In the 1800′s bandwagons were used by circuses, when they came to a town.  Rolling down the main street, with its colorful display and the brass band blaring, the bandwagon was a big attraction for the townspeople. Circuses obviously wanted to make sure that everyone knew they had arrived. Then, of course, the politicians got involved. (Sigh.) Never hesitant to steal a good idea, they began using bandwagons to attract attention during their campaigns. People who wanted to be seen as affiliating themselves with a particular politician would then, literally, “jump on the bandwagon”. Eventually the term came to have the negative meaning we know today: siding with a particular person or cause only when you’re sure of their success.

About these ads