The Short Attention Span of Voters

This 1905 Post editorial cynically noted that outraged voters were easily distracted.

Elephant standing on a platform.
(J.C. Leyendecker, © SEPS)

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—“Back to the Yoke,” Editorial, December 30, 1905

The other day an elephant, attached to a traveling show, got away, rushed through the streets of a town, trumpeting, burst in the glass front of a saloon and penetrated to the billiard-room, scattering several hundred men in wild alarm. There its keeper caught up with it and handed it a lump of sugar. It ate the sugar, became calm at once, and returned quietly with him. How like some elections, when the people go on a rampage for freedom, get a lump of sugar from the boss, forget all about their longing to be free, and return docilely to the yoke!


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  1. This IS an interesting little editorial, isn’t it? I don’t blame the elephant for wanting to escape his confinement, and was glad he wasn’t injured or the people in the saloon, naturally.

    The last sentence is still true to this day about people returning docilely to the yoke. As the boss handing out those sugar cubes I might be tempted to say ‘I am the egg man’ just to get their reactions, but probably not.


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