President Obama’s new campaign slogan and the theme of tonight’s State of the Union address is: “An America Built to Last.”
It’s the kind of generic slogan that campaigns tend to love – broad and uncontroversial, patriotic and (on the face of it) nonpartisan. The flip side of such banality, however, is that it’s also a phrase that’s been used countless times before. Aside from its latest incarnation as Obama’s new slogan, “Built to Last” is also:
- The title song on the last studio album recorded by the Grateful Dead (ironic sample lyrics: “There are times when I can help you out/ And times when you must fall/ There are times when you must live in doubt/ And I can’t help at all”)
- A song by Tom Petty
- A song by Melee
- The title of a bestselling business book from the early 1990s.
- The name of a company that makes recycled outdoor furniture
- A tattoo parlor in York, Pennsylvania
- A cabinetmaker in Atlanta, Georgia
And that’s just based on a cursory Google search.