Nothing can put forth a message like a well-crafted editorial cartoon. Here, then, are some of the ones regarding the Texas massacre of 19 school children and two adults that made an impression at this blogging desk.
Today, January 6th, is the anniversary of the violent rioting and deadly outcome on our nation’s Capitol caused by Donald Trump and his supporters. Over 140 law enforcement officers were injured. We must grasp that event was not a solitary one that is now over and done. Instead, the 6th was akin to the first shots fired at Fort Sumter in 1861. The roadmap for further violence and an even more dire stab at the heart of democracy is outlined by Republicans who have simply made up their minds to steal the 2024 presidential election.
Republicans have argued, out loud and in the light of day, for a crazy upside-down theory where, for instance, a state legislature could undo the will of the state voter. For example, if more people in a state voted for a Democratic nominee a legislature would still have the power to pick a slate for the Republican nominee to be counted at the Electoral College.
Editorial cartoonists have placed the madness and danger to our democracy into some powerful drawings that have been published in newspapers around the country. I offer a broad sampling.
The power of these editorial cartoons is obvious. The messages are correctly drawn and presented.
Over the past year since Kyle Rittenhouse killed two people and injured a third in Kenosha a number of editorial cartoons have been published in newspapers across the nation. As we await the jury verdict I post some of the drawings which make the best statements about this killer and the partisan culture that has embraced his crimes.
I lead off the following with an editorial cartoon from the Capital Times, which best underscores the national narrative playing out on right-wing media about their new hero. It insults our intelligence to have conservatives attempt to justify the actions of a killer roaming the streets with a deadly gun.
This week Wisconsin has had more than its fair share of the truly absurd.
Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 and then the press reported the bombshell news that he refused to be vaccinated. In a radio interview, Rodgers stated that while not taking the scientific vaccines he does ingest a horse deworming agent. He also launched into the “woke mob” and said they were trying to “cancel” him. What galled this blogger the most was his attempt to use the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. to confirm why he should not be more conscientious towards the larger community when it comes to stopping the spread of the virus. My jaw surely dropped at my desk when that nugget came through my speakers.
Rodgers actually said the slain civil rights leader would have agreed that he had a “moral obligation to object to unjust rules and rules that make no sense.”
To liken King’s fight for justice and civil rights from housing to voting with a mere mandate from the NFL regarding vaccines and mask-wearing underscores the lack of depth Rodgers has for history, his selfish nature, and lack of character.
Clearly, Rodgers and his PR team missed their much-needed meeting prior to the radio chat. One has to wonder what consultant will need to construct a way to clean up his image after that all-out fiasco. Maybe wrapping Christmas presents for an afternoon at the local Salvation Army. Plus a very generous personal check.
The Rodgers episode has opened conversations about the virus in a loud and determined way across the state, and nation. My husband, James, and I remarked that it has been almost two years since we were at a restaurant. We have not traveled other than short afternoon jaunts for apples or fall produce. We have not rented our second-floor Victorian ($2,000 a month) for two years due to concerns about the virus. We have cousins, a niece in Central Wisconsin, and friends who are nurses and fully understand they have been stressed and over-worked for at least 20 months. We have not undertaken larger projects, nor spent the money to help stir the economy, due to not wanting to interact with others who very well may have the same mindset as Rodgers.
So when the state gets verbally exercised over the Rodgers matter it is based on the fact, that with the vaccines we should have already won this battle. We have the means to do so. All that is lacking is the willpower to achieve the end result. So when the top story in the state is a guy who has a large platform from which to do good and chooses to do exactly the opposite….yes, folks are properly ticked off.
Here then is an offering of how newspaper editorial pages view the Rodgers affair. Please note that Phil Hands, the creative cartoonist at the Wisconsin State Journal and always a favorite here, makes the point with perfect clarity.
If one from another galaxy were to land in the United States and wanted to get a quick and well-rounded understanding of the pressing issues of the day there would be one fast way to get the task completed. Thumb through the nation’s newspapers and look at the editorial cartoons. With pithy drawings and pointed words there is no way to miss the tone and flavor of what our nation (sadly) is dealing with. Such cartoons often provide a better frank assessment of an issue than a long well-written column.
The case can be made with the current batch of editorial cartoons regarding the COVID pandemic.
The absurdity from Texas has been demonstrated on the editorial pages of newspapers around the nation.
Can any of my readers, be they preparing for college or Medicare, ever imagine watch politicians going out of their way to further a pandemic? No one who stops here on the internet highway, and looks back 10, 20, 50 years (or ever) can list one aspiring politician who undertook efforts for the spreading of a pandemic. And did so because it was viewed as a means to propel one to office, retain an office, or seek higher office.
If that level of insanity, which we have watched play out for months in states like Florida and Texas, does not make you most aware of what has happened to our politics, nothing will.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is clearly the poster child of dysfunctional Republican leadership concerning COVID-19. He also is awarded the prize for saying or doing anything that brings him closer to the under-educated base of his party. The same segment of the nation who refuses to be vaccinated, take preventive measures to stem the spreading of the virus and is therefore feeling the brunt of the fourth wave of the virus’s sweep.
DeSantis is willing to play a game of chicken with the deadly pandemic, using his state residents as poker chips. He wants his party’s 2024 presidential nomination and thinks holding to his unscientific positions, playing to the base, and mouthing buzzwords will allow him to come out on top.
Meanwhile, his state is spinning out of control. The virus spike has led to a record number of Covid-19 hospitalizations that have undone some of Florida’s economic and public health gains following the ravages of the virus during 2020.
These types of bizarre behavior extend to another red state. Texas Governor Greg Abbott also opposes mask mandates and other aggressive measures to combat the spread of the virus. He wishes to push personal responsibility, but as the data shows in his state that message to his conservatives base works as well as trying to breed a mule.
Republican governors like to tout their fondness for nurses, the ones on the front lines who again are needing to don protective gear to head into hospital rooms filled with the COVID virus. But if DeSantis and Abbott truly valued the sacrifices of these men and women they would do everything in their power to stop the spread of the virus, use all the tools in their work chest to make sure masks are worn, vaccines mandated, lives protected, and the economy not further harmed.
But Potomac Fever and the most vilest form of politics has taken priority for these men. The public be damned.