Category Archives: Contemporary Cartoons

Posts about contemporary cartoons, created during the Spring 2018 semester

Booty is in the Eye of the Beholder!

An elephant, representing the Texas Legislature, points to a redistricting map of the state which shows a large portrait of an elephant, the symbol of the Republican party, superimposed on the map.
An elephant, representing the Texas Legislature, points to a redistricting map of the state which shows a large portrait of an elephant, the symbol of the Republican party, superimposed on the map.

Borders, especially Texas borders, have always been divisively political. Texan history has been full of border disputes: the 19th century issue of slavery in the Missouri compromise (Connor); attempts in the 20th century to redistribute land to political parties (“Division of Texas”); and 21st century gerrymandering within the state (Tarr and Benenson). The long, repetitive cycle of redrawing arbitrary lines to meet political goals continued through the early 2000s with the Texas Legislature’s decision to redistrict its boundaries for the US House of Representatives. In 2003, Texas Lawmakers opted for a voluntary redistricting to increase Republican seats in congress (Toobin).

While redistricting is required by the US Constitution every ten years at the advent of a new census, the 2003 redrawing was not a legal necessity. The Republican-controlled Texas Legislature called for a vote on a new redistricting plan soon after taking a majority of seats in both houses. This plan was rife with controversy. ­­The process of redistricting was drawn out well past the intended Republican time-frame due to several court hearings (e.g.: League of United Latin American Citizens v Perry) regarding the legality of gerrymandering along racial and political lines (Eggin). Those legal cases challenged the legality of the new map. One district was found to be in violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and was re-drawn (Eggin). By 2007, however, the new district map was finalized and in effect.

Leaders of the GOP, like Texan Tom DeLay, repeatedly stated that the purpose of this elective redistricting was to increase Republican control of the US House of Representatives (Toobin).

DeLay was the House Majority Leader and Republican whip in the United States Congress. After the state elections in 2002, DeLay took time off from Washington in 2003 to lobby the Texas government in Austin for a new district map. DeLay had an instrumental role redistricting the Lone Star State. He ran a Political Action Committee (PAC) called “Texans for a Republican Majority” that focused its large monetary assets on influencing the Texas house to re-draw the state’s map boundaries (Eggin).

DeLay’s national political career was tainted with assorted ethics and procedural violations, especially his ruthless work with the Texas legislature. In 2004, DeLay was reprimanded by the House Committee on Official Standards for exceeding acceptable behavior in pursuit of his political goals. In 2006, he was forced to resign from the US Congress when he was indicted for alleged conspiracy and election violations vis-à-vis his PAC (“DeLay, Tom”). The tactics used by DeLay that so effectively built a stronger Republican majority would ultimately be his downfall. Because of the overtly political goals, partisan redistricting has left many in the electorate frustrated and cynical towards the politicized electoral boundaries.

These sentiments are aptly captured in Christopher Weyant’s cartoon, “Booty is in the Eye of the Beholder.” His cartoon depicts the geographic area of the state of Texas with several small shapes carved into it, representing congressional districts. By far the most immense shape is the large figure of an elephant’s head superimposed in the middle, covering a majority of the map. The elephant symbol is used a second time for the anthropomorphized presenter of the map, who is labeled as the Republican Texas Legislature. Dressed in traditional Texan garb—a cowboy hat, yoked shirt, large belt buckle, rancher boots, and bolo tie—the elephant announces: “Booty is in the eye of the beholder!” This is a play on the idiom, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” This pun replaces “beauty’s” sentiment of love and appreciation with the nearly-homophonous “booty,” a noun that normally describes seizures in war (Oxford English Dictionary). “Booty” has the connotation of being something a pirate steals from its rightful owners. In this case, Weyant’s word choice shows the sordid behavior of the GOP in the pursuit of more seats in the US house—perhaps “pirating” the right of representational democracy from the electorate in the state.

This cynical view of the 21st century Texas redistricting was not uncommon in the years following the new map’s creation by the Texas legislature. During the Supreme Court cases on racial gerrymandering, many commentators found that the nature of the redistricting was an unnecessary political aggression. That the Republican party was sacrificing the will of the people for a shameless grasp at power (Toobin).

Jeffery Toobin, in his New Yorker editorial “Drawing the Line,” (pp.) described the Republican Party’s efforts at nation-wide redistricting as heavy-handed and corrupt. Especially in light of Tom DeLay’s inditement for political corruption, critics like Weyant found pirate-like behavior in his party’s conduct. Toobin argued that these aggressive methods would not be conducive to political discussion and would ultimately cost the Republican Party politically. John Cornyn, the senior Republican Senator of Texas, however, saw it differently. He said that many in his party felt their aggressive new map was justified—political revenge for the Democratic-drawn maps that had been used for the past decades (Toobin).

Such spiteful GOP responses to perceived injustices by the opposing party recall memories of 1930s-era efforts by Texas Democrat John Nance Garner to overcome the North-Eastern hegemony in the US Senate by redrawing the borders of the Lone Star State. Just as 21st century Republicans have redistricted Texas to guarantee greater representation in the United States House of Representatives, Garner led a campaign to divide Texas into five smaller states in order to increase the number of Democratic members in the US Senate. Garner’s political machinations were the subject of much critique in the Dallas Morning News in 1932. The editorial board, in their piece “Texas One and Indivisible,” found that Garner’s politically charged plan would adversely affect the citizens of Texas. Read together with John Knott’s cartoon, “Can He Sell the Old Man,” that depicted Garner as a salesman selling something the State didn’t want, there’s an immediate connection with today’s political commentators’ and illustrators’ concerns surrounding redistricting.

The controversies around remaking political borders are constant in Texas history. In 1932, when John Garner was criticized in The Dallas Morning News for his attempt to split up Texas for the benefit of his political party, it was only one many attempts to draw lines to wield power. Today’s use of governmental processes to gerrymander borders remains both controversial and pervasive. Even with the potential costs of the political game, bureaucratic means of partitioning are effective and will likely continue as long as they are technically allowed.

Works Cited

“Booty: Definition.” Oxford University Press. 2018. Web. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/booty

Connor, Seymour. “Missouri Compromise.” Texas State Historical Association. 15 June 2010. Web. https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/nbm01

“DeLay, Tom.” Congress A to Z, 5th ed., CQ Press, 2008, pp. 152-153. CQ Press American Government A to Z Series. Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX2142200100/GVRL?u=txshracd2598&sid=GVRL&xid=b56f15d8. Accessed 20 Apr. 2018.

Eggin, Dan. “Judge Staff saw Texas Redistricting as Illegal.” The Washington Post. 2 Dec 2005. Print.

Knott, John. “Can He Sell the Old Man?” The Dallas Morning News. 3 Jan 1932, sec. 3: 10. Print.

“League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry.” Oyez, 11 May. 2018, www.oyez.org/cases/2005/05-204.

