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“Feiffer On Nixon” in the Trump Era

 

“It’s déjà vu all over again.” – Yogi Berra

So Michael Tisserand took 1974’s Feiffer On Nixon down from the shelf…

Recently, I re-read Feiffer on Nixon while, in the background, live impeachment proceedings played over my computer. It produced a feeling that, at least for a short time, mimicked a sense of calm. While the faint voices of Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan wafted into the room, Feiffer’s cartoons offered some hope that a well-wrought Constitution can survive a leader of ill will, even one prone to despotism.

Yet other Feiffer cartoons aren’t so reassuring.

Shocked by similarities in Presidents separated by 50 years,
Michael took his copy to get reactions from Jules Feiffer himself:

“The thing about Nixon—it wasn’t that Nixon changed anything, it was that Nixon as a personality, his own avarice, bad character and corruption, was like a mob, a gang, taking control of the White House. They were all crooks. And I did several cartoons in which I showed them as mob members, wearing dark glasses, and Nixon being the ruler of the mob, because that’s what they were. And the most wonderful line Nixon ever stated, as everybody loved, was ‘I am not a crook,’ because we all knew he was.”

Michael, for The Daily Beast, writes a fascinating, and frightening, look
at the parallels of the Nixon and Trump presidencies, with insight from the cartoonist.

Here is the Mike Lynch column mentioned in the article.

 

 

Community Comments

#1 Kip Williams
January/20/2020
@ 9:35 am

The exact pair of cartoons I’ve recently quoted from Jules Feiffer’s America.

He’s been one of my heroes since I was in sixth grade and saw The Great Comic Book Heroes in the library. As luck would have it, his paperback collections subsequently turned up on the rack of “take one-leave one” paperbacks at the same library, and the rest is history.

A few years back, a friend was going on a lecture trip with him and was kind enough to get my copy of TGCBH autographed. She later told me that the book came in very handy in Japan, when they realized that nobody had brought visual examples for the talk.

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