The US political scene is characterized as Republicans versus Democrats.
Some people cleave to one side and automatically oppose any idea proposed by the other.
Many of these people seem to be otherwise highly functional and intelligent.
So why do they behave this way?
It’s because of the mascots.
The Republicans have a mascot – the Elephant.
The Democrats have a mascot – the Donkey.
This understandably causes many Americans to confuse national governance/policy with sports. They cheer for their political party as they do for the Yankees, or Duke basketball, or Alabama football.
In sports, you choose your team based on where you live, and you stand by your team whether they’re good or they stink. You chant “we’re number one!” even if you’re number 117. When the Duke Blue Devil or the San Diego Chicken or Uga VII shows up, you know what to do – you cheer like crazy! Especially if he’s a cute animal! Or if he’s the other team’s mascot, you boo like crazy (and spit if you’re close enough)! You hate Auburn simply because they are Auburn, not because they’re fundamentally different in any way from you.
Fun for sports. Not a great way to decide on policies for a country.
The obvious first solution to this problem would be to get rid of the mascots. No more Elephant, no more Donkey. Thanks fellas, but you’re confusing the citizenry.
But what fun is sport without mascots? Who would go to a Georgia football game if there were no dog to slobber on the cheerleaders?
No. A better solution is to empower smaller parties, which currently have no voice precisely because they are sans mascot. More mascots = a more balanced political system!
Let’s save the smaller parties time and choose representative power animal mascots for them:
Socialists: The meerkat.
Green Party: The orca. Hardcore environmentalists resent being depicted as cuddly things like rabbits.
Libertarians: The polar bear. Massive, majestic, self-reliant loners who hunt and eat bureaucrats. (Nearly extinct.)
Tea Party: Oh, okay, they already have a mascot.