Tarr, Dave, and Bob Benenson. “Mid-Decade Redistricti­­ng.” Elections A to Z, 4th ed., CQ Press, 2012, pp. 330-333. CQ Press American Government A to Z Series. Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX4159000121/GVRL?u=txshracd2598&sid=GVRL&xid=58e78366. Accessed 20 Apr. 2018.

“Texas, One and Indivisible.” Editorial. The Dallas Morning News. 3 Jan 1932, sec. 3: 10. Print.

Toobin, Jeffery. “Drawing the Line.” Editorial. The New Yorker. 6 Mar 2006. Print.

Weyant, Christopher. “Booty is in the Eye of the Beholder.” The Hill. 2007.

Russia’s Invasion of Crimea 2014

Carrying a large Russian rifle, a nearly naked Vladimir Putin aggressively advances into Crimea.
Carrying a large Russian rifle, a nearly naked Vladimir Putin aggressively advances into Crimea.

On February 28, 2014, Russian troops arrived in the dark of night, orchestrating a military invasion and occupation of the Crimean peninsula. Unidentified, uniformed Pro-Russian gunmen seized control of the main airports at Simferopol and Sevastopol, also taking over the Crimean parliament located in Simferopol. Despite Ukraine’s independence from the U.S.S.R in 1991, Russia had been maintaining its fleets at Sevastpol since that same year. Because of this, the Russian Foreign Ministry reasoned that troops were “required to protect deployment places of the Black Sea fleet in Ukraine” (MacAskill 46). However, the Ukrainian interior minister claimed that the Russian attack was a “military invasion and occupation in violation of all international treaties and norms,” which were outlined in the United Nation Charter (Article 2(4)), a document that prohibits ‘the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations” (MacAskill 21). Therefore, it was apparent that Russia’s military actions were aggressive and illegal and that they were occupying the Crimean peninsula only to increase Russia’s geopolitical power.

In Tom Toles’ political cartoon, “Naked Aggression,” (Tole cartoon) published in the Washington Post on March 4, 2014, he satirizes the military aggression and unjust actions taken by Russia in order to claim Crimea. The cartoon depicts Vladamir Putin as a villainous individual who is seen with only his red underwear on, which is humorously embellished with an array of skulls and crossbones. Additionally, Putin is illustrated without a shirt, referencing his well-known and proud penchant for being photographed bare-chested, while engaging in “macho” adventures such as hunting, boating, and spearfishing (Brown 3). Putin is characterized as aggressively advancing across the land while carrying a large Russian rifle. Particularly, he steps on the word, “Crimea,” as he marches into that territory. Two men in the background state, “Now he’s dropped his trousers too,” as they observe Putin “nakedly” marching into Crimea.

The context of this comic revolves around the climactic and geographic factors that limited pre-Soviet imperial Russia’s economy. Due to the vast amount of bitter cold regions in Russia, this limited Russia’s agricultural activity to about ten percent of the country’s land area. Of this amount of land, approximately sixty-percent of it was used for cultivating crop (“Russia- Agriculture”). During the beginning of the twentieth- century, “agriculture constituted the single largest sector of the Russian economy, producing approximately one-half of the national income” (Jackson). However, due to the lack of technological advancement, the Russian agricultural industry began to decline. Crops and livestock failed to withstand Russia’s harsh winter, ultimately leading to famines. Gradually, this led to Russia’s imperialistic nature of searching outwardly in other countries for land, resources, and even for warm water ports for year-round trading and building their navy. The agricultural difficulties that limited Russia’s economy not only influenced social reforms, but it also contributed to the rise of the Bolshevik revolution.

The Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, were a revolutionary party devoted to the philosophies of Karl Marx (“Bolsheviks”). They believed that the working class should liberate themselves from the economic and political bindings of the ruling classes. Since Russia was a backward agriculture country, a mass amount of peasants demanded more land, and factory workers began to protest the wretched working conditions and economic turmoil. Therefore, the Bolsheviks, became increasingly popular among the working class, eventually overthrowing the Provisional Government in 1917 (“Bolsheviks”). Soon after the Bolshevik Revolution, they changed their name to the Russian Communist Party in 1918, beginning the reign of a socialist government (“Bolsheviks”).

During the reign of the Soviet Union from 1922-1991, it consisted of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belorussia, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirgiziya, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan (Dewdey 8). During its existence, the total area possessed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R) constituted the world’s largest country – essentially covering one-sixth of the Earth’s land surface (Dewdey 31). Not only did the Soviet Union obtain vast areas of land during its reign, but it also possessed control over a multitude of waterways and valuable resources, thereby aggrandizing its geopolitical power.

However, by 1985 when Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union’s last leader, rose to power the Soviet Union experienced severe stagnation both politically and economically.  In order to remedy this, Gorbachev introduced the two-tiered policy: “perestroika” (“restructuring”) and “glasnost” (“openness”). The policy of perestroika was an economic reform program that would attempt to replace the centralized command economy with a progressive version of market economy, while the policy of glasnost enabled the freedom of speech among citizens (Dewdey 116). However, this change to the economy was unsuccessful, resulting in a further decline in production. Because of this economic regression, the citizens of the U.S.S.R and its republics utilized their new freedom of speech to criticize Gorbachev’s failure to improve the economy. Consequently, non-Russian areas such as Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania began to demand their own autonomy. With the combination of countries demanding their independence and democratic momentum within the U.S.S.R, this eventually led to the downfall and disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991(Dewdey 134).

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, only twelve republics emerged from the U.S.S.R. These remaining republics formed the Russian Federation. Boris Yeltsin became President of the Russian Republic in 1990 (“Boris Yeltsin”). He attempted to repair the country by supporting a market-oriented economy and the right of Soviet republics to greater autonomy within the Soviet Union. However, his popularity declined quickly as he failed to reform the free-market economy in order to spur economic growth. Yeltsin was eventually forced to resign in 1999, when Vladimir Putin, who was a former KGB (the primary security agency of the Soviet Union which is now known as the FSB) official, threatened to expose Tatyana Dyachenko, Yeltsin’s daughter, who had been taking part in “high-level corruption and financial malfeasance” within the government (Bolhen 26).

Vladimir Putin was soon elected President in 1999 (“Vladimir Putin”). Since his election, Putin had been attempting to rebuild “Soviet Russia,” stating that the “demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century” (“Putin: Soviet Collapse a ‘Genuine Tragedy’ ”). Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia continued to experience severe economic turmoil. However, in order to increase geopolitical and economic security, Vladimir Putin deployed Russian troops on an overnight mission on February 27, 2014 to seize the Supreme Council and the Crimean peninsula. The surprising and sly invasion of Crimea underscored Putin’s “flagrant violation of international law and the postwar order” land “was an aggressive move to return to a world in which Russia was still an international superpower” (Pinkham 58).

