It does not seem that almost four years have passed since we last voted on a President. Now, here we are doing it all over again. Do you realize the symbolism and the meaning between the two major parties? Yes, for all the history buffs, there are other parties and other candidates, but for now, let us just concentrate on the two parties that have made up American politics since the 1800s. Andrew Jackson was the first Democratic President to run in 1828. Many people liked him, while many others did not. His detractors called him a jackass (using the terminology of the times). Amazingly, he took a liking to that term and began to print a donkey on his campaign posters. Touting himself as “a man of the people” his motto was, “Truth is mighty and will always ultimately prevail.” Did you know that in biblical times the donkey stood for service, humility, peace and suffering? Those are very powerful words. The Republican party’s first Presidential candidate was Abraham Lincoln. One of his famous quotations was, “Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” One of his election posters featured a charging elephant with its trunk around a banner that proclaimed, “Victory, Victory the elephant is coming!” There was a popular saying in those times about going to see the elephant – it referred to going to battle. Therefore, the charging animal on the poster represented a wartime political victory. Now, in Africa, an elephant is looked upon with reverence because of its power, strength and loyalty. Even though two Presidents used those animals in their campaigns, they did not represent the parties until they were used in a cartoon by Thomas Nast in 1874. Using the donkey and the elephant to represent the parties in the cartoon, they eventually became the official symbols. The Democratic party leans to the left and believes in liberal and progressive government issues, while the Republican party, also known as the GOP (the Grand Old Party), leans to the right, with more conservative values and a desire for less government control. Each party balances the other with different ways of governing. A few of the most popular Democratic Presidents include Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama. On the Republican side, there has been Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and now Donald J. Trump. In the 2000 election, the Democratic party was given the color blue to represent the state’s that voted for their Presidential candidate and the Republican party was issued the color red. It was an easy way to see how the election was proceeding on television. Now, states are referred to as red or blue states, and the general public knows what the colors represent. Later this year, on November 3rd, Americans will once again choose their next leader. And whether they are red or blue (or some other color), let us all accept the outcome, knowing we did our part by voting.
SharLeigh has an inquisitive nature – she is interested in current events, history, science and many more subjects, including things that go bump in the night! Since 1997, SharLeigh has scoured the internet, looking for interesting, fun and timely topics covering all sorts of human-interest subjects for her articles from her home in Fontana, CA.