Cartoon: Our Choices

trump-choices1500

Transcript of cartoon:

OUR CHOICES

(The title of the comic strip, “Our Choices,” is printed in large letters at the top of the cartoon.)

Panel 1

(A woman and a man talk, the woman holding her hands out, palms up, in a “let’s be reasonable here” gesture.)

CAPTION: Option One

WOMAN: We should give President Trump a chance! It’s too soon to panic.

MAN: Exactly!

Panel 2

(The background is filled with huge fires. Two armed soldiers, both wearing armbands and hats marked “T,” stand in the background looking stern. In the foreground, the man and the woman hurry along, bent downward, looking fearfully towards the ground.)

CAPTION: 8 Years Later

MAN: Why didn’t you resist when you could?

Panel 3

CAPTION: Option Two

(We see dozens or hundreds of angry demonstrators, yelling and waving fists in the air and holding up protest signs that say “RESIST!”. One of the protesters is the woman from the previous two panels.)

Panel 4

(The woman and man from the first panel. The woman looks annoyed, the man is making fun of her, his arms spread wide..)

CAPTION: 4 Years Later

MAN: So Trump didn’t destroy the country… Don’t you feel silly now!

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7 Responses to Cartoon: Our Choices

  1. 1
    Michael says:

    The problem I have with this cartoon is that the logic might be justified in this particular instance but often it works the other way around. Suppose for example that a person thinks that unless they sing “Frosty the Snowman” every day the world will come to an end. If they always sing “Frosty the Snowman” they’ll never know that they’re wrong. But if they forget one day, they’ll realize they’re mistaken. In fact, that’s how anxiety disorders work- the person can never experience disconfirming evidence unless they’re willing to risk something terrible happening. You could have just as easily posted a cartoon where under option one the woman decides not to protest and the world is safe and under option two the woman decides to protest and is convinced her protesting saved the world. So if the same logic can be used to produce opposite results, where does that get us? The woman can’t protest everything that might be disastrous 24-7. (I suppose that the answer is that Trump poses a SIGNIFICANT risk but that gets into the thorny question of who decides what’s significant.)

  2. 2
    kate says:

    Suppose for example that a person thinks that unless they sing “Frosty the Snowman” every day the world will come to an end. If they always sing “Frosty the Snowman” they’ll never know that they’re wrong. But if they forget one day, they’ll realize they’re mistaken.

    This isn’t logic 101, it’s a political cartoon. Content matters. Protests have been proven to work in the past (eg. the civil rights movement, ACTup). They’ve even been proven to work on this president and congress.

  3. 3
    Ben Lehman says:

    Michael: The future is ultimately unknowable. The universe as we know it might change phases, destroying us utterly, or it might simply be a temporary vacuum fluctuation that collapses into a quantum foam. Won’t we look real silly for protesting Trump then! (Answer: no. We will not look silly because there will be no record of us to observe.)

    That said, barring extremely unlikely physical constraints, when the President of the United States has a particular agenda and it meets a lot of public protest — particularly but not entirely in the form of voter pushback directed towards Congress — that agenda tends to get stymied. Trump’s agenda, if enacted, will be abhorrent and damaging. We intend to stymie it. This is how we do that.

    You indirectly claim that this is some sort of magical thinking but it isn’t — Trump has specific policy goals (say, repealing the ACA), and those goals will have specific effects (say, the deaths of 30,000 Americans a year.) We don’t like the effects; we try to stop the policy goal. This is pretty specific and rational. You can disagree about the effects (you might, for instance, think that repealing the ACA will result in magical ponies bringing about a kingdom of friendship and magic) but it is incumbent on you to show that such beliefs are rational and reasonable, and that they (like our beliefs about the policy consequences) are backed up by research, economics, and social science.

    It could be that Trump is a sleeper agent sent from Equestria to bring magic and friendship. In which case, boy won’t we look stupid. But, realistically, he isn’t.

  4. 4
    Michael says:

    @Ben Lehman- I’m not saying that this is magical thinking. I’m saying that this “rational” thinking can work both ways. For example, someone that supports mass incarceration could do a cartoon where the nation decides not to implement mass incarceration and there’s a huge number of rapes and murders and the nation decides to implement mass incarceration and liberals whine that mass incarceration is unnecessary. I agree that protestors have a right to express their grievances if they believe Trump’s policies will prove harmful, (and that belief is certainly well founded), and I have no problem with “Study X shows protests can block harmful policies” arguments. I just can’t stand “better safe than sorry” arguments because they can be abused. (For example, I totally agree that the evidence supports global warming, I can’t stand arguments that even if there’s a one in a trillion chance that global warming is real we should act as if it is because “better safe than sorry”.)

  5. 5
    LTL FTC says:

    Ooh, this is fun!

    Panel 1:
    CAPTION: Option One

    WOMAN: We should give President Trump a chance! It’s too soon to panic.
    MAN: Exactly!

    Panel 2:
    CAPTION: 4 Years Later

    MAN: Thank goodness for the Deep State!

  6. 6
    Ben Lehman says:

    Michael: And I would think such a cartoon is unreasonable because there does not seem to be a connecting between incarceration rate and violent crime.

    If there was, then that’s a fine cartoon.

    yrs–
    –Ben

  7. 7
    Eytan Zweig says:

    Michael – I think you’re slightly missing the point. This cartoon isn’t trying to make an argument for protesting. If you’re not already convinced that Trump and his policies are best responded to with protests, then this cartoon will do nothing for you. I believe that what this cartoon is trying to do is to tell the people who already want to protest to not allow themselves to be discouraged by naysayers, at least not naysayers of the variety represented within it.

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