On The Origins of The Electoral College

Cartoon by Barry

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TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

Panel 1
This panel has a big caption labeling the scene “1787.” Two white men in Colonial-style clothing are speaking; one of them, who is labeled “James Madison,” is smiling and holding up a sheet of paper. The other man, listening, is labeled “John Rutledge.”
MADISON: I’ve figured out how we will elect Presidents!
RUTLEDGE: What’s the plan, Mr. Madison?

Panel 2
Madison presses a hand to his chest, looking reverent. Rutledge cheerfully offers his idea.
MADISON: My Virginia is the largest state in the Union! And I want to protect Virginia’s interests.
RUTLEDGE: So we’ll have people vote directly for the president, to take advantage of Virginia’s large population?

Panel 3
Closer shot of Madison, who is angrily shooting Rutledge’s idea down.
MADISON: Are you on crack? 40% of Virginia is slaves. Salves can’t vote. Direct democracy would be a disaster for us!

Panel 4
A shot of Madison, spreading his arms and smiling as he explains.
MADISON: In my plan, we’ll have “electors” who vote based on the total population, including slaves! That’ll make Virginia the biggest, most powerful state!

Panel 5
Madison is still grinning, but his expression looks a bit evil now. He’s clutching one fist in the air.
MADISON: In fact, all the slave-owning states will get a boost! Which we’ll use to protect slavery! I call it “The Electoral College.”

Panel 6
A large caption says “TODAY.” The image shows a hand holding a smart phone; on the smart phone’s screen, a pundit-type white lady is talking directly to the camera.
PUNDIT: …and then James Madison created the Electoral College to protect small states!

Posted in Elections |

The Two Party System

Cartoon by Barry

Transcript of cartoon

Title at the top of the cartoon: The Two Party System

Panel 1
A woman is standing in front of a little booth with a sign that says “DEMOCRATS.” The booth is in the style of Lucy’s psychiatry booth from the comic strip “Peanuts.” Seated behind the booth is an older white man, leaning his face on his hands; he doesn’t look very energetic.

WOMAN: Poverty is a national disgrace!

Panel 2
A close-up of the Democrat dude.
DEMOCRAT: That’s why we Democrats want to expand the earned income tax credit.
WOMAN: Okay, good. And?

Panel 3
A shot of the two of them. His head is still leaning on his hands; she’s waving her arms angrily.
DEMOCRAT: And there’s some other technical fixes we could do…
WOMAN: Tiny technical changes aren’t enough!

Panel 4
A close-up of the woman. She’s talking angrily and checking off things on her fingers.
WOMAN: What’s needed is single payer! Or free child care! Or a real game-changer, like a universal basic income!

Panel 5
The woman stomps away from the booth. The Democrat doesn’t even lift his head out of his hands.
WOMAN: Forget it! I’m out of here!
DEMOCRAT: You’ll be back.

Panel 6
The woman angrily walks to the right; in the background there’s a stone wall, and beyond that a hillside with trees on it.

Panel 7
The woman has arrived at a similar booth to the Democrat’s booth, but this one is labeled “GOP.” She talks to the middle-aged white an at the booth. The man behind the booth reacts angrily, grabbing the booth with one hand and leaning very far forward, thrusting his other hand out in a “STOP!” gesture.
WOMAN: I’m concerned about poverty. What will Republicans do for-
GOP MAN (very large letters): NO!

Panel 8
A close-up on the GOP man. He is yelling, eyes bulging, spittle flying.
GOP MAN: Not MY fault you’re a lazy welfare queen DEPENDENT wallowing in false victimhood! Take responsibility for your own life, LOSER!

Panel 9
The woman, visibly deflated and shaken, hugging herself, is stumbling back to the Democrat’s booth.
DEMOCRAT: Told ya.

Posted in Economic cartoons, Elections |

The Six Kinds of Republican

Cartoon by Barry

If you like this, consider supporting my Patreon!

Transcript of cartoon:

CAPTION AT THE TOP OF CARTOON: The Six Kinds of Republican

Panel 1
CAPTION: 1. Overt Racists
IMAGE: A natty white man, with a shaved head and a pinstripe vest, is standing on a sidewalk talking directly at the viewer with an intense expression.
NATTY MAN: Obviously white people are better at civilization. That’s why we need to stop Blacks from voting.

Panel 2
CAPTION: 2. Strategic Racists
IMAGE: Same scene as panel one, but now an older, successful-looking white man, in a jacket and tie, has entered and is talking to the Natty Man, putting one hand on the Natty Man’s shoulder.
OLDER MAN: No, my friend! We have to stop Democrats from voting. But most Blacks vote Democrat, so we’ll find some excuse to keep the Blacks from voting.

Panel 3
CAPTION: 3. Enabler Racists
IMAGE: We are looking closely at the screen of a smartphone, being held by a hand. On the screen, a well-dressed white woman with a straight haircut is talking.
PUNDIT LADY: Voter I.D. laws don’t literally say “we hate Black people.” It’s unfair to call them racist!

