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Political Cartoon Assignment Essay

The political cartoon that I chose mainly aims towards people who are concerned about the environment and people who are against The American Clean Energy and Security Act. An every day citizen may not get the entire meaning of the cartoon if they do not know the motive behind it or do not follow politics and environmental news. The cartoon is political because it clearly states two things that weigh heavily on the minds of the public right now: tax and the environment.

While this doesn’t typically necessarily mean that a cartoon would be political, the word “bill” on the page in the man’s hand points in the direction of political. The cartoon effectively shows two sides of the issue: one where the public is being told that the bill would cause a tax increase that the American consumers would ultimately have to deal with and another side where the environmentally-conscious person is saying that it’s just a scare tactic and that it would cause more good than harm for the country.

At first glance, the cartoon was humorous, but the more I looked at it and began to understand what it was talking about, my thoughts began to change. Although it’s still funny, the cartoon carries a deeper meaning than just entertainment. The main thing that I felt was slight irritation that people could think that there are only two ways of looking at the issue and that people could be so concerned about taxes that they don’t even think about the environment that we’re living in. Although what is being shown is comical, the emotions behind what the artist is trying to show the viewer is not.

Even if he shows that there are two sides of the issue, he still wants you to realize that economists are using the current state of the economy to play on your emotions and try to convince you that you’re ultimately hurting yourself by supporting the bill. Whether or not the artist was successful in the attempt to persuade the viewer into a way of thinking is up to the interpretation of each individual person. For me, it was successful. I was able to see the two different sides of the issue and while I understand both, I was able to draw my own conclusion and say that there needs to be some sort of middle ground.

In part, the artist wants you to see how you’re being manipulated by the economists and the people that are against the bill to believe that the bill will have more of an impact on your bank account in terms of more taxes rather than having a good impact on the environment. Although I’ve always known that there are people who are against the bill, before seeing it in cartoon form, I never really realized that they really might be just a way of making people choose one or the other; the environment or your money. In terms of opening my eyes, the artist was successful.


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