2016 Election Cartoons

And Trump’s transformation from reality show candidate to budding fascist to screetching human-eating parasite.

It begins. It’s March 2015 and progressives are clamoring for Elizabeth Warren to run for President. For reasons not explicitly stated, she didn’t seem particularly interested.

The first direct piece on the election came July 2015. 15 months ago. I worked with writers at The Gabbler to come up with Tinder profiles for 6 of the candidates.

Bernie Sanders
Distance: wayyy out​ there in VT.
Active: 73 years, baby!
About Bernie: “I’m just looking for a happy, healthy relationship in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned and/or regulated equally. Also, ice cream > frozen yogurt.”
Donald Trump
Distance: Miles ahead of everyone else!
Active: 36 hours
Tagline: “Call me The Donald, or else You’re Fired. Not into Hispanics.”
Hillary Clinton
Distance: [not found]
Active: [private]
About Hillary: “​​Email is so 20 years ago. PM me here, or better yet, on Snap.”

In September 2015 I drew a cartoon about how using a shameless 18-month reality TV show as the contest to elect a president would likely lead to a candidate who was totally inappropriate for the most serious job in the world.

At the time of that last cartoon, I was only kind of taking the threat of a Trump candidacy seriously. By December of 2015, the implications of his rise had become clear.

Especially during the primary, I was struck by how different the so-called “political machinery” was for each of the three most successful campaigns.

When Trump’s outrageous behavior was difficult to satirize, I tried to draw him as different absurd characters, acting how he normally does. I made strips about him as an evil toddler and as an incredibly drunk person in public places.

Evil Toddler-Full Cartoon
Drunk Trump — Full Cartoon

Trump as therapist:

Some ideas that didn’t quite make it: Trump as neanderthal, Trump as a film noir antihero, Trump as misguided performance artist…

There’s a notable absence of Clinton in my cartoons this election. There are so many reasons to criticize Clinton, which made it all the more frustrating that many common attacks were rooted in nothing but misogyny. That topic alone deserved a cartoon.

This election I didn’t want to play devil’s advocate or perpetuate a false equivalence between the two candidates. I’m deeply skeptical of Clinton, and am particularly repelled by her penchant for foreign intervention. But everything she’s going to do poorly, Trump would do worse, and then some. We know because he’s bragged about it.

There will be no shortage of policy to criticize under a Clinton presidency. Trump, however, has demonstrated that he is dangerously rash and vindictive, bigoted and authoritarian, and propelled solely by a compulsive need to feed his own ego. To me, there’s no comparison.

I look forward to criticizing Clinton when she’s president, but the choice is pretty clear this election.