With the much publicized Presidential race hovering over 2008, it seems that politics are on everyone’s minds.  The American public demands answers for all the toughest problems: Universal medical coverage?  Pulling out of the war?  House foreclosures?  But what we really want to know is, of all the fabulous animals on our earth, why did the Republicans and Democrats choose the elephant and donkey as their mascots?  What’s the deal?    If they wanted to represent being fierce what about the lion?…or sly, what about the snake? Or annoying as hell, what about the seagull.  (Oh wait, isn’t that Corpus’ mascot?)  Well, here’s the low down on the down low…In 1828 during Andrew Jackson’s run for president, his critics labeled him a “jackass” and often used the donkey to mock his stubbornness.  Jackson did not find offense in the words of nay sayers.  In fact, he occasionally used the donkey as an unofficial symbol for the Democratic party.  Although the Democratic donkey did appear in a cartoon in 1837, the American public didn’t really embrace the mascot until 1870 when Thomas Nast’s political cartoon featuring the donkey appeared in Harper’s Weekly Magazine.  In 1860 and 1872, the elephant had started making its stance as mascot for the Republicans through cartoons. Once again, in 1874,  Harper’s Weekly featured one of Nast’s political cartoons.  This time it was a donkey dressed in lion’s clothing scaring away all of the animals.  The only animal that wasn’t frightened and did not run away was the elephant.  Stamped on the elephant was, “The Republican’s Vote.”  This secured the win for the elephant as Republican mascot.  And, the rest, as they say, is history.  Ps.  The Democrats think of the elephant as “bungling, stupid, pompous, and conservative, while the Republicans think it is dignified, strong and intelligent.  The Republicans regard the donkey as stubborn, silly and ridiculous but the Democrats claim it is humble, homely, smart, courageous, and loveable.”


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