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What Does GOP Means In US Politics?

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You’ve probably heard of the Republican Party is referred to as the “GOP.” But do you know what GOP stands for? And why are Republicans depicted as elephants and Democrats as donkeys?

You’ll have to go back in history for the answers.

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP (Grand Old Party), is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its main, historic rival, the Democratic Party. –Wikipedia


The name “Republican” dates back to 1792 and the supporters of Thomas Jefferson. The party was originally known as the Democratic-Republican Party before divisions in the 1830s led to the formation of the stand-alone Republican Party in the 1850s. The original Republican Party was made up mostly of abolitionists opposed to slavery in the South.

After the Civil War, Republicans saw their political influence grow and in 1888, the party saw the election of Benjamin Harrison and a majority of Congress. A writer for the Chicago Tribune said the triumph represented an accomplishment by the “Grand Old Party,” in referring to the Republicans.

The phrase was shortened and GOP began showing up in stories about Republicans.

There’s some evidence, however, that the acronym might have started earlier, as way back as 1875, when the term “gallant old party” was used in reference to the party.

While we now use GOP and Republican almost interchangeably, it doesn’t mean everyone knows what the acronym stands for. A 2011 poll showed almost half of Republicans didn’t know what the letters stood for. Some of the guesses for those who weren’t sure included “Government of the People,” “Grumpy Old People,” and “God’s Own Party.”

Elephants and donkeys

You can blame a journalist for each party’s symbols as well.

The donkey was first used by Andrew Jackson in 1828, whose employee tried to label him a “jackass.” Jackson turned it around and began using the donkey on his campaign posters.

Then during the mid-term elections of 1874, Democrats were claiming President U.S. Grant would seek a third term. Thomas Nast, a cartoonist for Harper’s Weekly, spoofed the idea by drawing a stubborn Democratic donkey trying to scare a docile, slow-moving elephant he said represented the Republicans.

The symbols stuck and are used to this day. You can insert your own joke here.


Source: AI News

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