"The Candidates' Nightmares" (March 14, 2012)

Artist's Statement

This is probably the only bone I’m throwing to those who would like to see me return to political cartooning. I myself have resolved to pay as little attention as is humanly possible to the Presidential campaign this year, which, when you live in the United States, is like trying not to pay attention to any advertising when you’re standing in the middle of Times Square, or like not paying attention to the water you're drowning in. I hardly even read the news anymore; I check Astronomy Photo of the Day every morning before looking at the New York Times. It’s greatly improved my mental health.

SPOILER ALERT: none of what’s happening in the headlines right now means anything at all. The Republicans will ultimately nominate Mitt Romney because that’s who the money guys who control the party have chosen as their nominee. All the batshit "social issues" now being anxiously nattered about in the media--meaning conservatives’ hatred and fear of women and sex, which is indeed infuriating, and is the whole reason I drew this cartoon (it's all about panel 2)-- will go back to being non-issues again as soon as Rick Santorum disappears back into whatever squeaky-clean hole he came out of and the dingbat fringe he represents turns their energies back to homeschooling their kids about the Antichrist. Romney will lose to Obama because nobody likes him. Obama, victorious, will continue to be a lameass Wall Street tool just like Romney. In other words we have another eight months of shrill media noise ahead of us--sound bytes, debates, attack ads, gaffes, scandals, setbacks and bounces and endless bloviating analysis—and it all might just as well not happen. My advice to you would be to pay attention to something that matters instead. Pick something: the struggle to establish democracies in the Middle East, the fate of the Euro, the efforts of Occupy Wall Street, the hunt for the Higgs Boson. Anything but this moronic reality show.

It's not as if I've forgotten how bad things can get under the Republicans. So I will go and reluctantly vote for Obama in November only because, while the official policy of the Democrats is to Never Make Anything Better, the Republicans have proved that, no matter how bad things get, they can and will follow through on their own stated platform: Always Make Things Worse. That’s pretty much the choice left to us in this dilapidated country: McDonald’s or Burger King? Coke or Pepsi? Lethal injection or electric chair?I keep voting because I can't quite bring myself not to, but to me these days it feels like a hollow ritual--still dutifully going through the motions of democracy like an atheist taking Communion, or someone bereaved having conversations with the dead. I keep thinking of a sign I saw at Occupy Wall Street: IF VOTING COULD CHANGE ANYTHING, IT WOULD HAVE.



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