Doonesbury Scrapes Bottom


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We all tend to slow up a bit as we get older.  Father Time seems to be especially rough on cartoonists.  The premier comic strip when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s was Al Capp’s Li’l Abner.  I count it as a major contributor to my education, and I looked forward to reading it every morning for years.  By the time of the late 60s and the Vietnam War, though, Capp had really lost it.  He turned sour; the expressions on the faces of his characters turned sour with him, and the strip ceased being fresh and funny.  Worse than that, his strips became more overtly political.  Capp released most of his bile upon opponents of the war, whom he consistently depicted as dirty and cowardly.


For a brief period in the 60s and early 70s we had Charles Schulz and his less political Peanuts strip to turn to, but Schulz’s humorous period, unfortunately, was a great deal shorter than Capp’s.  Either the strain of producing something funny every day was just too much for the man or the great commercial success of Peanuts-related products spoiled him, but within a few short years after Peanuts came upon the scene, it simply stopped being funny.  Considering how long Schulz continued to crank out comic strips, it’s not a stretch to say that Schulz was funny a lot fewer years than he was unfunny.


That brings us to the very sad case of Garry Trudeau and his Doonesbury strip.  Trudeau came upon the scene about the time that Schulz was losing it, in the early 1970s.  He was fresh and funny, but unlike Capp and Schulz, from the beginning he was overtly political.  His political orientation might be characterized as mainstream left liberal, but in the early days his wit was so keen and his touch so deft that he could entertain us even when we might have disagreed with his subtle message.  A trace of the humor is still there, but the subtly is long gone.  He is now completely out of the closet as one of the vilest of establishment hacks.


He had already signaled to us that his creative juices weren’t flowing like they did in the early days by taking a long sabbatical from his job and more recently by filling his daily strip with reruns while producing a new strip only on Sunday.  What he does produce on those Sundays is now about as subtle as a three stooges poke in the eye, and the production could not be more obviously done on the behalf of our criminal ruling elite. 


Now, as we observed in our review of the book by Sally Denton and Roger Morris, The Money and the Power, it is altogether possible that the apparent political insurgent, Donald Trump, is himself part of that rotten inner circle, which includes our national news media.  But, as we have noted on a number of previous occasions, the absolutely frantic reaction of the mainstream press to his candidacy suggests strongly that he must not be.  Rather, they exhibit the behavior of an establishment that is not “going quietly,” to use Patrick Buchanan’s term for it, desperately doing whatever they can to hang onto their power.  That brings us to the Doonesbury strip of Sunday, July 17, 2016, on the eve of the Republican convention. 


The heavy-handed message that the strip carries is plastered across the middle of the strip in the form of a life-sized temporary wristband with this inscription: NOT A RACIST!  The transparent purpose is to reinforce the mainstream press message that not only is Trump that most reprehensible of human beings known as a racist, but so, too, are those who favor him for president over the establishment’s choice, Hillary Clinton.  At the very best, they will be perceived as racists should they support him, which is almost as bad.


First Panel: The scene is at the Republican convention.  A voice outside the panel says, “He’s a Mexican folks! A Mexican!  (The reference is to Trump’s ill-considered expression of exasperation that the Mexican-American Obama-appointed judge in the civil suit against his Trump University had not recused himself from the case in light of Trump’s well-known opposition to illegal Mexican immigration.).  A delegate’s thought bubble says, “Uh-oh.  I’m on camera!”


Second Panel:  Delegate raises up his hand to display the “NOT A RACIST” wristband.  In the next six panels Doonesbury media pundit Mark Slackmeyer lectures the readers:


Hey, Trump delegate!  Tired of being called a racist?  Well, we’re here to help!  There’s no helping your candidate, of course.  As Paul Ryan put it, Trump’s comments are “textbook racist.”  But why should you be labelled [sic] a racist just because you support one?  So cut out our free wristband and hold it high during the convention!  That way, if a TV camera zooms in on you during an appalling racist rant, you’ll be rocking a disavowal!  So go ahead Mr. or Ms. Delegate.  Cut ‘n’ save your dignity – you’ll be glad you did. (emphasis in original)


The quote that Trudeau uses from Republican House Majority Leader Paul Ryan no doubt comes from the period when Ryan was still part of the “Stop Trump” contingent within the party.  Even so, what Ryan said was that the remarks were racist.  Trudeau takes it one step further and states flatly—or has his known-liberal character state flatly—that the man is racist.


If Trump’s expression of concern over the crimes committed by illegal Mexican immigrants into the country had not been turned by the press into an expression of animus toward Mexicans in general. he might have had nothing to worry about from that judge, but judges are as subject to being influenced by the media as the rest of us are.  The next logical leap they have made was translating supposed prejudice against Mexicans into prejudice against all people who are not of Trump’s own race, which is what defines a racist.  Black Americans, in particular, seemed to have fallen for—or have been used for—that bit of legerdemain as they have been prominent among the attempted disrupters of Trump rallies, when there has never been anything in Trump’s message that might be interpreted as anti-black.  Rather, the trade deals and the illegal immigration that he rails against have probably driven down economic opportunity more for blacks than they have for whites.


Trudeau’s painting of Trump and his supporters as racists is completely on message with the mainstream press, as we can see from the way they have tried to tie him to the White nationalist crowd.  One of them, Trudeau’s fellow Yale alumnus, Jared Taylor, has done his best to make the connection stick.


With the mention of Yale, we have really come to the nub of the case to be made against Trudeau.  Like Bill and Hillary Clinton, both Bush presidents, John Kerry, and a large swath of our secret government, he comes from that prime spook breeding ground in New Haven, Connecticut.  As I argue in my recent review articles here, here, and here, nothing better explains the Clintons’ charmed political life better than what must be solid ties to our intelligence community, which is to say, to the Deep State, which is to say further, to our ruling criminal elite.


Trudeau as much as gave away his own connections when he made sport of those who would question the official story of 9/11, the JFK assassination, and a number of other hard to believe things in previous Doonesbury installments.  He might cover his tracks a little better if once in a while he were to lampoon the Clintons.  One needn’t spend much time on Twitter to see what prime targets for ridicule they represent, but apparently that is too big a chance for Garry Trudeau to take.


David Martin

July 19, 2016





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