While Russia characterized the invasion as simply deploying soldiers to protect Russian fleets in Crimea, it was evident that the access to oil and gas reservoirs located in the Black Sea were the real objectives. The vast amount of valuable resources within the Black Sea not only would provide a much more stable and powerful economy, but the possession of the port would also extend Russia’s maritime boundaries (Goncharov 9). This strategic waterway served as an important naval port, increasing Russia’s geopolitical power.

These aggressive military actions mirror the hostile actions made by Japan in demanding the cessation on the boycott of Japanese goods in Shanghai during the 1930’s. In the midst of its imperial conquest, Japan invaded and conquered Manchuria through the Mukden incident that took place in 1931 (Byas 2). Manchuria was a territory rich with valuable resources that was legally governed by China. After the establishment of the pseudo-government, “Manchukuo,” in Manchuria, Japan began to use excessive military force in Shanghai to suppress Chinese boycotts of Japanese goods that arose out anti-Japanese resentment. In doing this, Japan hoped to occupy Shanghai in the process, gaining a foothold in another valuable area in order to spread its sphere of influence. Ultimately, these aggressive acts carried out by Japan not only violated its legal obligation to denunciate war, as outlined by the League of Nations, but also further heightened tensions that already existed between the two nations.

Similarly, Russia invaded Crimea, violating the United Nations charter by committing an aggressive and unjust act of imperialism. By possessing control of the Black Sea, it was evident that this was Russia’s key to geopolitical and economic stability. In Tole’s cartoon, Putin embodies a similar body language and image to the Japanese militant in John Knott’s cartoon, “Having Crushed the Chinese ‘Bandits’ ” (Knott cartoon). Putin and the Japanese soldier both possess a large military gun as they invade into a territory that is not their own. Furthermore, the bully-like characterization of the soldier compares to Putin’s “nakedness.” While the immense size and strength of the militant corresponded to Japan’s militaristic demeanor, Putin’s nearly naked state parallels to his “naked” or bold aggression that was portrayed by the Russian invasion on Crimea. Therefore, both cartoons resonate with the sheer aggression exhibited by Japan and Russia.

Due to the economic and geopolitical pressures that Japan and Russia experienced during their respective time periods, these factors pushed them to aggressively seize territories, even if it was illegal, in order to achieve economic and geopolitical stability. While the 1928 Kellogg- Briand Pact and the 2014 United Nations Charter (Article 2(4)) were both designed to urge nations to reject war, the geopolitical and economic circumstances presently occurring in the world may cause countries to act in their self interest in order to gain stability. Therefore, it is important to keep the past in mind to better evaluate the future outcomes of Russia’s war on Crimea.

 

Works Cited

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Bolshevik.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 26 Apr. 2018, www.britannica.com/topic/Bolshevik.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Boris Yeltsin.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 16 Apr. 2018, www.britannica.com/biography/Boris-Yeltsin.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Vladimir Putin.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 19 Mar. 2018, www.britannica.com/biography/Vladimir-Putin.

Bohlen, Celestine. “YELTSIN RESIGNS: THE OVERVIEW; Yeltsin Resigns, Naming Putin as Acting President To Run in March Election.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 1 Jan. 2000, www.nytimes.com/2000/01/01/world/yeltsin-resigns-overview-yeltsin-resigns-naming-putin-acting-president-run-march.html.

Brown, Chris. “Vacationing like a ‘Real’ Man: Photos from Putin’s Macho Holiday Seen as Part of Re-Election Bid | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 7 Aug. 2017, www.cbc.ca/news/world/vladimir-putin-images-siberian-holiday-1.4237878.

Dewdney, John C., et al. “Soviet Union.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 20 Apr. 2018, www.britannica.com/place/Soviet-Union.

Goncharov, Vladimir Petrovich, et al. “Black Sea.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 13 Mar. 2018, www.britannica.com/place/Black-Sea.

Jackson, George D., and Robert James Devlin. Dictionary of the Russian Revolution. New York: Greenwood, 1989. Print

Kara-Murza, Vladimir V. “Ukraine Is Putin’s, Not Russia’s, War.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 4 Mar. 2014, www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ukraine-is-putins-not-russias-war/2014/03/04/f587b698-a337-11e3-84d4-e59b1709222c_story.html?utm_term=.5c1b9a1d2417.

Knott, John. “Having Crushed the Chinese ‘Bandits’.” Cartoon. Dallas Morning News 28 January 1932. Newspaper. 18 April 2018.

MacAskill, Ewen, et al. “Russian Invasion of Crimea Fuels Fear of Ukraine Conflict.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 1 Mar. 2014, www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/28/russia-crimea-white-house.

Pinkham, Sophie. “How Annexing Crimea Allowed Putin to Claim He Had Made Russia Great Again | Sophie Pinkham.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 22 Mar. 2017, www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/22/annexing-crimea-putin-make-russia-great-again.

“Putin: Soviet Collapse a ‘Genuine Tragedy’.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 25 Apr. 2005, www.nbcnews.com/id/7632057/ns/world_news/t/putin-soviet-collapse-genuine-tragedy/#.WvSSy4gvxPY.

“Russia – Agriculture.” Portugal – FAMILY AND KINSHIP RELATIONS, countrystudies.us/russia/60.htm.

Toles, Tom. “Naked Aggression.” Cartoon. Washington Post 4 March 2014. Newspaper. 20 April 2018.

 

 

 

 

A Fine Line

OIL MAN CAMPS
A bellhop and an oil worker represent the two constituencies at odds concerning the oil patch man camps around the boom town of Williston, North Dakota.

 

North Dakota’s oil boom began in 2006 in the Parshall Oil Field and went on to peak in 2012 (Cullen). During this time, North Dakota was among the top five growing economies in the United States. With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and a record-setting gross domestic product of $49.8 billion, North Dakota showed no signs of slowing down (Silva). For just under a decade North Dakota’s economy was controlled by the rise and fall of an economic boom and bust cycle (Silva). The cycle starts with a “boom,” during which there are plenty of jobs, and the market flourishes (Boom and Bust Cycle). However, when there is a “bust,” there are little to no jobs available, and the market shrivels up (Boom and Bust Cycle). In North Dakota, oil was the economic driver of the boom and bust cycle, and it brought in a new population consisting mainly of oil workers. Across North Dakota, newborn boom towns had to walk a fine line between cooperating with oil workers in patch man camps and banning them for good.

Williston, North Dakota is a classic example of a “boom town” that fully experienced the economic rollercoaster of an oil cycle. A “boom town” is a town experiencing rapid growth typically resulting from an industry or business development (Collins). The specific problem Williston faced during its time as a boom town was the oil patch man camps–living compounds for oil workers– that surrounded the city during times of oil prosperity (Cullens). Trygve Olson’s political cartoon, “The Oil Patch Man Camps,” (Olson) and Robert Port’s editorial, “Williston City Commission Renews Ban on Crew Camps With a Dollop of Hypocrisy,” (Port) highlight the camps and their impact on Williston.

