At the Huffington Post, Ray Brescia writes of the phrase “Now, More Than Ever,” or NMTE:
Interestingly, it was not George W. Bush who introduced the phrase to the political discourse. In fact, it was another Republican President, Richard Nixon, who used the NMTE phrase in his re-election effort in1972. In that campaign, Nixon played on people’s fears and used the phrase to reassure the voting public that he was a steady and trustworthy hand at the rudder during turbulent times. And we all know how that turned out.
Actually, the phrase had been in political use for more than a century. For instance, the 1860 GOP platform said that the causes calling the party into existence “are permanent in their nature, and now, more than ever before, demand its peaceful and constitutional triumph.”
Neither was it novel for an incumbent to stress his own experience while raising doubts about the opposition. Accepting the Democratic nomination for a third term, FDR said:
The Government of the United States for the past seven years has had the courage openly to oppose by every peaceful means the spread of the dictator form of Government. If our Government should pass to other hands next January-untried hands, inexperienced hands—we can merely hope and pray that they will not substitute appeasement and compromise with those who seek to destroy all democracies everywhere, including here.
As for stirring fear, nothing that RN said during the 1972 campaign could have topped FDR’s assault against the GOP in the waning days of the 1940 race:
Something evil is happening in this country when a full page advertisement against this Administration, paid for by Republican supporters, appears—where, of all places?— in the Daily Worker, the newspaper of the Communist Party.
Something evil is happening in this country when vast quantities of Republican campaign literature are distributed by organizations that make no secret of their admiration for the dictatorship form of government.
Those forces hate democracy and Christianity as two phases of the same civilization. They oppose democracy because it is Christian. They oppose Christianity because it preaches democracy.