Do you know how the donkey became the symbol of the Democratic Party?
According to History.com:
“The Democratic Party’s donkey and the Republican Party’s elephant have been on the political scene since the 19th century. The origins of the Democratic donkey can be traced to the 1828 presidential campaign of Andrew Jackson. During that race, opponents of Jackson called him a jackass. However, rather than rejecting the label, Jackson, a hero of the War of 1812 who later served in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, was amused by it and included an image of the animal in his campaign posters. Jackson went on to defeat incumbent John Quincy Adams and serve as America’s first Democratic president. In the 1870s, influential political cartoonist Thomas Nast helped popularize the donkey as a symbol for the entire Democratic Party.”
In case you were wondering about the Republican elephant, History.com explains:
“The Republican Party was formed in 1854 and six years later Abraham Lincoln became its first member elected to the White House. An image of an elephant was featured as a Republican symbol in at least one political cartoon and a newspaper illustration during the Civil War (when “seeing the elephant” was an expression used by soldiers to mean experiencing combat), but the pachyderm didn’t start to take hold as a GOP symbol until Thomas Nast, who’s considered the father of the modern political cartoon, used it in an 1874 Harper’s Weekly cartoon. Titled “The Third-Term Panic,” Nast’s drawing mocked the New York Herald, which had been critical of President Ulysses Grant’s rumored bid for a third term, and portrayed various interest groups as animals, including an elephant labeled “the Republican vote,” which was shown standing at the edge of a pit. Nast employed the elephant to represent Republicans in additional cartoons during the 1870s, and by 1880 other cartoonists were using the creature to symbolize the party.”
Back to the Democrat donkey. Donkeys have been a noble a creature for several millennia. They were valuable livestock and a sign of wealth. They were beasts of burden, used for carrying heavy loads of items of sale, wood and coal for fires, personal effects and modes of transportation.
In Genesis 22:3 we are told how donkeys were used for transportation:
“So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac.”
In Genesis 24:35 we are told how donkeys were a sign of wealth:
“The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become great. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, camels and donkeys.”
In Genesis 42:26 we are told how donkeys were a beast of burden:
“Then they loaded their donkeys with their grain and departed.”
In Matthew 21:1-7 speaks of the noblest use of a donkey ever:
“Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.’ This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them.”
While many have looked down on donkeys, they have been an important part of human history for thousands of years.
I once knew a man who bred, raised, trained and sold donkeys. He told me back then that he was offended and so were all of his donkeys for their being used as the symbol of the Democratic Party. I asked him why and he told me because donkeys are hard workers who help others and that they are not as stubborn as many people think. He went on to say that most everything the Democrats stand for deal with laziness, taking from those who work hard and giving it to those who don’t want to work. He also said that Democrats are far more stubborn and harder to train and lead than donkeys.
As the Democrats refuse to budge on an issue of national security, an issue they supported at one time, I remembered what that friend said about donkeys and he’s right.
When you take a look at what the Democrats want, they want to steal from hard-working Americans and give it to the lazy who don’t want to work. They promise so many free things, but the only way to pay for the free things like healthcare and college, is to take it from hard-working Americans. As for stubbornness, no donkey is nearly a stubborn as today’s Democrats.
Back then, my friend said that the most accurate symbol for the Democrats is a jackass, minus the jack because all they do is sit and stink. I tend to agree.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.