OK, so if Independents finally are becoming a major component of the country’s political landscape, shouldn’t they have their own animal-based icon (like the donkey and the elephant) that the TV networks, newspapers and magazines can toss around whenever they’re trying to boil things down to an overly-simplified partisan cliche?

It would need to be something that could work in a basic silhouette. Everyone recognizes the donkey and elephant silhouettes, even when they’re crudely rendered and poorly proportioned – whether the whole body is shown, or just the head. Of course, it helps that we’ve gotten used to the blue and red coloring they’re typically given now.

(What color should the icon for Independents be? White? Black? Gray? Plaid?)

I suppose the animal would need to be roughly the same size as the donkey and elephant (which, as we know, aren’t anywhere CLOSE to the same size in nature – but what’s done is done). I wouldn’t really want to see an oversized Independent Penguin standing between our familiar old donkey and elephant, would you? And showing a normally-scaled penguin might seem like a slam on the Independents.

Maybe we should look outside the animal kingdom for inspiration: A robot, maybe? Or would that seem like an icon without a mind of its own?

How about Godzilla? Or an anthropomorphized populist log cabin?

Hmmm …

Another iconic possibility for Independents, as suggested by Twitterer @tomiefox, is the Bear – representing “wisdom, strength, courage. Don’t mess with mama bear’s cub – she will rise up and protect her young!” The icon’s color, as suggested by Michael Martin: “Whatever it is should be purple.”

And here’s yet another proposal – from my son, Jeremy: His 10-second sketch of an eel represents Independent voters, he says, “because it’s an eel.”



  1. The only animal I can think of for independents is the skunk, because it’s in the middle of the road.

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