I could ignore the Arizona shooting and post images that are inoffensive to most people. My web site already has a six-year-old “Bush Gallery” where my ranting “political cartoons” against someone I consider to be the most unqualified “president” in history are there for the offending. I can’t help but address the issue of my participation in the political dialogue which is certainly offensive to anyone who labels him or herself “Republican.”
Liberal-slanted political art has been around a very long time, just as conservative slanted art (or “cartooning”) has existed the same amount of time. I decided to participate in the fall of 2003 when I watched our country descend into an environment of news reporting and news management that never showed outrage at what some of us considered unnecessary wars, eavesdropping and intrusion into privacy, eventually torture, environmental ransacking of last great places. We had new permission to pollute, a new refusal to believe science or evolution as a course taught in school. The tax cut yielded no jobs or very few but it was barely questioned as the deficit soared.
Talk about an amiable environment for pleasant discourse. Hillary and Bill Clinton backed the war. Most Democrats backed what the “president”
wanted–even though they often tepidly said they personally disagreed. The news media also calmly reported torture as advanced interrogation with no suggestion that this was something brand new for our United States even though George Washington himself set the high tone against a British that regularly tortured our people when captured.
So I made art that made fun of Bush, Cheney and Republicans. The need for it among liberals was obvious. I’ve made serious money off this artwork. Compared to sales of landscapes the “Birth of Bush” wins hands down.
I brought laughter to my displays. People swarmed my booth at shows and shook my hand and also bought examples to take home.
On the other hand, those Republicans who saw what I did glared at me, sometimes shouted at me, shook their finger and swore they’d never buy from my booth. They also talked to art show committees and sometimes succeeded in getting me eliminated from art shows I’d rather have continued going to.
I’m admitting to partcipating in the discourse that might be today seen as extreme and best toned down.
I want to make a point about my work and my message and the difference between my message and the message Republicans have sent out since Barack Obama was elected president.
My work is humorous and makes fun of Republicans. I suggest that Bush is the bowel movement of Satan. I suggest that Dick Cheney “shoots his friends, tortures his enemies and spits on the Constitution.” I say that “Democrats Believe in Women’s Rights and Eating Lots of Local Seafood. Republicans Eat Processed Food and Beef and Love Men!”
That last statement, often placed around images of seafood, certainly angers lots of Republicans and I have been called a racist for that kind of stereotyping.
My question is, does my political artwork inspire violence? I wish I could say emphatically “No,” but considering who we are dealing with–Republicans–I’m not sure.
Maybe liberal political art riles up Republicans and makes them even angrier than they already were. So maybe they get out their guns and posture with them and say “Obama Must Be Taken Out”–which is a statement sent to me in a xerox letter last year which I turned over to the Secret Service after I did one of my shows with political art seen by Republicans as well as laughing, merry Democrats.
So, if I am inciting anger and violence, should I stop? I don’t think I will. Republicans don’t want to hear a different side to any argument. There is only one truth: Evolution is not in the Bible, therefore it is not true. “Creationism,” which is now called “The Theory of Intelligent Design,” is true and don’t dare question it.
A fertilized egg is a human being. Noone has the right to question this fact or to allow a woman to choose a different path from carrying this human being to term–assuming God doesn’t miscarry it–His option, not a woman’s. I assume any woman who abuses herself with drink or smoke or stays up late and exercises too vigorously for her fetus and ends up with a miscarriage is also a murderer and should be put to death if she admits that she didn’t care if the fetus lived or died. That would be pre-meditated murder and that woman must die after a fair trial. You can’t question this thinking, you can’t disagree or want to debate it.
Taxes are bad. If you raise taxes one penny per year on every citizen in this country, the entire economy will collapse and 100% of all jobs will disappear. That is a fact that you can’t dispute with factual data that suggests otherwise. (Such as when Bill Clinton raised taxes at the beginning of his eight years in office and ended up seeing 22 million jobs created in those eight years despite a tax increase on most Americans which he only later tweaked and reduced on some families but not others–such as childless me).
George Bush cut taxes therefore stimulated the greatest economy in history over his eight years, a total of 2 million jobs created, unprecedented growth unlike anything ever seen before. And you had better not question this undisputed fact with any data suggesting Clinton’s era of higher taxes created 22 million jobs.
The Federal Government is terrible and should be shrunk down to the size of a baby and drowned in a bath tub. You had better not question this fact or point out that federal dollars have propped up the red states of the South and created many if not most jobs in the South. In Mississippi, for example, $21,000 federal dollars are spent for every man, woman and child in this state and you know darn well we don’t pay $21,000 in taxes to the federal government per person. But the government is terrible. Don’t you dare question it or claim that the government creates prosperity, jobs, or businesses ever ever depend on tax dollars sent by the “liberal” Congress in amounts far greater than taxes collected from the same area in question.
No, we liberals have caused the gun play, the threats, the name-calling. Obama is not an American. He’s a muslim. We caused it because we elected him to office and his kind should not lead our country.
I’m sorry if letting Republicans see my statements, such as “The Theory of Intelligent Design Doesn’t Explain Where Republicans Come From” results in Republicans getting even more angry than they already were. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to quit. I don’t believe there is anything about my art that should cause any crazy person or any Republican to go out and kill someone or even threaten anyone. If crazy people or Republicans actually get violent after all their violent talk of overthrowing the government, watering the tree of liberty with blood, gather your armies, it is the fault entirely of the white male Republicans who don’t like what this country has become. We are more multi-racial than we’ve ever been and now gays can openly serve in the military. I can’t help it and neither can they. Threatening violence and carrying guns to political events isn’t going to end either of these developments. Whether I quit making fun of Republicans or not isn’t going to change the direction this country is taking either.
I wish this country would lead the world toward a carbon-free economy. But thanks to the close-minded type of conservatism that loves corporate executives and money worshipers above all else–including a civilized safe world for the unborn children facing acidified “dead” seas and smaller continents with fewer human beings on them–I’m not going to get what I want either.