CSotD: Foreign People Are Looking At You

Steve Sack (Star-Tribune)‘s portrait of Sleepy Joe is a delightful hurling of the nickname back in the bully’s face, given that there’s little left for Biden to do but sit back and wait for the final count.

Though I suppose it’s like that thing they say about ducks being all calm as seen from the surface while paddling like hell underwater. He can lay back and wait because he’s got people working to protect the validity of the election, and, one assumes, others hastening to assemble a transition team and, beyond that, a new administration.

Which means there’s a helluva lot of work ahead, not simply to run a major country during a pandemic but to patch the holes and pump water from our Ship of State, so badly neglected and willfully damaged for four years.

And then to sail that ship when half the crew loved the old captain and not only have no intention of serving the new one but are committed to undermining his command.


Gary Varvel (Creators) has his workmen declare that the violent, disloyal dissenters are Democrats or antifa or whoever, suggesting that Trump supporters will take the results in good spirits.



Though Reuters offers this image of Trump supporters, posing as the uncredentialled “poll watchers” he had called for, storming an election center in Michigan, demanding compliance with Dear Leader’s command to stop counting ballots.

At the polling place where I worked, we had two trained poll watchers at a time, each of whom presented their credentials and were, for the most part, required to stay out of the way and to address any questions to the Moderator rather than to us workers.

Nobody was screaming and yelling and acting like barbaric yahoos.

Granted, there have been riots in Portland and Seattle with people screaming to count the votes in two states that have been declared for Biden, who won Washington 60-37% and Oregon 57-40%, which reminds me of the last days of the anti-war movement, when younger protesters were terrified that the war might actually end before they — having left the heavy lifting to earlier activists — got their turn at playacting.


And speaking of theatrics, David Fitzsimmons (AZ Daily Star) is only one of several cartoonists citing the legendary analysis of Texas Tech sports information director Ralph Carpenter, “The opera ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.”

I like this particular one because it fits the current demand by Trump supporters that votes not be counted, and the counter-demand by Biden supporters that All Votes Matter.

It also fits not only predictions about mail-in ballots but my own experience Tuesday: During the few slow moments we had, the Moderator had us checking off absentee ballots as she prepared to open them and run them through the voting machine.

Party membership is irrelevant in the general election, nor is it indicated on the ballot envelopes, but it is on the voter rolls, so that as I ticked off absentee ballots, I could see the affiliation of those voters, and, while I wasn’t keeping a count, it was absolutely clear that these voters were nearly all either Democrats or Undeclared — I’d guess about 90%.


Not surprising, given the effort Trump made to discourage mail-in ballots and to downplay the dangers of the coronavirus, but an excellent reason for him to, as RJ Matson (Roll Call) puts it, skip the finish line, declare victory and make a beeline to the courts.

While encouraging his Deplorables to join him in demanding that absentee and mail-in ballots be disallowed.


And why not declare victory? As Pat Bagley (SLC Tribune) points out, he has based his entire administration on preposterous lies that his Deplorables are not simply willing but eager to believe.

My belief is that he is a compulsive liar, but, if this was all a cunning plan set up with Machiavellian tactical foresight in order to justify one final Big Lie at the end of his first term, he could not have done a better job.

Also, what the hell difference would it make?

The answer to which comes in the form of a

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Banx – Ind)

(Rod Emmerson – NZ Herald)

Wanda Sykes told the story of her delighted celebration at the election of Barack Obama, and how it meant she no longer had to hear her mother’s constant warning in her head, “White people are looking at you!”

Well, foreign people are looking at us, and perhaps we should moderate our behavior in order to avoid reinforcing their stereotypes.

These cartoons — one from Britain, one from New Zealand — take different views of the same sad revelation, based on the election’s razor-thin margin.

Banx suggests that the US will soldier on, promoting a vision of ourselves that masks a far darker reality, while Emmerson echoes the dissolution and horror faced by decent people who were hoping for and expecting a landslide to repudiate hatred, racism and division and, instead, were lucky to get out with any shreds of their self-respect intact.

It’s not just a Juxtaposition of how they see us, but a choice of how we see ourselves: Are we going to simply turn the page and go on as if nothing had happened, or will we take it as a wake-up call?


Because, the fact is, as Steve Brodner (Ind) points out with indelicate honesty, no matter how we want to see ourselves, this election has unmasked the ugly reality.

Whether you think Donald Trump was the cause or the result, we’re going to have to live with the fact that nearly half the people in this country think caging children is just fine, that Latinos are rapists and murderers from shithole countries, and will rally around a man who tells them lies over and over, so long as those lies offer comfort rather than demanding effort.

Well, foreign people are looking at us, and we need to get our act together.

But let’s enjoy a little watermelon, too.

Over half of us are decent folks, after all.


6 thoughts on “CSotD: Foreign People Are Looking At You

  1. Growing up I remember wondering, “How did Hitler come to power after he and his party’s successes in the 1932 national parliamentary elections in Germany? How did a seemingly rational society enable him?” Well, this morning I have some idea. I am dumbfounded how quickly the United States has forgotten the dangers of nationalism and hatred of “the other.”

    Obviously, I continue to hope, from deep in my soul, that Biden wins. But in a way, this AM I am mostly shaken to my core when I think about how close this all is. By my thinking – Tuesday should have been a landside for Biden. What have we become as a nation? I don’t know. I just don’t know.

  2. Mike — can I stop embracing them, as you suggested yesterday, and go back to calling them deplorables? 😉

    Seriously, the 50/50 has my stomach churning. What have we become?

  3. How soon before a cartoonist publishes a drawing of Trump’s people clambering out of the White House, trying to board a helicopter. Tomorrow?

  4. Mr. Spitko above has read my mind. I, too, am shaken (and shaking) to my core by the mere fact that half the voters bought into this guy’s line.

    But I came here to ask, “Was the ‘fat lady’ cliche really created by a Texas Tech sports information director?” I had always thought it went back to the 19th century.

  5. I was raised to never judge someone by their appearance. It’s hard to live up to that standard, however, when so many people go out of their way to look, and act, like negative stereotypes. (Not just conservatives, either.) Brodner’s cartoon isn’t even much of a caricature. It’s an accurate portrayal, and one of the more kind and generous ones I’ve seen.

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