Cartoon: Who’s A Good Voter?


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Trump is in some ways more awful than the typical Republican politician – more crass, more ignorant, more dangerously impulsive. But a lot of his awfulness is just what we’ve come to expect from Republican politicians. You can’t be a viable Republican politician, in this age, unless you sign on for a long list of indefensible and irresponsible positions.

My point is, Trump’s election didn’t come out of nowhere. The GOP spent years teaching its voters to accept ridiculous nonsense as truth, and Trump is the result.

Artwise, I think this is one of my better efforts – I like the flat pink colors on the crowds versus the fuller colors on the two GOP operatives. (Thanks to my friend Naomi for suggesting that approach!) Better still, to my eyes at least, it really doesn’t look like any of the other political cartoons out there. And by the way, those Tea Party hats are pretty hard to draw!

Panel 1
Two men are standing slightly above of crowd of people. They are petting people in the crowd on the heads, as if they were dogs. The crowd looks happy. There are t-shirts and a banner that say “Reagan.”
One of the men is young, blond, and wearing a shirt and necktie. The other man is bald, has glasses, and is wearing a vest over his shirt and necktie. Both are white.
BLONDE: We can cut taxes, up military spending, and balance the budget! Yes we can!
GLASSES: WHO’S a good voter? YOU are!

Panel 2
The same scene, but now the crowd is wearing “Dole” t-shirts.
BLONDE: Industry would be doing great if it wasn’t for evil enviornmentalists. GOOD VOTER!
GLASSES: Tax cuts for the rich pay for themselves! GOOD boy! GOOD voter!

Panel 3
The same scene, but now the crow is wearing “Bush” t-shirts.
BLONDE: All your woes are caused by immigrants and Black people! Yes they ARE!
GLASSES: Global Warming is a HOAX made up by Al Gore! What a GOOD voter!

Panel 4
The same scene, except the crowd is looking angrier, and some of them are wearing tricorn hats, indicating that they’re Tea Party members. One wears a “NObama” t-shirt.
BLONDE: Illegal voters are stealing elections for the Democrats! GOOD VOTER!
GLASSES: Experts and journalists are all LIARS! Only Fox tells the truth! GOOD VOTER!

Panel 5 (final panel)
The two men are looking unhappy, having been left behind by the crowd of voters. We can see the crowd well in the foreground, wearing “Make America Great Again” hats.
BLONDE: Trump’s a con man and a liar. But our base LOVES him!
GLASSES: How’d they get like that?

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13 Responses to Cartoon: Who’s A Good Voter?

  1. 1
    Sebastian H says:

    This is a great one. We’ve been training people to be this type of voter.

  2. 2
    RonF says:

    The utter contempt that the left has for the intellect and agency of the typical GOP voter – as embodied by the way they are portrayed in this cartoon – has not gone unnoticed by them.

  3. 3
    Ampersand says:

    Do you think it’s unfair to judge a party’s voters based on who they choose to elect?

    (I’m sympathetic to the idea that the system provides limited choices, and in the end there’s no available option other than choosing from those politicians the party chooses to run. But I don’t think the GOP base, with their support first of the Tea Party and now of Trump, can be said to have that excuse.)

  4. 4
    Grace Annam says:

    And heretofore, political cartooning has been such a polite and moderate medium, too…


  5. 5
    Humble Talent says:

    Barry, I struggle sometimes with wondering if you actually believe the things you choose to comment on.

    I mean… You retweeted someone who commented: “Trump has taught Republicans that even unsubtle, clearly false lies can be sound political strategy.”

    Do you think it’s unfair to judge a party’s voters based on who they choose to elect?

    I find that… adorable… coming from the party of Harry Reid, who stood up in front of the senate and lied, clearly lied, about Mitt Romney’s taxes. And then in an interview afterwards, chose to brag: “Well, Romney didn’t win, did he?”

    Now, I’m not going to defend dishonesty. I don’t trust a damn thing that comes out of Trump’s mouth, and neither should anyone else. But anyone that honestly thinks Trump taught anyone that “Unsubtle, clearly false lies can be sound political strategy” after the last 12 or so years of increasingly partisan politics is either painfully unaware or cripplingly partisan.

  6. 6
    Chris says:

    The utter contempt that the left has for the intellect and agency of the typical GOP voter – as embodied by the way they are portrayed in this cartoon – has not gone unnoticed by them.

    I have heard multiple conservatives refer to black Democrat voters as “slaves to the Democrat plantation,” which I find much more disrespectful than anything in this cartoon.

