Someone recently asked me why I haven’t drawn many cartoons on Donald Trump, this election cycle. Putting aside factors unrelated to the topic which have restricted my productivity in general, I explained that it’s very difficult to craft sharp, meaningful satire about a man who’s already a living caricature of himself, at least with any more substance to it than the average tweet. His entire campaign strategy (if not his persona for many years prior to this election) has seemingly been built around the “big lie” propaganda technique described in Mein Kampf, so it’s practically impossible to come up with anything more absurd than reality, or even keep up with the absurdity in real-time, when it comes to Trump.
It’s the kind of challenge that feels merely pointless and tiresome, instead of fun.
I suppose this is one of the reasons his opponents, both in debates and the media, have had so much trouble attacking him, when according to all rational logic, he should be an easy target. Relying on “rational logic” is the problem. It’s like trying to define the architecture of the house in House of Leaves using conventional rules of geometry, space, and time.
Trump does not understand or care about logic or facts! The only things he understands are insults and emasculation! You can’t settle an argument with a caveman using anything more subtle than a club!
That being the case, my preference in trying to say something about him has been to focus on larger issues which he represents, rather than focusing on the individual man. The above cartoon comments on what the popularity of Trump’s openly hateful, racist demagoguery reveals about the modern Republican Party and its electorate.
People act all shocked, but nothing he’s saying is new. The GOP’s been pandering to Islamaphobes since at least 9/11 – George W. Bush’s calls for tolerance notwithstanding – and before that, (insert racial minority, social, or economic out-group here) was the scapegoat of the day, but where they’ve generally done it with winks and nudges, Trump is just saying it out loud, substituting an airhorn for the usual dog-whistle.
And the Republicans, who’ve been using those dog-whistles for so long some of them have apparently forgotten what they meant, have begun to recognize how much damage this does to their brand, and perhaps even reflect on the monster they’ve become by gradual degrees over a long period of time.
I’m afraid we’re in a devil’s bargain-type situation when it comes to Trump’s supporters, now. Obviously, any continued political success will further enflame their awful beliefs and ignite any ghastly behavior which one would expect to follow from them. But unless he’s somehow fully discredited in their eyes, first, his failure would just make a martyr of him, causing them to cling even more stubbornly, out of fear, anger, and resentment, to those beliefs.