Panel 4
CAPTION: 4. Pragmatic Racists
IMAGE: A suburban-looking white couple stands in front of a two-story house. The man is holding a baby.
MAN: Maybe voter I.D. laws do suppress the Black vote.
WOMAN: But we’re white, so that’s not a deal-breaker.

Panel 5
CAPTION: 5. Willing Dupe Racists
IMAGE: Two young white men are talking. One, with a chinstrap beard and a plaid shirt, is waving his arms and has an angry expression. The other, with neatly combed hair, a t-shirt, and a lecturing expression, has his arms folded.
PLAID SHIRT: In what way is systematically making it harder for Black voters to vote “racist”? (Stop playing the race card!)
T-SHIRT: We need I.D. laws because millions of “illegals” are voting! (But you’ll never see that reported by the lamestream media!)

Panel 6
CAPTION: Not Racist
IMAGE: A blank white panel, other than a caption in the middle of it.
CAPTION: (No example found)

Little “kicker” panel at the bottom
The plaid shirt guy from panel 5 is angrily gesturing.
PLAID SHIRT: This cartoon is why Trump won!

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons, Elections, Social Justice |

Our Choices

Cartoon by Barry

trump-choices1500If you like these cartoons, please support them at my Patreon.

Transcript of cartoon:

(The title of the comic strip, “Our Choices,” is printed in large letters at the top of the cartoon.)

Panel 1

(A woman and a man talk, the woman holding her hands out, palms up, in a “let’s be reasonable here” gesture.)

CAPTION: Option One

WOMAN: We should give President Trump a chance! It’s too soon to panic.

MAN: Exactly!

Panel 2

(The background is filled with huge fires. Two armed soldiers, both wearing armbands and hats marked “T,” stand in the background looking stern. In the foreground, the man and the woman hurry along, bent downward, looking fearfully towards the ground.)

CAPTION: 8 Years Later

MAN: Why didn’t you resist when you could?

Panel 3

CAPTION: Option Two

(We see dozens or hundreds of angry demonstrators, yelling and waving fists in the air and holding up protest signs that say “RESIST!”. One of the protesters is the woman from the previous two panels.)

Panel 4

(The woman and man from the first panel. The woman looks annoyed, the man is making fun of her, his arms spread wide..)

CAPTION: 4 Years Later

MAN: So Trump didn’t destroy the country… Don’t you feel silly now!

Posted in Elections |

How Democracy Works

Cartoon by Barry

The cartoon has three panels. Each panel shows a crowd of milling citizens, who vary in sex, race, and age, yelling up to a giant white man wearing a suit and tie. The giant’s head is far distant from the citizens, and he gives no sign of hearing what they’re saying.

PANEL 1
GIANT: I’m PROUD I’ve been elected to represent the great people of this region!
CROWD1: I’ve been unemployed for six months!
CROWD2: How come the banks get help…

PANEL 2
From offpanel, a giant hand hands the giant white man a giant bundle of cash.
GIANT: I promise I’ll — Pardon me a moment. THANKS, Eric.
CROWD1: Medical costs keep going up…
CROWD2: In jail for a joint…

Panel 3
The giant resumes speaking while he pockets the bundle of cash.
GIANT: I PROMISE I’ll ALWAYS listen to the voices of ORDINARY CITIZENS!
CROWD1: Tuition has doubled…
CROWD2: Unemployed for ten months…

CAPTION (Running across the strip, under all three panels): HOW DEMOCRACY WORKS

Quoting a paper by Martin Gilens (pdf link):

Using an original data set of almost 2,000 survey questions on proposed policy changes between 1981 and 2002, I find a moderately strong relationship between what the public wants and what the government does, albeit with a strong bias toward the status quo. But I also find that when Americans with different income levels differ in their policy preferences, actual policy outcomes strongly reflect the preferences of the most affluent but bear little relationship to the preferences of poor or middle income Americans.

In the table above, the dark line represents the opinions of the highest-earning 10% of Americans. The further to the right the dark line goes, the more that top 10% wants a policy change to happen. And the further towards the top the dark line goes, the more likely it is that politicians will make the desired policy change happen. As you can see, the more the top 10% want a change, the more likely it is to happen.

The gray line represents the opinions of the lowest-earning 10% of Americans. As you can see, it’s completely irrelevant what they (er, we?) think. Politicians couldn’t care less. Gilens also has a similar graph showing that politicians barely listen any more to middle-class Americans than they do to poor Americans.

(See also, this essay by political scientist Larry Bartels.)

Posted in Economic cartoons, Elections |

It’s a Tidy System

Cartoon by Barry

Posted in Barry's favorites, Elections, Health care, Media criticism |

How Democracy Works In Littletown, USA

Cartoon by Barry

Although, really, this cartoon would be more accurate if I hadn’t put the word “USA” in the first panel.

Posted in Economic cartoons, Elections |

How Libertarians Vote

Cartoon by Barry

Posted in Elections |

2004 Election: The Back Of The Bus Lives On

Cartoon by Barry

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons, Elections |

Appeasement’s Failure

Cartoon by Barry

This was regarding the 2002 (or perhaps 2004?) elections.

Posted in Elections |