20 Examples Of Why Editorial Cartoons Are So Important (IMAGES)

It is amazing that, in one picture and a bit of text, a cartoonist can make a point more succinctly than 1,000 words. We call it a “cartoon” but they say so much more than that word connotes. Editorial cartoons can elucidate, educate, mock, make us laugh or even cry. The artists who draw them don’t get enough credit, in my opinion. Their voice is just as important as those of us who use lots of words.

Sometimes, a cartoon doesn’t even need text. This image alone says all we need to know about the sorrow felt by the French people after Nov. 13th’s terror attacks:

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weeping france cartoon

Yet, even in sorrow, Paris would not be cowed. Parisians didn’t just ignore the attempts to instill terror in them, they blew smoke in their face and flipped them off. The terrorists did not succeed in shutting Paris down:

paris cartoon

The attacks in Paris brought the plight of Syrian refugees to the forefront. They are fleeing DAESH’s reign of horror in Syria, many dying on the journey. Even though none of the Paris attackers were Syrian refugees, they somehow became scapegoats. In America, especially. But they are fleeing the same terrorists:

isis other victims cartoon

In America, the Syrian refugees have become the modern equivalent of the Jews in the 1930s and the Japanese Americans during WWII. They have become fodder for Republican candidates, bigots, nationalists and everyone else who puts someone’s origin, race, culture or religion before their humanity:


refugee cartoon 3

refugee cartoon 1

At this time of year, as we gear up to celebrate the birth of a Middle Eastern prophet, it reeks of hypocrisy to turn these refugees away. After all, the story of this prophet features his refugee parents looking for shelter and being turned away. I wonder there are any free mangers?

refugee cartoon 2

It is ironic that, after an attack in France, the symbol of freedom that they gave to us is being ignored or twisted. The Statue of Liberty wasn’t meant to be ironic. She is a symbol of a value that both of our cultures hold dear. However, a faction of Americans hold it dear only for themselves:

liberty terms cartoon

Don’t you ever wonder what it would have been like if the American Indians had been able to build a wall or otherwise keep Europeans off of this continent? Sure would have made Thanksgiving look a lot different.

tgiving ship cartoon

In the wake of the Paris, Beirut, Mali, Nigeria, e.al. attacks, talk of war has escalated. Some people think that fighting DAESH and others will fix things. As if more death and destruction would fix anything. What they don’t realize is that this is exactly what these groups want. The more we bomb them, the more the West is legitimizing them. And the more recruits they garner. This is their plan, of course:

Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c151117.tif

In America, there is one bunch upon whom we can rely to whip up the baser instincts of the population. Fox News — the PR arm of the Republican party — is doing its job. War is good business for them, their party, their party’s donors, their party’s contractor buddies, etc.

fox war drums cartoon

If we end up giving in to the warmongers and send troops to Syria (gods forbid), you know that those troops will be nothing but cannon fodder to those who send them. It happens every time. Afterward, those same warmongers try to pretend the soldiers don’t exist. The Party of War, the GOP, will vote against taking care of those veterans just as they have with the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, all the while giving lip service to supporting the troops.

veterans cartoon

It’s amazing how quickly some folks are calling for war over one terrorist attack, all the while ignoring something that kills 11,000 Americans every year. More children die of gunshots than were killed in all the recent terrorist attacks combined. But when these facts are raised, the ammosexual lobby gets all indignant. Nobody wants to take all their guns away, but it sure would be great if those on the terrorist watch list couldn’t waltz into a gun show and leave with an AK-47 or AR-15. We regulate (that word in the first part of the Second Amendment) candy more than guns.

Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c151120.tif

We humans have been killing one another for ages. We kill each other over land, resources, power, religion… pretty much anything. It never works. There’s always another group who wants what another one has. Who else thought that, by the 21st century, we would have been able to move beyond such barbarity? Yeah, me too. We have weapons that can wipe out the entire planet, but it’s never enough. We have mouths, too. And brains. Maybe it’s time we tried using them instead.

Killing People Won't Solve Problems

Who would have ever thought that the brother of the guy who spearheaded the events which have led to DAESH would try to get elected president? To hear Jeb! talk, though, he seems to think we have forgotten the fact that, every time a Bush is president we get into a war in the Middle East. His reaction to the recent attacks is just precious:

Jeb cartoon

Jeb! and the other Republican candidates have their own ideas about the Syrian refugees, too. Not very good ones, but they came from these guys rubbing their brain cells together. Small ideas from small men with small brains:

refugee cartoon 4

Donald Trump and Ben Carson, the GOP frontrunners (lord, that hurts my brain to write), are both completely inexperienced when it comes to foreign policy. Trump thinks he can treat it like making a real estate deal while Carson treats it like surgery. Neither tactic will work in the real world, of course.

foreign policy cartoon

When it comes to the Syrian refugees, Trump has a few ideas that go even farther than his fellow candidates. These ideas have been used before. Some guy in Germany tried them. Didn’t work out well for anyone.

trump apprentice cartoon

Thanksgiving means turkey and the Republican candidates have unwittingly provided a bloodless way to get them to the table (apologies to our vegan friends). Some humans who have read these tax plans have laughed for hours, I’m told.

tax plan turkey cartoon

Naturally, any conservative who speaks about the Paris attacks, DAESH, tax plans, troops, the Middle East, foreign policy or his own comments, gets fact-checked. When this happens, they don’t try to adjust their facts. Nope. It’s so much easier to blame the media. The Republican base hates the mythological “liberal media” (except Fox; they’re fair and balanced, dontcha know) so it’s an easy ploy for any conservative. Red meat, as they say.

liberal media cartoon

Finally, I include this cartoon because it made me laugh out loud. Poor Bobby Jindal. Not. Leave ’em laughing, as they say.

jindal cartoon

Be sure to note who drew your favorites and look for that cartoonist’s work. Two good places to check for cartoons are at Daily Kos Comics and The Week. New cartoons appear every day in both places so there is never a shortage of provocative and entertaining cartoons.

Featured Image via Ledarteckningar / Editorial cartoons

All cartoons sourced from The Week

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