Cartoon: Centrists and Civility


If you enjoy these cartoons, please help me make more by supporting my Patreon. A $1 pledge really helps.


The challenge in a cartoon like this – which really has to be ultra-simple to be effective – is to find ways to make the art worth looking at despite being so simple. So I worked on trying to make the figures seem active and alive, and to really vary their poses and costumes. Hopefully it worked!


Transcript of cartoon

This cartoon has three panels, plus a small additional “kicker” panel underneath the bottom of the cartoon.

PANEL 1
This panel shows three well-coiffed white people – they could be politicians, or pundits on TV – on the right side of the panel, facing towards the left side of the panel. They look angry and are speaking with hostile expressions. There is a large caption superimposed over the image.
CAPTION: RIGHT
WHITE GUY: Cattle don’t get to keep their kids. Why should immigrants?
WHITE GAL: Teh law should protect elections from Black vot- I mean, from illegal voters!
OTHER WHITE GUY: George Soros paid scientists to make up global warming!

PANEL 2
This panel shows two lefties, dressed like college students or protesters, on the left side of the panel, facing towards the right side of the panel. They look angry and are speaking with hostile expressions. The woman’s race and ethnicity is ambiguous, the man is Black. There is a large caption superimposed over the image.
CAPTION: LEFT
WOMAN: $#%*! those people!
MAN: They’re terrible hateful bigots!

PANEL 3
This panel shows a white man and an ethnically ambiguous woman, both facing towards the left with scornful expressions. The man is making a “stop that, get away” hand gesture towards the left; the woman has her arms on her hips. There is a large caption superimposed over the image.
CAPTION: CENTRISTS
MAN: Tsk! Why must the left be so uncivil?
WOMAN: Do they want Trump re-elected?

SMALL KICKER PANEL BELOW THE BOTTOM OF THE STRIP
This panel shows the leftists glaring at the centrists, while the centrists smile back.
CENTRIST WOMAN: We’re only saying, both sides are equally bad!

This entry posted in Cartooning & comics. Bookmark the permalink. 

107 Responses to Cartoon: Centrists and Civility

  1. 101
    Charles S says:

    Zunf2,

    Well, the Republicans I know are not as hysterical about it, they question (not deny, question) the extent to which it is caused by people (instead of a natural long-term cycle, for instance), and they note that some of the previous dire preductions have not come true. They note that there have been instances of “climate scientists” falsifying studies (Google it if you are not aware of it). Sometimes massively. They note that despite the claim of the left that 97% of climate scientists are completely on-board with the man-made theory and the dire predictions, that may not be completely true (neither the percentage nor the dire claims).

    There is zero evidence for the current sudden massive increase in temperature being a result of long term cycles. It doesn’t make sense as being the result of long term cycles, there is no recorded equivalent events in the recent climate record, no attempt to align long term cycles with the sudden massive increase in temperature has ever produced valid support for the claim. Meanwhile, there is ancient climate record of relatively similar events, driven by sudden releases of CO2 (or methane) (two of which resulted in two of the worst global extinction events). We know that we are releasing massive amounts of CO2, we know the mechanism by which CO2 produces an increase in temperature (and, indeed, knew this mechanism nearly a hundred years before the effects were obvious in the observation record), and we have observed the predicted change in global temperature (and the predicted specific patterns of where and when on the globe, in the atmosphere, seasonally, and in the daily cycle) for more than 30 years. Extremely crude (by modern standards) global climate models predicted global warming, plenty of them run by Exxon and Mobil, when extremely crude models were all we had. As we’ve improved our climate models and parsed out more of the details of how the climate works, we’ve become better and better at predicting the details of what will happen, but the basic prediction of a massive increase in CO2 causing a massive increase in global temperature is settled science. Asking questions about it is a reasonable thing to do. Refusing to listen to the answers to those questions is not a reasonable thing to do.

    For anyone who is interested in asking the questions and getting clear answers, I think Skeptical Science is a good place to start.

