The truth about the rhino who ran for office

You know you've done a terrible job as a politician when voters will literally elect any alternative as a political middle finger. 

And there are some pretty fantastic examples of pointed finger-wagging at the ballot box. For instance, in 2013, a cat named Morris in Xalapa, Mexico placed fourth in a mayoral election with 11 candidates. As ABC details, it was two university graduates who launched the campaign, proclaiming that Morris would rid the city of the corrupt "rats" in politics. They ridiculed the election as "a joke," and their message resonated online with jaded members of the electorate. Morris reportedly received 12,000 votes.

Brazil, perhaps, clowns politicians better than any other country. Reuters reports that in 2010, a "cross-dressing, semi-literate, potty-mouthed" clown who called himself Tiririca (Grumpy) got elected to Brazil's House of Deputies. The Grumpy One dropped out of school at age 9, worked in a circus, and ran on the slogan, "It Can't Get Any Worse." But it gets better. As explained by the Daily Beast, in Brazil, a protest vote is called a "Voto Cacareco" in honor of a rhinoceros that ran Sao Paulo's city council in the late 1950s. Best of all, in a truly bizarre political moment, Cacareco won handily.

A rhino crashes the political party

While Cacareco the rhino probably had plenty of reasons to toot her own horn, she wouldn't have ascended to legendary heights if Sao Paulo's political system hadn't hit rock bottom. Per Strange History, for years, the city's three million residents were hungry and fed up with the dire state of daily life. Food shortages, runaway inflation, unpaved streets, and open sewers went unaddressed by local officials. Trash didn't get collected — it just collected in the city, via History Collection. By the time the 1958 city council race came along, college students couldn't stomach it anymore. They had a preposterously large buffet of 540 candidates to choose from, including incumbents and criminals, and none of them were appetizing. So, the students added a black rhinoceros to the menu. Her name, Cacareco, was the Portuguese word for "garbage," but she was preparing to take out the trash. Her appeal was aptly captured in her slogan: "Better elect a rhinoceros than an ass."

This black rhino was no dark horse. Loaned to the local zoo by the Rio de Janeiro zoo, Cacareco was extremely well-known and well-liked, unlike her rivals. She received 100,000 votes in a "landslide" victory, which Time Magazine called "The Rhino Vote" in 1959. Election officials overturned the results, but they couldn't erase her legacy.