A little humor is needed

Published 1:59 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2017

In recent weeks we have received feedback from some readers who feel the political cartoons we publish on our opinion page are biased against the Republican Party in general and the new president in particular. In lieu of an apology to those who have chosen to take offense (an apology that is unwarranted, we might add), let us offer an explanation instead.

Political cartoons, by their very nature, are often intended to make light of individuals or situations that have become somewhat, well, cartoonish. They can at times also be more sober in nature, drawn to bring attention or pay homage to an event of serious magnitude. Opinion page editors often select cartoons that represent their newspaper’s ideology. Other times they select a cartoon simply because it is funny.

Over the last several months, we published cartoons on our opinion page that have covered a wide spectrum of topics, events and people. However, with the advent of a presidential election and ensuing transition of power from one president — and one political party — to another, there has been no shortage of opportunities to poke a little fun at the sideshow antics that have befallen our political process. While the issues and policies that our modern day politicians debate are serious in nature, the manner in which they go about doing so often borders on the ridiculous. Political cartoons often serve the purpose of reminding those politicians that people are watching, and hopefully reminding those putting on the show that we expect better.

To those who feel our selection of political cartoons is unfair to the new president or republicans in general, make no mistake; had Hillary Clinton been elected president she would have certainly found herself in the crosshairs of some very talented artists and satirists whose skills lie in pointing out the absurd amidst the seriousness, just as she was prior to the election. However, Donald Trump claimed the top prize in November’s election, and with it the right to have his unconventional manner immortalized in pen and ink.

Political cartoons, like the editorials and columns they appear alongside, are still a relevant and worthy contribution to America’s opinion pages. If anything, they are more important today than ever before. There is often no better cure for what ails than a hearty chuckle, even when that laugh is at one’s own expense. Lord knows we have much that ails us today. Perhaps a little more humor is exactly what we need.