Port’s editorial explores the town of Williston’s legal battle with the business models of oil patch man camps. These camps housed, fed, and provided basic necessities to the oil field workers (Irvine). Also, the camps functioned as a population buffer that prevented overcrowding in Williston by housing a portion of the new population of oil workers. However, the camps came and left from Williston in times of boom and bust in the oil industry. So while they were established, oil patch man camps created fierce competition with local restaurants and hotels, stealing their potential business (Port).

Williston was faced with a decision. The town had to decide if they were going to continue to permit the establishment of patch camps or do away with them entirely. Williston ultimately decided to hold a vote to ban all patch camps, and the measure passed on September 1, 2016 (Port). Port’s editorial discusses the repercussions Williston could be facing from its decision to dispose of the camps. Towns like Williston might not have made it through some boom times if it weren’t for patch camps taking on a majority of the temporary population. Thus, the editorial speculates about what might happen in Williston when another boom begins, and a high inflow of workers are forced to pay and live in apartments and hotels. Will there be enough room? Will the workers have the wages to pay? These are questions the town of Williston was willing to wait to find out.

In Olson’s cartoon, there are two men depicted side by side. The man on the left is a clean-cut bellhop holding a mug that reads “Hotel and Apartment Vacancy.” With a glum expression on his face, the bellhop is exclaiming, “Can’t live with them.” On the right is a shaggy-looking oil worker dressed in a hardhat and muddy t-shirt that reads “Rotational Workforce.” He is uttering the words “Can’t live without them.” These two men are meant to represent the two constituencies at odds in Williston: the bellhop representing the local businesses and the oil worker representing the patch camps. Although the two parties are depicted are oppositionally, the men’s comments highlight the codependence that the two constituencies ultimately have for one another­– a key factor the town of Williston had to consider while deciding whether or not to remove the camps.

The battle between established businesses in Williston and the temporary oil patch camps can be compared to what boom towns were experiencing in Texas during the first oil boom. John Knott’s political cartoon, “In the Wake of the Gold Rush…” (Knott), depicts the complications that a new population caused in early 1900s Texas boom towns. The oil boom brought a lot of positive opportunities for small towns across Texas, but it also brought crime, lawlessness, and anarchy. These negative consequences sometimes outweighed the positives, and many boom towns quickly developed into filthy, crime-infested cities. Texas boom towns were among the firsts to experience the problems of an unwanted population, and as seen in 21st century North Dakota, the problem has not been solved over time.

It is often said that history repeats itself, and the trend of a sudden unwanted population in economic boom towns carried over to the North Dakotan patch camps. Again, the new population caused problems for the business operations of the town and for the town itself. Even though there is a similarity between the two oil booms’ unwelcome newcomers, North Dakota’s towns were hurt on a business level, while back in 1930s Texas, towns were negatively impacted due to the lack of social control.

Olsen’s cartoon, “Oil Patch Man Camps” (Olson), highlights both sides of the patch camps controversy by depicting both parties involved. Knott, however, uses his cartoon “In the Wake of the Gold Rush…” to project his opinion in favor of the small towns and against the migrant population. In both cartoons, the artists chose to focus on the boom towns themselves, and on how historically, times of economic prosperity are thought of as positive and beneficial; but in reality, struggles with unwanted business competition and a hurtful population in towns also were abundant. Ultimately, towns must surpass these struggles to embrace the positive characteristics of a boom and sustain their way of life.

“Boom and Bust Cycle.” Investopedia, Web. 24 April 2018. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/boom-and-bust-cycle.asp

Cullen, Allen. “Built Up by Oil Boom, North Dakota Now Has an Emptier Feeling.” The New York Times, 7 Feb. 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/08/us/built-up-by-oil-boom-north-dakota-now-has-an-emptier-feeling.html

Dalrymple, Amy. “Williston wins one crew camps court case, another looms.” INFORUM, 8 July 2016, http://www.inforum.com/news/4050645-williston-wins-one-crew-camp-court-case-another-looms

“Definition of Boom Town.” Boom Town Definition and Meaning, Collins English Dictionary, https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/boom-town

Irvine, Martha. “Life on an oil field ‘man camp’ – not for everyone.” NBC News, 3 Sept. 2011, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/44375648/ns/business-careers/t/life-oil-field-man-camp-not-everyone/#.WuExvdPwZ-U

Knott, John. “In the Wake of the Gold Rush…” The Dallas Morning News, 8 March. 1931: p6. Web http://infoweb.newsbank.com.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/iw-search/we/HistArchive/?p_product=EANX&p_theme=ahnp&p_nbid=T46T49LDMTUyNTMwMzg4NC4xNDc0NToxOjEyOjEyOC44My42My4yMA&p_docref=v2:0F99DDB671832188@EANX-104D1A955F6DC1E7@2426409-104D1A958EF80F79@5

Olson, Trygve. “Oil Patch Man Camps.” Photograph. Sayanythingblog. Web. 20 April 2018. https://www.sayanythingblog.com/entry/williston-city-commission-renews-ban-crew-camps-dollop-hypocrisy/

Port, Robert. “Williston City Commission Renews Ban on Crew Camps With a Dollop of Hypocrisy.” sayanythingblog, 24 Aug. 2016, https://www.sayanythingblog.com/entry/williston-city-commission-renews-ban-crew-camps-dollop-hypocrisy/

Silva, Mark. “North Dakota’s Oil Boom Fuels Economic Growth.” U.S.News, 3 March 2017, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2017-03-03/north-dakotas-oil-boom-fuels-economic-growth

“Unwelcome Strangers.” The Dallas Morning News, 8 March 1931, p. 6. http://infoweb.newsbank.com.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/iw-search/we/HistArchive/?p_product=EANX&p_theme=ahnp&p_nbid=T46T49LDMTUyNTMwMzg4NC4xNDc0NToxOjEyOjEyOC44My42My4yMA&p_docref=v2:0F99DDB671832188@EANX-104D1A955F6DC1E7@2426409-104D1A958EF80F79@5

 

 

 

Marijuana Prohibition Ends at Last

 

calif-legalizes-marijuana-what-now-558-Sm-72-dpi--color-copy
Newspaper proclaims that prohibition of marijuana finally ends after 79 years of prohibition.

 

America’s decision to start legalizing marijuana has sparked much conversation about its previous decision to abolish Prohibition also known as 21st Amendment, and especially how the 1933 Cullen-Harrison Act and 2016 Proposition 64 relate. Those two referendums, respectively, were put in place to make alcohol legal in America and marijuana legal in California. California began legalizing medical marijuana in 1996, and about 20 years later, the state legalized recreational marijuana with Proposition 64 (McGreevy). California saw that other states were benefiting from taxing marijuana sales and quickly got on board. Though most of the state’s population wanted to legalize, some people still were on edge about the negative aspects of marijuana being legal. For example, marijuana can cause psychosis, affect brain development, and be a gateway drug (“California Marijuana Abuse Statistics, Rates, and Treatment.”)

