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Did you ever wonder why the Democrats in the U.S. have a donkey for an icon – and the Republicans an elephant?

I did.

So here’s to the little questions that need answers 🙂

The answer seems to be a very cool story (so cool, I got the scary little hunch it may not be true. But so far, i haven’t been able to disprove it. And the NDC and the GOP on their websites don’t explain their party logo.)

Factmonster-website has this to say

The now-famous Democratic donkey was first associated with Democrat Andrew Jackson’s 1828 presidential campaign. His opponents called him a jackass (a donkey), and Jackson decided to use the image of the strong-willed animal on his campaign posters. Later, cartoonist Thomas Nast used the Democratic donkey in newspaper cartoons and made the symbol famous.

I am a little bit in love with Jackson, taking the mockery and turning it into a “thing”

Meanwhile, over in the Grand Old Party (that’s the Republican camp)

Nast invented another famous symbol—the Republican elephant. In a cartoon that appeared in Harper’s Weekly in 1874, Nast drew a donkey clothed in lion’s skin, scaring away all the animals at the zoo. One of those animals, the elephant, was labeled “The Republican Vote.” That’s all it took for the elephant to become associated with the Republican Party.

Ah! More good use of a healthy sense of humour and political skill for eyeing the needs of the moment!

This Thomas Nast is now a favourite here at the Gates.

The Jackass-story makes me think that perhaps Sorkin was being really funny in the really ‘inner-baseball’ kinda way of political geeks when he wrote the West Wing and had FLOTUS Abbey Bartlet call uber-Democrat Jed Bartlet “jackass” on a number of occasions? Mostly with great affection and pathos.

That was all for Sophia’s Daily Dose of Random Trivia…

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