Public Officials

Elephants and donkeys are lame symbols for U.S. politics in 2016

Elephants and donkeys are lame symbols for U.S. politics in 2016

Thomas Nast, the 19th century political cartoonist who, even today, remains the most famous practitioner of the “jugular art,” drew the first full realization of the two enduring symbols of our two major political parties, the Republican elephant and the Democratic donkey. The elephant and donkey had a good long run, but, in the context of the 2016 presidential campaign, they are more anachronistic than accurate.

At a time when the Republican Party is so splintered, which Republicans does the elephant represent? The dwindling establishment? The rebellious party base? The do-nothing congressional wing? The “movement” conservatives?

And does the...

62°