Cartoonist Keith Tucker relates the legalization of marijuana to the abolition of prohibition in his political cartoon titled, “Prohibition Ends at Last!”. His cartoon reads “Marijuana now legal in Calif. Voters put an end to the 79 years of prohibition. It’s about time!” This cartoon sheds light on the new legalization of marijuana, which although welcomed by many, remains strongly opposed by others. Those supporting legalization of marijuana, like those advocating for the 21st Amendment, considered similar arguments when fighting for passage of the two laws.

The article, “California’s new legal marijuana market marks the beginning of the end for prohibition” by German Lopez explains that California’s legalization of marijuana was a long time coming (Lopez). From 57% support of Californians in 2016 to 64% support in 2018, many people are very excited about their newfound freedom using marijuana (Lopez). Moreover, California currently has the highest revenue from marijuana sales in America (Lopez). Lopez, predicts that California’s marijuana industry could be worth $5.1 billion in 2018.

For those who are for the legalization of marijuana it is easy to spot the parallels of how the 21th Amendment in 1933 and the current legalization of marijuana in California are very similar. Journalist Jonathan Boesche identifies five ways that alcohol prohibition was no different than the marijuana ban including arguments such as: 1) People will get the substance anyway; 2) Cartels will still supply people with the illegal substance; 3) Financial benefits to the public from legalization; 4) Increase of spending in the fight to keep it banned; 5) Personal liberties and people’s right to use (Boesche, Jonathan).

Each point of Boesche’s points has a parallel with arguments against the prohibition of alcohol. The power of supply and demand are evident in the cases of both alcohol ad marijuana. Suppliers know what consumers want and will sell it to them. This was evident in the early 1900’s when speakeasies opened and illegally sold alcohol to those who were willing to break the law and buy it from them. The next point Boesche brings up is cartels. If someone wants marijuana, they will find a way to get it, even if it means getting involved with drug cartels. This illegal way of getting what you want comes with other crime that goes hand in hand with cartels. Cartels are not in support of legalizing marijuana because then they would not profit on selling it illegally (Boesche, Jonathan). Boesche goes on to say that we should benefit society by legalizing marijuana and collect taxes from it. The taxes collected from marijuana would benefit the government. The government also started benefiting from collecting taxes from alcohol sales when the 21st Amendment was established. He goes on to recognize how much spending America does to fight marijuana use and how that money could be used somewhere else. We can reflect on how much we spent fighting the consumption of alcohol and see how we are repeating history by doing the same while fighting against marijuana use. Lastly, he address how the government shouldn’t be able to control what we do with our bodies as long as we don’t hurt anyone else while doing so (Boesche, Jonathan).

In California, while some people fully support the legalization of marijuana, others only support limited medical marijuana use and did not support Proposition 64. For instance, Dr. Peter Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School argues that medical marijuana can be beneficial and not even give the patient a “high.” The chemical in marijuana that induces the high is called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC (Grinspoon). The strains that patients use do not contain this chemical, and if it does there is very little of if. The extract from the plant, cannabidiol or CBD, has very few intoxicating properties (Grinspoon). Patients who use this drug find relief from insomnia, anxiety, spasticity, and pain. These are just a few examples of what marijuana can help with.

Tucker’s cartoon compares California’s legal reform regarding marijuana to the days of prohibition of alcohol. Then, the 18th amendment was in place to ban the production, sale, and use of alcohol. Another cartoonist, John Knott, also discusses the ideas of prohibition through his cartoon, “Weather Forecast for Houston: Cloudy, Possibly Showers.” Both cartoonists point out how significant it would be to change the prohibitive law. Both articles draw attention to a potential new way of life with those substances being legal. The pros eventually outweighed the cons when deciding whether or not to legalize the consumption of alcohol. Tucker points out how that is currently happening in California regarding the legalization of marijuana.

Tucker’s cartoon portrays history repeating itself with the legalization of marijuana. Many states follow behind California in legalizing marijuana for recreational use. According to Governing Magazine, as of March 2018 nine states -almost one fifth of America- have legalized recreational use of marijuana (“State Marijuana Laws in 2018 Map.”) Others still focus on the negative aspects of marijuana being available to anyone of age. His, “It’s about time” political cartoons shed light on the popular topic of legalizing marijuana use in America. “John A. Boehner, the speaker of the House from 2011 to 2015, reversed a long-held stance against marijuana legalization on Wednesday, saying on Twitter that “my thinking on cannabis has evolved” (Victor, Daniel.) This is just one example of how influential people are starting to change their long standing views of marijuana.

 
Works Cited

Boesche, Jonathan. “5 Ways Alcohol Prohibition Was No Different Than The Marijuana Ban.” Voices of Liberty, 3 May 2016, voicesofliberty.com/2015/04/13/5-ways-alcohol-prohibition-was-no-different-than-the-marijuana-ban/.

“California Marijuana Abuse Statistics, Rates, and Treatment.” San Diego Addiction Treatment Center, sdtreatmentcenter.com/california-treatment/marijuana/.

Grinspoon, Peter. “Medical Marijuana.” Harvard Health Blog, 9 Jan. 2018, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/medical-marijuana-2018011513085.

Knott, John. “Weather Forecast For Houston: Cloudy, Probably Showers.” Cartoon. Dallas Morning News 24 May 1932. Newspaper. 17 April 2018.

Knott, John F., Cartoon Scrapbook. Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. The University of Texas at Austin. Austin, Texas.

Lopez. “California’s New Legal Marijuana Market Marks the Beginning of the End for Prohibition.” Vox, Vox, 2 Jan. 2018, www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/1/2/16840600/california-marijuana-legalization.

Marijuana Legalization News and Political Cartoons, www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/directory/m/marijuana_legalization.asp.

McGreevy, Patrick. “Californians Vote to Legalize Recreational Use of Marijuana in the State.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2016, www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-election-day-2016-proposition-64-marijuana-1478281845-htmlstory.html.

“State Marijuana Laws in 2018 Map.” Governing Magazine: State and Local Government News for America’s Leaders, www.governing.com/gov-data/state-marijuana-laws-map-medical-recreational.html.

Victor, Daniel. “John Boehner’s Marijuana Reversal: ‘My Thinking on Cannabis Has Evolved’.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 11 Apr. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/04/11/us/politics/boehner-cannabis-marijuana.html.

“Wets Pour It On” Dallas Morning News, 24 May. 1932. Editorial. Section 2, page 2.

 

Will Trump’s Anti-Mexicans Plan Stand?

Donald Trump holds up a dividing wall, the “Anti-Mexican Plan,” to prevent trucks from crossing the border and to keep Mexicans out of the USA.
Donald Trump holds up a dividing wall, the “Anti-Mexican Plan,” to prevent trucks from crossing the border and to keep Mexicans out of the USA.

