How the Jackass Became a Democrat

By John Mattingly
Andrew Jackson was called a jackass by his opponents in the 1828 presidential campaign as a reaction to his slogan, “Let the people rule.”

Some Republicans went so far as to suggest that letting the “people” rule would be the same as herding a bunch of jackasses into Washington D.C., giving them the right vote with their ears, and hoping for the best.

Instead of refuting the accusation, Andrew Jackson shrewdly embraced it, thus turning it to his advantage. He pointed to the virtues of the jackass, all of which are also virtues of a good Democrat: persistence, loyalty, humility, and an unfailing ability to carry the load. Jackson even put a donkey on his campaign posters.

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