2016 In Context: The Rhino Who Won an Election by a Landslide
Gil Troy is the author of The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s, just published by Thomas Dunne Books of St. Martin's Press. His next book will update Arthur Hertzberg's The Zionist Idea. He is Professor of History at McGill University. Follow on Twitter @GilTroy
As the day approaches to choose between America’s two historically unpopular major party nominees, some Americans still seek an alternative.
Perhaps America’s unhappy undecideds should learn from history and write-in a Rhino: no, not a Republican in Name Only, a real rhinoceros like Cacareco. She charged ahead of a crowded field in the Sao Paolo City Council elections in 1959, earning “one of the highest totals for a local candidate in Brazil’s recent history,” The New York Times reported.
A serious impulse triggered this Brazilian charade. On October 8, 1959 in Sao Paolo, sewers were overflowing, prices were soaring, supplies of meat, beans, and voter patience were dwindling. Dismayed by the 540 candidates running for 45 council seats, some students decided, “Better elect a rhinoceros than an ass"...
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