 

Mexican-American relations have always experienced ups and downs. However, with the election of the 45th U.S. President, Donald J. Trump, Mexican-American relations are at a dangerously low point due to his unique governing style. When Trump announced his presidential bid, he infamously claimed that Mexico is “not sending their best,” but they are sending “people that have lots of problems” (“The Most Controversial Quotes from Trump’s Campaign”). Furthermore, he argued that Mexicans crossing the border were “bringing drugs” and “bringing crime” (“The Most Controversial Quotes from Trump’s Campaign”). Thus, bilateral relations between Mexico and America have become rocky once again, due to Trump’s rhetoric. He insists on building a wall — funded by Mexico — between the USA and Mexico to create a physical divide and separate the two countries. Under the Trump Administration and through executive orders, the Department of Homeland Security has taken steps to restrict and reduce immigration — i.e. announcing the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, terminating Temporary Protected Status, and enhancing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Bernal). Multiple issues — i.e. disagreement over trade agreement rules; trade between the two countries; and environment protections — have been exacerbated by Trump’s degrading campaign rhetoric and hardline policies towards people of Mexican heritage.

All of these contentious diplomatic topics are depicted in Nath Parish’s political cartoon, “Mexico/USA: The Wall of Contention” (Parish). The cartoon illustrates the border between Mexico and America. Donald Trump is holding up a wall that reads “ANTI-MEXICAN PLAN” and stopping the trucks behind him from crossing the border. The trucks behind Trump represent political subjects currently causing tensions between Mexico and America.

An article, “How Mexico Deals with Trump” published by The New Yorker in 2017 further describes the feeling of mutual prejudice between America and Mexico. The article explains that, “Trump’s insults and threats have made him a figure of loathing” considering “rants about Mexico were… a regular feature of is campaign events” (Anderson). When Trump announced that he would be running for President he “began his assault of Mexico” (Anderson). Despite Trump’s degrading comments toward Hispanic people, President Enrique Peña Nieto made the decision “to invite Trump to Mexico” (Anderson). However, after returning to the United States, Trump “humiliated his host by promising at a rally that he still planned to build the wall and to have Mexico pay for it” (Anderson). Mexico was furious after they heard Trump’s remarks and retaliated with a protest. The Mexican citizens had posters that read “Mexico Deserves Respect” and chanted “Make America Hate Again” (Anderson).

Mexican-American issues in the past have stemmed from a dynamic in which “Americans didn’t know how to listen and Mexicans didn’t know how to speak up” (Sarukhan). Trump’s openly  negative view of Mexico along with his “‘my way or the highway’ approach” (Sarukhan) has increased rocky bilateral relations between the two countries. With Trump’s demanding tactics of governing, this idea of listening and understanding has been disregarded leading to “President Enrique Peña Nieto cancel[ing] of his trip to initiate talks with Trump” (Sarukhan).

With no regard for the long term political implications of his words and actions, Trump continues to use scare tactics during speeches and reelection rallies that harm relations with neighboring countries. He has allowed Mexican-American bilateral relations to disintegrate throughout the course of his campaign and his presidency. Trump’s stubborn leadership tactics have led to problems involving trade agreement rules, commerce between the two countries, and environmental protections.

In Parish’s political cartoon the first point of contention that is written on a truck trying to cross the border is World Trade Organization rules. WTO is a “trade related entity” that “pertains to the whole globe” while the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement is a “trade related entity” that is just related to the “North American region” (“Difference Between”). Therefore, the USA and Mexico are monitored by both the WTO and NAFTA. Trump wants to renegotiate NAFTA and raise the border adjustment tax “about 20 percent on Mexican imports” (Afesorgbor). However, this implementation of a tariff “will contravene WTO principles that stipulate non-discrimination between WTO member countries” (Afesorgbor). Therefore, Trump’s plan to raise tariffs on Mexico will probably not be feasible. The issue of money and reorganizing NAFTA is creating a bigger wedge between the two countries as Trump tries to build up America by taking advantage of Mexico.

An additional problem illustrated in the modern political cartoon is commerce. Trade between Mexico and the United States “totaled an estimated $616.6 billion in 2017” (“U.S.-Mexico Trade Facts”). Yet, Donald Trump wants to renegotiate trade agreements in order to further benefit the United States. Although Mexico is the United State’s “3rd largest goods trading partner,” (“U.S.-Mexico Trade Facts”) talk of building a wall has pushed Mexico to start “pivoting away from a highly-dependent trading relationship with the United States” (Mills). Mexico has began to pull away from the U.S. and make a Plan B meeting with “European Union officials, with both sides eager to accelerate trade talks” (Mills). As Trump tries to better the American economy, he is driving a larger wedge between the United States and Mexico impacting the overall relationship between the two countries.

Yet another problem that contributes to the tenuous relationship between Mexico and America is the lackluster environmental protection offered by President Trump. Trump’s renegotiation of NAFTA is clearly impacted by the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and by putting “multinational corporations’ narrow interests first” (Warren) while neglecting family farms and the environment. TPP was a trade agreement that “aimed to deepen economic ties between these nations, slashing tariffs and fostering trade to boost growth” (“TPP: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?”). While Trump focuses on factors that the TPP focused on he “intend[s] to curb environmental, climate, and other important regulations” (Warren) causing issues with the government’s role of creating environmental protection tactics. Trump’s stance of trade negotiation is heavily based on the United States, therefore, again neglecting Mexico’s needs, creating a bigger gap between the two countries.

Trump campaigned on the construction of a massive wall separating the United States from Mexico. However, he still faces a major problem of gaining funds in order to build this wall. By Trump promising “Mexico will pay for his wall,” (Caldwell) he has created deep-seated animosity between the two countries along with polarizing colleagues in Congress. Further conflict can be seen when Trump starts a “call-and-response exchange with the audience” at a rally in Vermont (“Trump: ‘Who’s Gonna Pay for the Wall?”). Trump calls out asking who will build the wall with the audience responding “Mexico!” This action created a larger divide not only between the individual governments, but also between the citizens of each country.

Furthermore, the way Trump has handled bilateral relations is extremely different and unprofessional compared to past Presidents. Contrary to past President, Trump has implemented new ways of dealing with bilateral relations that have caused an increase in friction between Mexico and the United States. Although Trump is on one extreme end of the spectrum, there have been Presidents such as George W. Bush, who believed Mexican-American relations were extremely important. George W. Bush was on the opposite side of the spectrum from Trump and was known for having a strong relationship with Mexico. President Bush had a “network of personal relationships [with Mexican politicians] that [was] unusual for an American President” (Sullivan).