  7. 7
    Humble Talent says:

    I’ve used the term “Vote Plantation” before, but it’s always in the context of Democrats who treat black republicans like traitors or runaways. It’s hyperbolic, but some of the most seriously fucked up hate messages I’ve ever seen were to black republicans, and in that context, I mean Vote Plantation as a slur against the people who presume they’re entitled to black votes.

    But to your comment in particular… Even if you’re right… That way lies madness. This is part of the discussion we had over at EA: We railed against Democrats who said that Republican rhetoric was causing violence, specifically around the Gifford shooting. If someone wanted to, there’s a whole lot of room right now to blame Democratic rhetoric for the Scalise shooting. But at some point, we have to stand on our principles and take the higher ground, because otherwise it’s a slow but inescapable slide to the bottom. If you feel that “Vote Plantation” is disrespectful, the right thing to do isn’t some tit for tat one-ups-manship.

  8. 8
    RonF says:

    Judge GOP voters however you will. It’s a free country. But if you are insulting and patronizing towards people then don’t be surprised if they make an extra effort to turn out and vote to defeat your candidates and your objectives regardless of who’s running against them. “Deplorables” and “bitter clingers” did a lot to get people to the point that they’d even vote for a wealthy reality show host over the Democratic candidate.

  9. 9
    Jake Squid says:

    Yes. I will always have a lot of respect for those who vote out of spite. There is no nobler endeavor.

  10. 10
    Mandolin says:

    To be honest, a lot of people, likely on both sides, are going to be responsive to rhetoric coming from party leadership, because following and understanding this shit is difficult and time consuming (and exhausting). It’s a good reason to make sure that rhetoric is responsible, and preferably accurate!, and to criticize it.

    ETA: definitely on both sides and in fact make that all sides.

  11. 11
    Ampersand says:

    Ron, the question I asked you wasn’t whether I have a free speech right to criticize Republican voters (although I’m glad you agree I do). I asked if you think “it’s unfair to judge a party’s voters based on who they choose to elect?”

    If many GOP voters are really going to go “to hell with policy and substance! This cartoon was harsh towards GOP voters, so I’m definitely voting for the GOP!” then that suggests that GOP voters are, in fact, genuinely awful voters who deserve to be criticized. Even I have a hard time believing GOP voters are that vapid and spiteful.

    If you’re saying that it’s a bad tactic for candidates for high office to say things like “bitter clingers” or Mitt Romney’s “47%” comment, or any of a hundred spiteful, awful things Trump said during the campaign, I agree. It’s also a bad idea for the close associates and advisors to politicians to say such things, such as Eric Trump saying Democrats are “not even people.” All of these things were bad to say, and I’m sure that Romney, Obama, and Clinton regretted saying them.

    But at the same time, realistically, these statements are going to come up. I bet if you spent a solid two years being a public figure and having every sentence you ever say analyzed, with whatever best generates headlines reported on the most, you’d say something that seems bad too. I know I would. “Never, ever say anything that makes you look like you don’t think much of your opponents over the course of an extremely heated two years” is not a standard that most of us could live up to 100% of the time. What makes Trump extraordinary isn’t that he says such things; it’s that he says them frequently and without regret.

    But honestly, the thing Trump said that most should have disqualified him from being President, imo? “I don’t believe in climate change.” It’s not as dramatic and headline-grabbing, but it matters a lot more. But the problem is, most of the GOP base seems to consider it a good thing for a President to be against reality and science.

    Anyhow, going back to your criticism, I don’t think it makes sense to imply that political cartoonists should be held to the same standards as politicians. Surely any political discourse is healthier if satirists don’t hold themselves to the standards of politicians trying to ingratiate themselves to voters.

  12. 12
    Chris says:

    Humble Talent,

    I wasn’t endorsing “tit-for-tat.” I oppose the phrase “Vote Plantation” because it is racist. You oppose this cartoon because it points out that Republicans have fed their constituents on a steady diet of lies for decades, and now wonder how someone like Trump could arise.

    The two are not equivalent.

  13. 13
    RonF says:

    I think it’s entirely fair to judge voters on who they vote for. I think that you also have to take into account the alternative, though – who they didn’t vote for, and why they (in a great many cases) held their nose and voted for who they did. As I think I’ve noted before, a lot of people don’t vote for a candidate, they vote against one.

    And understand that my initial comment simply said that there are a lot of voters in the U.S. who have the impression that the supporters of candidates such as Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush have adjudged them as unintelligent, etc. If you think there’s good reason for that and that it’s worthy of a cartoon, go for it. But know that it feeds the beast by reinforcing their perceptions.