Who skis Beaver Creek better? Donkeys or elephants? | VailDaily.com

Who skis Beaver Creek better? Donkeys or elephants?

Steve Lynn
Vail CO, Colorado

Editor’s note: For “Altitude Sickness,” skiers and snowboarders on Vail and Beaver Creek mountains are asked irrelevant questions. They range from the politically incorrect to the downright ridiculous, so blame your answers on the high elevation.

BEAVER CREEK ” A donkey and an elephant might never jump off a 20-foot cliff in Stone Creek Chutes.

We know John McCain can’t do 540s in the terrain park. Barack Obama’s cigarette smoke-filled lungs might have him gasping for air in a ski race. Hillary Clinton ” though she has said she learned to ski in New Hampshire ” needs a push from her husband, Bill, to win any ski race.

So according to skiers and snowboarders on Beaver Creek Mountain Sunday, who skis or snowboards better, the Democratic Party’s donkey or the Republican Party’s elephant?

An elephant has a lower center of gravity and bigger feet, so “my money’s on the elephant,” said Dennis Larson, a skier. But charisma wins elections and the donkey has the lead right now, Larson said.

“If you’re actually racing on skis, I think the elephant has the dynamics based on the laws of physics,” Larson said.

Gravity certainly wouldn’t stop an elephant from falling.

Symbols’ origins

The animals were not picked for their rail-sliding skills in the terrain park.

In 1828, when Andrew Jackson ran for president, his opponents tried to label him a “jackass” for his views and his slogan, “Let the people rule,” according to the Democratic Party’s Web site. Jackson ended up using the donkey on his campaign posters, the Web site says.

In 1874, Democrats tried to scare voters into thinking Republican President Ulysses S. Grant would run for a third term, according to the Republican Party’s Web site. Cartoonist Thomas Nast drew a Democratic “jackass” trying to scare a Republican elephant, the Web site says.

“Both symbols stuck,” the Web site says.

That contradiction points out what most of us knew: Democrats and Republicans really cannot agree on basic historical facts.

Independents ‘don’t know’

An elephant would be fiscally conservative, avoiding expensive apres ski food and drink, right?

“It’s been so in the past,” said Paul Kiker, who lives in Georgia. “I don’t about with John McCain.”

What about George W. Bush’s multi-billion-dollar Iraq War?

Elephants ski better because they balance on balls, like at the circus, said Beth Ginzinger, of California.

So Republicans have better balance than Democrats.

“I don’t think that your political persuasion impacts your balance ” your physical balance, that is,” Ginzinger said.

Donkeys have better balance because they carried alcohol on their backs during prohibition, said Tracy Russell, who lives in Washington D.C.

Not sure about that, but why doesn’t Vail Resorts rent us donkeys to carry our skis and snowboards back to our cars?

Back to the important question: the elephant or the donkey?

“I’m Independent, so I don’t know,” Russell said.

Elementary schools and universities have mascots, said Meredith Dolhare, an independent who lives in North Carolina.

“The fact that we have symbols for our political parties is stupid,” Dolhare said.

Dolhare is probably jealous that she doesn’t have a political symbol to waste time thinking or writing about.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.

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