13 October 2010

Cartoon : Democrat vs. Republican Debate

Political cartoon by Chuck Assay of The Colorado Springs Gazette published on 08 October 2010.

Updated: If you place your cursor over some of the words, the French translation will appear in a popup window. Not all the words with a translation are in bold so you’ll have to explore the text.

In this conservative cartoon by Chuck Assay, you see the two major political parties represented by the donkey and the elephant.

The Democratic donkey was first associated with President Andrew Jackson back in 1828 when his opponents called him a jackass. Jackson later decided to officially adopt the image for his presidential campaign because it represented a strong-willed animal. If you are strong-willed, you are determined to do something you want to do, even if others don’t want to do it. The donkey was made famous by political cartoonist Thomas Nast who used the donkey in his cartoons to represent the Democratic Party. If you ask a Democrat today why the donkey is their official symbol, they will say it represents intelligence and bravery.

The Republican elephant was also created by Nash when in one cartoon drawn in 1874, he drew an elephant running away from a donkey dressed in a lion’s skin. On the side of the elephant there was written “The Republican Vote.” Ever since, the elephant has become the symbol of the Republican party. If you ask a Republican today why the elephant is their official symbol, they will say it represents strength and dignity.

The above cartoon was drawn to represent the debate between the two warring parties in this election season. The Democratic donkey candidate states with pride that he voted for Obama-Care and the stimulus bill. The term Obama-Care refers to the healthcare reform that was voted on by the Congress and signed into law by Obama this year. It is very common in American politics to invent new words for the political reforms or agendas of presidents such as in the economic reforms of President Reagan which have ever since been called Reaganomics.

The Democratic donkey calls the Republican elephant a wacko which is what you call someone you think is crazy or very strange. It comes from the adjective wacky which is synonymous for funny or silly. He continues by accusing him of wanting to take away Social Security and Medicare. In the United States, Social Security has nothing to do with healthcare but with retirement and disability. To read more, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_(United_States). Medicare is a social insurance program providing healthcare to people 65 years or older. To read more, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_(United_States).

He then accuses of him liking polluters and greedy businessmen. If you are greedy, you want more money, things, or power for yourself.

After that he calls him a heartless, skirt-chasing, money-grubbing warmonger who will do great harm to the planet. Someone is heartless, they don’t feel or show sympathy or kindness. In politics you have a lot of famous skirt-chasing politicians such as Bill Clinton. You’ll also find a lot of money-grubbing politicians who constantly want money and try to get as much as possible. President Bush was accused of being a warmonger which is a name given to someone who encourages or advocates aggression or warfare towards other nations. Whenever you cause injury, damage or other problems to something or someone, we say that you do them harm.

In the end, the moderator ask the Republican for his response who simply says, “I’m not him.” The Republican is then carried away in great support by the voters. This political cartoon describes the current political mood in the United States where Republicans are expected to retake control of the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate when Americans vote in national elections on 2 November. It’s not very popular to be a Democrat right now.

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