If you like these cartoons, blah blah blah Patreon.
A zombie belief on the right that will never be killed is that Democrats massively cheat in every major election, manufacturing tens of thousands of fake votes, usually in ways that would absolutely never work at scale.
For instance, in December 2020, Donald Trump shared a Washington Examiner article on Facebook. The article, based on statements from one of Trump’s election lawyers, claimed that in Nevada in 2000:
42,000 people voted more than once; 19,000 didn’t live in Nevada; 15,000 votes were cast from a commercial address; 8,000 voted using a non-existent address; 4,000 ineligible noncitizens voted; and 1,500 dead people voted.
That these claims are wrong has been known for years. Most of those claims were found either false, or to have no evidence, by a Nevada judge. Yet just last week (late January 2024), superpopular right-wing conspiracy theorist and unbelievably awful human being Alex Jones was still spreading a video of the Trump lawyer making his claims. It got nearly 70,000 likes on Twitter.
There are over a thousand replies to Jones’ tweet, and most of them say things like “Wow! Wow! I’m lost for words. Where is the FBI???” and “I quit even caring because the theft was blatant, now evidence keeps trickling out years later and nothing will be done” and “The evidence just keeps piling up, yet absolutely nothing will be done about it.”
Thousands of people are convinced that they watched a video with evidence of gigantic voter fraud in Nevada. They didn’t see any evidence; they just saw a guy making unsourced and false claims in a confident voice. He said it; people they trust like Alex Jones and Donald Trump share it; therefore it is true.
And Nevada is just one of dozens of cases. Some right-wing grifter claims to have evidence of thousands of fake votes, it makes a lot of news on the right, legitimate experts debunk them, the grifter suffers no loss of reputation on the right, rinse and repeat.
There’s a cartoon that I’ve seen several times – at least twice because someone posted it as a response to one of my cartoons. I can’t find it, but as I recall, the cartoon makes fun of the way cartoonists tend to show people they agree with as calm and in control, while the people the cartoonist disagrees with are depicted as anger personified.
It’s honestly a fair critique. And having read that cartoon has made me consciously try to reduce my reliance on that trope, or even – as in this strip – reverse it, so the character I agree with is the angry one.
And really, why shouldn’t she be angry? The GOP’s dedication to this zombie conspiracy theory is genuinely enraging. We shouldn’t be embarrassed to be angry.
In an earlier draft, the right-wing character had a much more purposeful and malevolent personality.
There certainly are some malevolent persons involved in this – some just grifters, some genuine monsters like Trump and Alex Jones.
But many of the true believers are just stuck in a bad echo chamber, and you can even feel sorry for them. They’ve been lied to over and over, told that the society they grew up in is being taken away by evil woke Democrat cheaters. They’ve back a bad horse, and probably they’ll never know better.
Which is sad for them – but sadder for the rest of us, who they’re harming. Following that line of thought, I decided the character in this strip is one of the duped, not a deliberate duper.
I’m so happy with the colors on this strip! At least, right now I am.
The rest of the art, I have mixed feelings about. I know, logically speaking, that I can draw. But the first few figures I did (the first three instances of the woman wearing glasses) felt like I’d somehow forgotten all about how to draw. The rest of the figures I drew felt good, though. I’m especially fond of the mad face of the foreground figure in panel three.
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has four panels. There are two main characters. The first is a woman with dark red hair going to a bit below her shoulders, glasses with fashionably thick arms, and a short black peacoat over jeans and a blouse. We’ll call her GLASSES.
The other character is a woman with very short, somewhat spikey blonde hair, wearing a red puffy vest over a long-sleeved shirt and baggy black pants. We’ll call her VEST.
The two of them are talking on a suburban looking sidewalk, with a house, a bush and a tree in the background.
Glasses is holding up her smartphone to display the screen to Vest, and pointing to the phone with her other hand. She looks distressed.
Vest is pissed off – waving her arms and yelling.
GLASSES: In Nevada in 2020, 1,500 dead people voted for Biden! And 4,000 illegal aliens voted! I read it on Facebook!
VEST: Oh come ON!!! Just because someone says something doesn’t make it TRUE!
Vest is leaning forward, holding her fist in front of her (but not in a threatening way, just angry). Glasses, smiling, holds up her hands, palms out, in a peacemaking gesture.
VEST (still yelling): I could say there’s a video of Joe Biden personally stuffing ballot boxes in Boise! That doesn’t mean it happened!
GLASSES: Hey, no need for raised voices. Let’s agree to disagree.
In the foreground, Vest, muttering to herself, is walking away, pushing up her own hair angrily and biting her lip. In the background, Glasses has her back to Vest but has turned her head to watch Vest depart.
VEST (muttering): mumble grr stupid maga idiot @%$*!
A shot of Glasses alone. She’s looking distressed again, and is anxiously and rapidly tapping on her phone as she types into it. In her thought balloon we can see what it is she’s typing. (By the way, the typo is on purpose. Well, it wasn’t originally on purpose, but I noticed the typo before I posted the cartoon and decided to leave it in,, so in that sense it’s on purpose).
GLASSES (typing into phone): BIG news! EXLCUSIVE! Dem source says VIDEO has emerged of BIDEN HIMSELF PERSONALLY STUFFING BALLOT BOXES in BOISE! #FakeElection #cheatingJoeBiden
CHICKEN FAT WATCH
“Chicken fat” means easily-overlooked and meaningless details in a cartoon the cartoonists put in, which maybe you (and they) find amusing. There are two bits of chicken fat in this comic. In panel one, in the background, there’s a house, and if you look carefully in the window you’ll see Homer Simpson looking out. And in panel two, in the lower left corner, we can see that someone hidden in the bushes is spying on the characters’ conversation.