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There are a number of self-identified liberal or centrist democratic pundits who spend virtually all their time attacking the left – attacking Black Lives Matter, attacking so-called “SJW” “left identitarians” and so on – but who, when they’re referred to as conservatives, will say that’s completely unfair because they’re pro-choice and they plan to vote for Biden and so on.
But that’s the only time they bring these things up. They never publish an op-ed or even argue on social media in favor of reproductive rights; they just bring it up as a credential to better position themselves to attack the left.
They have a right to focus on whatever they want. No one has time to write about every worthy issue in the world. But I’m not criticizing them for not defending (for example) choice; I’m criticizing them for not defending choice while repeatedly using their pro-choice views as a credential.
It’s hard to take the “I’m pro-choice, so I have credibility when I say feminists are evil” mantra seriously when saying that appears to be the entire extent of their (public) commitment to reproductive rights.
And the same for their commitment to gay rights, to environmentalism, to anti-racism, and so on. For public figures like pundits, they don’t deserve credit for liberal positions they’ve virtually never argued for or defended. And they certainly shouldn’t be allowed to use their nonexistent support of liberal positions opportunistically to bolster their attacks on the left.
(I swiped some of the phrasing above from this 2016 blog post I wrote. So this has been on my mind a while!)
This was fun for me to draw. I got to draw a superhero! That doesn’t come up often for me. The thing I worked hardest on here was drawing the superhero’s face – that handsome square-jawed thing isn’t my usual style. I ended up having to flip the drawing left-to-right and redraw it from there (that’s an old cartoonist’s trick; flipping a drawing like that can make errors apparent that you’d failed to notice).
I also used a different font than my usual. I absolutely love the font I usually use, Moritat. Moritat is legible and tidy and super-energetic all at once. But Moritat is an all-caps font, so you can’t really Capitalize Words. And I really wanted to be able to capitalize the first letters in “My Liberal Beliefs,” as if it were a name. So I went with J Scott Campbell, another font I like (I use it to letter “SuperButch”). Both fonts are made by Comicraft.
Wow, I bet that last paragraph bored everyone reading this who isn’t a cartoonist!
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has four panels, plus a small “kicker” panel under the bottom of the comic strip.
We’re in a hilly park or field. Two people appear to be having an argument. One is a brown-skinned woman with black hair, with a couple of pink streaks running through it. She’s wearing a white tank top with broad blue strips on it. Let’s call her PINKY. The other person is a white man wearing a white tee shirt with a “!” design on it. He has fluffy brown hair and a full beard. Let’s call him BEARDO.
Pinky is looking angry and pointing a critical finger at Beardo. Beardo is looking angry, too, and is making a big “I’m frustrated” arm gesture.
BEARDO: It’s illibral to accuse people of “racism.” Where’s due process? Where’s freedom of speech?
PINKY: I’m so tired of that right-wing —
Pinky jumps back in alarm, while Beardo talks on cheerfully. Between them, a superhero has appeared in a puff of smoke (there’s a “poof” sound effect). The superhero is wearing a tight blue outfit, with boots and a cape and a shield-shaped symbol on his chest that says “MLB.” He is standing in with his hands on his hips and his chest thrust up a bit. His expression is happy but also smug.
PINKY: Whoa! Where’d HE come from?
BEARDO: This is My Liberal Beliefs. He suddenly appears and protects me when I’m accused of being right-wing.
There is a close-up of a bunch of political logo pins, pined to My Liberal Beliefs’ chest. We can see Beardo’s hand as he points at the pins. There are five pins, and here’s what they say:
“Pro Choice until I decide it’s gone too far”
“I will probably VOTE democrat.”
“I fight for FREE SPEECH of wealthy pundits s who are very like myself.”
“Gay Marriage Yay!”
“If I had been around back then I’m sure I would have marched with MLK.”
BEARDO: Just LOOK at all My Liberal Beliefs! How could I possibly be right-wing?
Pinky looks a little annoyed, while Beardo, who has his arms folded across his chest, looks quite cheerful. In between them, My Liberal Beliefs has disappeared, leaving a “poof cloud” in the air behind him.
PINKY: So do Your Liberal Beliefs ever speak aloud?
BEARDO: That’s not what they’re for.
SMALL KICKER PANEL UNDER THE BOTTOM OF THE CARTOON
Beardo, looking a bit angry, is talking to Barry the cartoonist.
BEARDO: So if virtually every public argument I make is attacking the left, THAT makes me right-wing?
BARRY: Only literally.