    For instance:
    1) No, the current sudden warming is not part of somelonger natural cycle.
    2) Yes, there is an overwhelming consensus among scientists.
    3) Yes, it really is that bad (that last one is actually noted left-wingers, the World Bank, rather than Skeptical Science).
    4) And, finally, no, the CRU email hacking incident didn’t reveal any wrong-doing.

  2. 102
    Charles S says:

    I think it is important to recognize that the US global warming denialist movement is a completely different sort of beast than the anti-vax movement or the anti-genetic engineering movement. Denialism (and its cousins luke-warmism and delayism) are basically entirely the products of propaganda efforts developed and funded by the fossil fuel industry, much like the now mostly forgotten efforts of the tobacco industry to deny that smoking causes cancer (and emphysema and heart disease). Anti-vax and anti-GMO movements are fringe movements that are profited off of and promoted by mostly independent charlatans.

    The problem with the US conservative movement and the Republican party is not that it is influenced by an anti-science fringe movement, the problem is that it is a committed lacky of the fossil fuel industry and promotes the lies of the fossil fuel industry in opposition to actual scientific research.

  3. 103
    Sai Nushi says:

    In response to the point about the authority wielded by the people saying the things, that wasn’t even hinted at in the cartoon. I responded to the cartoon as it was, not the invisible subtext that I am incapable of divining. As it is, the cartoon says that Centrists equate less-bad statements on the left with absolutely horrible statements on the right. Not that the Centrists are comparing terrible things said by college students and early 20-somethings on the left to terrible things said by Congressmen, Governors, and Presidents on the right.

    For the record, “kill all men”, “police are pigs”, and “every white person is racist” are the things that pushed me away from the left. Just like “Mexicans are dirty” and “Poor people should just pick themselves up” kept me away from the right even before it went Full Metal Jacket on the country. I didn’t vote 2016. Partly because it became apparent to me that my vote doesn’t actually do anything. Both sides are run by corporations. Both sides have very loud bigots coloring the national view of the party. And congress has ground itself to a place where the entire point of each party is to make sure the other party can’t do anything.

    But also partly because identity politics has taken over the country. And I refuse to play that game. I am an individual. I don’t have a group identity. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is something that I internalized at a very young age. I am very grateful for that, and quite saddened by the inability for most people to follow that banner. Maybe its easier for me, having never really fit into any groups in school, I don’t know. I just know that the idea that someone should get an advantage because of their skin color or gender, whichever way it goes, seems ridiculous. And the whole “who you know is more important than what you can do” standard of hiring is leading to very poor quality. Poor quality service, poor quality products, poor quality life.

  4. 104
    Ampersand says:

    First of all, there are hints in the cartoon – the people on the right are dressed like politicians or TV newspeople, the people on the left are clearly neither. Plus, the people on the right are all talking about policy, in one way or another.

    So it’s not true there’s no hint. That it’s too subtle and easy to miss, however, is a fair critique.

    I’ve never seen the point in voting based on who says mean things, as opposed to voting based on policy issues. People don’t live or die (by and large) based on people saying mean things (except in very particular circumstances). But they do live or die based on policy. To me, your position seems like an extremely misplaced priority. It’s as if you think your own personal purity – “I’m not going to vote for a party associated in some way with college protesters who say mean things on Tumblr!” – is actually more important than policy.

    And congress has ground itself to a place where the entire point of each party is to make sure the other party can’t do anything.

    Literally the last time the Democrats were in charge, the ACA happened. Millions of people got medical coverage who didn’t have it before. Do you really think that’s worth nothing?

  5. 105
    Sai Nushi says:

    “the people on the right are dressed like politicians or TV newspeople, the people on the left are clearly neither”

    I completely missed the clothing cues as having any bearing on that. So fair point. Also, I think I forgot to say it earlier, so thank you for the welcome.