Historically, there often have been highs and lows in the Mexican-American relationship, but there have also been stretches of time that were relatively uneventful — periods of calm between the two countries that were made possible,  due in part, to successful diplomacy. One such period of calm between Mexico and America occurred during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency, when he implemented the Good Neighbor Policy. The Good Neighbor Policy is a foreign policy that “opposes any armed intervention in Latin America and aims to reassure the region that the United States will not pursue interventionist policies” (“Timeline: U.S.-Mexico Relations”). Ultimately, the Good Neighbor Policy was constructed based on the diplomatic skills of Dwight W. Morrow, the ambassador to Mexico from 1927 to 1930.

The “Dwight W. Morrow” editorial accompanying the “New International Bridge” cartoon in the Dallas Morning News emphasized how Morrow’s “good-will and understanding” were what caused positive relations between the two countries. Dwight W. Morrow wanted to gain peace through understanding the other country. Morrow goes on to state, “we can best defend the rights of our own country when we understand the rights of other countries” (“Dwight W. Morrow”). Trump’s governing tactics are completely opposite from the political tactics illustrated in John Knott’s 1930 cartoon, “New International Bridge.” Morrow’s efforts are symbolic of the bridge that crosses over the Rio Grande as he reconnects the two countries. On the other hand, Trump does not show interest in steadying relations with Mexico as he tries to create a larger divide between the two countries by building a wall.

Overall, Donald Trump has seriously damaged the symbiotic relationship between Mexico and America due to his negative, insulting comments and hard-line policies towards Mexico. Trump’s blatant bias towards Mexico sets him apart from most previous U.S. Presidents, but not in a good way. Americans will likely be reaping the ill effects from this presidency for years to come, leaving future leaders the challenging task of reestablishing good relations that were hard fought victories exemplified in the 1930s “New International Bridge” cartoon and “Dwight W. Morrow” editorial.

 

Works Cited

Afesorgbor, Sylvanus Kwaku. “What If Trump Kills NAFTA? Remedies for Canada and Mexico.” The Conversation, 6 Apr. 2018, theconversation.com/what-if-trump-kills-nafta-remedies-for-canada-and-mexico-91129.

Anderson, Jon Lee. “How Mexico Deals with Trump.” The New Yorker, The New Yorker, 2 Oct. 2017, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/09/mexico-in-the-age-of-trump.

Bernal, Rafael. “Five Ways Trump Is Restricting Immigration.” TheHill, The Hill, 1 Apr. 2018, thehill.com/latino/381103-five-ways-trump-is-restricting-immigration.

Caldwell, Alicia. “Trump’s Border Wall With Mexico Faces All Kinds of Obstacles.” U.S.News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2017-03-27/trumps-border-wall-with-mexico-faces-all-kinds-of-obstacles.

“Difference Between.” Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects, 12 Oct.2011, www.differencebetween.net/business/difference-between-wto-and-nafta/.

“Dwight W. Morrow.” Dallas Morning News, 19 September 1930. Newspaper. 17 April 2018.

Knott, John. “New International Bridge.” Cartoon. Dallas Morning News 19 September 1930. Newspaper. 17 April 2018.

Mills , Curt. “Mexico Pivots Away From U.S. on Trade.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S.News & World Report, 4 Apr. 2017, www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2017-04-04/mexico-pivots-away-from-trump-us-on-trade.

Nelson, Louis. “Trump Attacks Canada and Mexico over Trade.” POLITICO, 5 Mar.2018, www.politico.com/story/2018/03/05/trump-canada-mexico-nafta-trade-435820.

Paresh, Nath. “Mexico/USA: The Wall of Contention” Cartoon. The Khaleej Times[Inde/India] 30 January 2017. Cagle Cartoons. Web. 18 April 2018. http://caglecartoons.com/viewimage.asp?ID=%7B3B1644DC-6731-4E32-978F-6361B704DA84%7D

Sarukhan, Arturo. “Opinion | The U.S.-Mexico Relationship Is Dangerously on the Edge.”The Washington Post, WP Company, 31 Jan. 2017, www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2017/01/31/the-u-s-mexico-relationship-is-dangerously-on-the-edge/?utm_term=.0fcf401c16d7.

Sullivan, Kevin. “Bush’s Relations With Mexico Rooted in Symbols, Friendship.” TheWashington Post, WP Company, 13 Feb. 2001, www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2001/02/13/bushs-relations-with-mexico-rooted-in-symbols-friendship/50ccbc3c-f778-411e-944d-be0009206548/?utm_term=.38dc7a65ce1c.

“The Most Controversial Quotes from Trump’s Campaign.” Newsday, Newsday, 20 Jan. 2017,www.newsday.com/news/nation/donald-trump-speech-debates-and-campaign-quotes-1.11206532.

“Timeline: U.S.-Mexico Relations.” Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Foreign Relations, www.cfr.org/timeline/us-mexico-relations.

“TPP: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?” BBC News, BBC, 23 Jan.2017, www.bbc.com/news/business-32498715.

“Trump: ‘Who’s Gonna Pay for the Wall?’.” MSNBC, NBCUniversal News Group, 7 Jan.2016,www.msnbc.com/msnbc/watch/trump-whos-gonna-pay-for-the-wall-598086723533.

“U.S.-Mexico Trade Facts.” Mexico | United States Trade Representative, ustr.gov/countries-regions/americas/mexico.

Warren, William. “NAFTA Renegotiation Threatens Family Farmers and the Environment • Friends of the Earth.” Friends of the Earth, 28 Nov. 2017, foe.org/nafta-renegotiation-threatens-family-farmers-environment/.

 

 

An Unexpected Champion

The media prematurely pronounces Hillary Clinton victorious in the political fight for “Champion of the Middle Class” against a generic Republican candidate during the 2016 presidential election.
The media prematurely pronounces Hillary Clinton victorious in the political fight for “Champion of the Middle Class” against a generic Republican candidate during the 2016 presidential election.

Michael Ramirez depicts the fight for the votes of the middle class in the 2016 presidential election in his cartoon, “Champion,” published in the Chicago Tribune. The two candidates for the election were Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and Republican nominee, Donald Trump. The 2016 presidential election was historically significant for women because it brought us closer to seeing a woman elected to the Office of President of the United States. Hillary Clinton was one of the most famous women in politics. Clinton came from a prominent political family with years of political experience. By contrast, Trump had little political experience, which made the pundits think that Hillary was sure to win the presidential election. In June of 2016, an article, “The 2016 Election is Already Decided,” was published in the Washington Post and discussed how, “the 2016 election is already decided. History says Hillary Clinton wins,” based onthe historical patterns of elections and the unpopularity of the GOP nominee, Donald Trump (Sosnik, “The 2016 Election is Already Decided”). Although she eventually went on to face defeat, her presidential campaign was a stride for women in the fight to see a woman elected to the office of President.

Hillary Clinton was born in 1947 in Chicago, Illinois. In 1975, she married her husband, Bill Clinton who served as President of the United States from 1993-2001. As First Lady of the United States, Clinton began her own political career. After her time as First Lady, she went on to serve as a two-term Senator from New York from 2001-2009 (Kelso, “Clinton, Hillary”). She then continued on to become the candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2008. After facing defeat in that election, she was chosen as the 67thSecretary of State under President Barack Obama from 2009-2013 (Kelso, “Clinton, Hillary”). Clinton’s vast political experience led her to run for President again in the 2016 presidential election.

Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, was born in 1946 in New York City. Trump spent his life building a real estate empire and starring on the reality television show The Celebrity Apprentice, which resulted in him becoming a billionaire and a public figure. However, he greatly lacked the political experience that was characteristic of past presidential nominees, which made his run for the Republican nominee seem like nothing more than a joke to many. However, on July 21, 2016, Trump accepted the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland (“Donald Trump”).

The presidential election of 2016 was one of the most controversial and unusual elections in the history of the United States. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, put up a strong fight against Donald Trump, the Republican nominee. The campaigns of both candidates were plagued by controversies and scandals. However, many viewed the campaign of Trump as a joke because of his lack of political experience compared to Clinton. Many people thought that Clinton would easily win the presidential election. This view became even more popular when the Clinton campaign office released their financial statistics. Clinton had raised more than $45 million during the first quarter of the campaign, shattering the previous record (Hassanzade Ajiri, “Hillary Clinton Has Raised $45 Million…”). In addition, 90% of the donations were less than $100, revealing Clinton’s popularity among Middle Class Americans (Hassanzade Ajiri, “Hillary Clinton Has Raised $45 Million…”).

In the final stretch of the election, both candidates made their final pleas to the American people and expressed the major platforms of their campaigns. Trump addressed the American people by saying that, “Today is the day that the working class strikes back,” (America Decides, “Hillary Clinton made a Dramatic…”). Clinton took a different approach by saying, “We have to bridge the divides in this country and love trumps hate,” (America Decides, “Hillary Clinton made a Dramatic…”). Clinton had spent previous weeks trying to attack the Trump campaign but shifted her address to stress national unity in the final days. At one of her final rallies in Philadelphia, she was joined by her husband as well as President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama (America Decides, “Hillary Clinton made a Dramatic…”). It looked as though Clinton would take this controversial election.

Yet on November 8, 2016, the results of the election began to come in, and many people could not believe it. Trump ended up receiving 306 electoral votes and Clinton received 232, giving Trump the election (“US Elections 2016 Results). However, Clinton went on to receive 48% of the popular vote and Trump only received 45.9% (“US Elections 2016 Results). Very few people expected this outcome, especially because of the unconventional nature of the Trump campaign. Clinton called Trump and conceded but did not give a concession speech to the public that night (“Roberts, “Trump wins Presidential Election”).

The fight for “Champion of the Middle Class” is illustrated in Ramirez’s cartoon through the characters of Clinton, the GOP nominee, and the media. The character of Clinton has her hand raised over her head in victory by the character representing the. The elephant character, representative of the GOP nominee, has a look of annoyance and says, “You know the match hasn’t started yet, right?”. They are in a boxing ring that represents the election for the champion of the middle class. This illustration is representative of the prevailing thought by the media that Clinton had already won the election before it even started. In the cartoon as in real life however, the GOP nominee was not ready to concede the fight before it started and eventually went on to win the election.

The elements and surprises of the 2016 presidential election are further outlined in the editorial “Hillary, how can this be? Isn’t the race over?” published in the Chicago Tribune on September 6, 2016. The author describes the weeks leading up to the election as a time that Clinton’s staff eagerly anticipated restoring the White House to make it their new home (Kass “Hillary, How Can This Be? Isn’t the Race over?”). He then explains that in the last few days the polls revealed that the race had tightened, and Clinton’s lead had shrunk drastically. He goes on to say that the race is not over, although many people thought that it was long ago (Kass “Hillary, How Can This Be? Isn’t the Race over?”).

Similar themes are conveyed in a cartoon published more than 85 years earlier in the Dallas Morning News. In John Knott’s cartoon, “It Was That Kind of Fight”, a similar political battle is illustrated. Ruth Hanna McCormick is depicted with her arm raised in victory over her male competitor, Charles Deneen, in the Illinois state senatorial primary election of 1930. McCormick came from a prominent political family, and both her father and first husband served on the Senate. She also was an advocate for the suffragette movement, making her an influential public figure. Similar to Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, many thought that because of McCormick’s vast political experience and background, she was sure to go on and win the general election. In the end, however, both women faced defeat in the general elections. Although Clinton and McCormick were not elected, both of them made important strides for women in the fight for gender equality.

Although women have made immense progress in the fight for gender equality since receiving the right to vote in 1920, the recent election proved that there is still a lot left to fight for. We have yet to see a woman be elected President of the United States. Even though we were not able to elect a woman to the Office of President, the election of 2016 proved that we are closer to seeing this goal come to completion.

 

Works Cited

AMERICA DECIDES. “HILLARY CLINTON Made a Dramatic […].” Evening Standard, 08 Nov. 2016, p. 1. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nfh&AN=119310937&site=ehost-live.

Ramirez, Michael. “Champion.” Chicago Tribune.

Cogan, Brian, and Tony Kelso. “Clinton, Hillary.” Encyclopedia of Politics, the Media, and Popular Culture, Greenwood Press, 2009, pp. 222-223. Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX2444000063/GVRL?u=txshracd2598&sid=GVRL&xid=5c9fc4ca. Accessed 17 Apr. 2018.

“Donald Trump.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 2 May 2018, www.biography.com/people/donald-trump-9511238.

Guardian US interactive, et al. “US Elections 2016 Results: Track Who Won, County by County.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2016/nov/08/us-election-2016-results-live-clinton-trump?view=map&type=presidential.

Hassanzade Ajiri, Denise. “Hillary Clinton Has Raised $45 Million in Campaign Contributions so Far; .” The Christian Science Monitor, 1 July 2015.

Kass, John. “Hillary, How Can This Be? Isn’t the Race over?” Chicago Tribune, 7 Sept. 2016, www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/kass/ct-hillary-trump-election-kass–0907-20160906-column.html.

Lawless, Jennifer L. “U.S. Politics and Society: Women, Political Participation of.” The Encyclopedia of Political Science, edited by George Thomas Kurian, vol. 5, CQ Press, 2011, pp. 1709-1710. Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX1671601454/GVRL?u=txshracd2598&sid=GVRL&xid=505971b0. Accessed 17 Apr. 2018.

Roberts, Dan, et al. “Donald Trump Wins Presidential Election, Plunging US into Uncertain Future.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 9 Nov. 2016, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/09/donald-trump-wins-us-election-news.

Sosnik, Doug. “The 2016 Election Is Already Decided. History Says Hillary Clinton Wins.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 29 June 2016, www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-2016-election-is-already-decided-history-says-hillary-clinton-wins/2016/06/28/8c6e682e-3d49-11e6-80bc-d06711fd2125_story.html?utm_term=.7846d9002963.