Niagara Gazette

Columns

October 4, 2012

HAMILTON: Politics, Cheshire cats and cockapoos

Niagara Gazette — We have a tendency to categorize people in non-human terms. There are very few professional sports teams that are named after humans. Despite the greatness and the many contributions of Benjamin Franklin to southeast Pennsylvania, none of their sports teams are called the Philadelphia Franklins.

We humans seemingly prefer to represent our triumphs in terms of our animal nature. Our national symbol is an eagle; this, despite Franklin’s suggestion that the turkey should become our national bird. Perhaps there was good reason for it — after all, wasn’t he forced into conversations with the other politicians at Carpenter Hall during the forming of this nation?

Even our major political parties thereafter adopted animals for party symbols; the Republican Party uses an elephant and the Democratic Party uses a donkey. I’m not sure why those animals were selected back then; but as the parties have changed, I think that their symbols should change, too.

There are better suited animals to reflect their present nature and demeanor: the Cheshire cat and the Cockapoo, for instance.

One comedian said that major difference between cats and dogs is in how each one perceives its human. He said that pet dogs see their humans as management, while pet cats see theirs humans as staff!

I think that Republicans are more like Cheshire cats, like the one in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”; whereas, they mostly like to be left alone; but they can engage you in dialogue that both helps and confuses some people. Their party’s platform is geared more towards the service to an individual’s independence – even if that independence is from both Democrats and from each other; after all, where have you seen more than one Cheshire cat at a time?

The individual Republican feels that their government is there to provide for their general needs; but, at the same time, not to be too intrusive in anything. And like most cats, they won’t likely respond to a whistle; but cats will respond to the buzz of a can opener or the sound of the refrigerator door opening.

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