Nixon’s campaign made the term law and order popular throughout the country. At the time voters were led to believe that the country was falling apart and there was lawlessness everywhere, with the assasination of Bobby Kennedy & Martin Luther King and urban riots. His political ads showed white ladies walking nervously at night in fear of danger from assailants. His ads showed no tolerance to domestic violence and rested on racial divide.
President Trump is leading the nation to believe that the nation is rife with lawlessness. He is appealing to the fears of voters. We should remember that from the time he has led the country, he has successfully divided the nation. Instead of siding with victims, he has openly called for fear and hatred. He has repeatedly said , “There has to be some decorum,” and “There has to be some law and order in our country.” He, like the men before him, is using the slogan “Law and Order “ to his advantage to win the election.