    “Literally the last time the Democrats were in charge, the ACA happened. Millions of people got medical coverage who didn’t have it before. Do you really think that’s worth nothing?”

    That’s not worth nothing. But I didn’t even know the policies that either side was likely to implement in the 2016 election. All I knew about Hillary was that she was female, and a democrat. That doesn’t tell me which democrat policies she agrees with or disagrees with, or where her priorities were. All I knew about Trump was that he was a piss-poor businessman who somehow made a lot of people believe he wasn’t.

    As to the insults that each side throws at the other, I ignore them. The people doing the insulting are the last people to consult on what the person being insulted actually stands for. I don’t want messages telling me what Democrats think the Republicans stand for. I don’t want messages telling me what Republicans think Democrats stand for. Those were the only messages I heard two years ago. Not helpful.

    “I’ve never seen the point in voting based on who says mean things, as opposed to voting based on policy issues. People don’t live or die (by and large) based on people saying mean things (except in very particular circumstances). But they do live or die based on policy.”

    The mean things a person says points to what they actually believe about how the world works. The democrat party believes that my gender is a disadvantage and my race an advantage, and they don’t care about my family situation even though overcoming foster care was the thing that defined my childhood and got me accepted into college, so was that an advantage or a disadvantage? The word privilege used to mean “something that you earn”, as opposed to a right, which was “something that you are guaranteed”. Privilege has become synonymous with “unearned privilege”.

    I was a democrat because I believe that skin color doesn’t matter. I was a democrat because I believe that it should be my choice what substances I do and don’t use. I was a democrat because I believe that bad luck happens, and we should help people with bad luck until their luck turns. I was a democrat because I believe that government shouldn’t legislate morality, but only interfere when it’s something hurting other people. I was a democrat because I believe that every human has equal worth.

    So when democrats are saying that we need to take skin color into account, and government should ban certain words, or force people to say certain things, when democrats are fighting for the right to not be offended, when democrats are telling me that my reactions to my circumstances don’t matter as much as my race and gender, yes, I’m going to leave them. Democrats tell me that men are evil, despite men being the ones to protect me. Democrats tell me that women are good, despite the worst people in my life being female. Democrats tell me that there are things worse than death, and it’s oh so hard to rise above your circumstances that it’s nearly impossible. If you’ve already experienced something worse than death, then what’s the use in trying? If it’s almost impossible to rise above circumstance, why bother?

    It’s not about “saying mean things”. It’s about the mindset that causes those things to be said. And the mindset will be reflected in public policy, which is something that people have to live and die from.

    The messages I hear from the right, by the way, are definitely not any better. “Pull yourself by your bootstraps” only works if there’s economic mobility from the lower class to the middle class. “Companies should have free reign” doesn’t work out to better conditions, or better products. “No political difference between a corporation and an interest group” is so very wrong, I have a hard time believing the people who came up with that weren’t being evil (evil here defined as “deliberately trying to hurt people”).

    Caveat- both men and women are capable of doing bad things, and both men and women are capable of doing heroic things. I recognize this. I was just trying to point out how my “lived experience” doesn’t match with the narrative I keep hearing from the left.

  6. 106
    Sebastian H says:

    “I’ve never seen the point in voting based on who says mean things, as opposed to voting based on policy issues”.

    I wish more people voted on policy, but they don’t. People vote tribally. That’s why demonizing the other is such a powerful tool. People very often don’t vote for someone who is perceived to be mean to them, even if other policy preferences are in line. I’m not even sure that’s a bad idea. Ostracism is a dangerous thing for the person cast out. Even in today’s relatively comfortable world.

  7. 107
    lurker23 says:

    Ampersand says:
    November 12, 2018 at 6:18 am
    First of all, there are hints in the cartoon – the people on the right are dressed like politicians or TV newspeople, the people on the left are clearly neither. Plus, the people on the right are all talking about policy, in one way or another.

    i did not get that at all, i think it is an “advanced level” hint, but i see it now that you are saying i should look for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *