By Emma Kaden
Nowadays, many politicians are criticized for acting like animals, but is that really a bad thing? In at least eight cities across America, animals—goats, dogs, cats, cows, and even a mule—have been elected into political office. Perhaps that’s a little impawsible to believe, but when you consider how ruff the political climate is, maybee it’s time for a change.
Animals can’t make policy decisions, you say? Irrelephant.
Officials in the current political arena spark controversy over their decisions, abuse their power, and make resignation-provoking decisions. None of these qualities make for a very good politician, and animals are the purrfect solution. Not only that, but they boost morale, draw in tourists, and overall, are deer to citizens’ hearts.
The city of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky is infamous for its canine mayors, including Goofy Borneman (1998-2001); Junior Cochran, a black Labrador (2004-2008); Lucy Lou, a border collie (2008-2016); and Brynneth “Brynn” Pawltro, a pit bull (2016-present).
Some say the Rabbit Hash canine mayors serve no purpose, but that’s toadally false. In an interview with Arin Greenwood, animal welfare editor at HuffPost, former Rabbit Hash Mayor Lucy Lou explained that she “stands for smaller government, lowering taxes and increased spending on mental health care.” She also served as “spokespet for a pet protection program affiliated with a local women’s crisis center.”
If that’s not a pawsitive influence, then what is?
Lucy isn’t the only animal politician with strong beliefs. Another former mayor, bovine April of Eastsound, Washington, argued her patriotism in a letter prior to her election that read, “My pedigree says I am called a Brown Swiss. I say I am 100% American.”
Oftentimes, animal candidates beat human candidates in elections, such as Stubbs the cat, the former (unofficial) mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska who served 20 years in office. Not only did he beat out his human opponents, but he drew in tourists from across the country. According to the Hindustan Times, more than 75 percent of visitors to the city were there to see the mayor.
It seems clear that elected animals have many benefits, from promoting positivity in their respective towns to supporting charitable organizations to even becoming their own tourist attractions.
Maybe animals might do well in political office after all. Who gnu?