Trumpacus- the impact of a political cartoon

Politicians and Power - Featured Image 2

Photo credit: @AdamStoon1, Twitter

As we were making our own political cartoons for our final piece for this issue, we decided to scour the newspapers to see what examples were out there. We came across the above cartoon with no description and started to think about what it might be representing.

In the cartoon, Donald Trump seems to be dressed as some sort of weird gladiator/sumo wrestler combination and is holding a shield that says ‘4 more years’. We think that the artist has depicted Trump as a gladiator to make him look strong and intimidating, as well as to represent his political power. We think the artist has added the sumo wrestler component to make him look silly and to show his own opinion of him, which seems to be that he is actually a bit of joke rather than as powerful as he might initially seem.

The speech bubble has Trump saying, ‘No, I’m the next president’, which made us imagine Trump to be a toddler or baby trying to get his own way without any evidence to back it up. In the presidential race, Trump is the one with the most power although he might not have the best reasons or intentions behind wanting the presidency.

In the cartoon, it looks like Trump is ready to launch an attack on anyone who dares to come up against him for the presidency, hence the ‘4 more years’ on the shield (which is the length of the term Trump would get if he was re-elected next time). By using the whole Roman theme (‘Trumpacus’, the armour, the gladiator imagery), we think it is making Trump look like one of the bloodthirsty, tough Roman soldiers rather than an intellectual ready for a debate about important issues.

It is clear to us from the cartoon that the artist doesn’t have a very high opinion of Donald Trump and probably doesn’t think he is a good candidate for re-election. When we looked at this cartoon, it first made us laugh at the ridiculousness of the image and then, when we analysed it more closely, we felt a bit disillusioned that the man in this picture is the President of one of the most influential countries in the world. It certainly didn’t do anything to raise our opinion of Trump! It also made us realise that it is not just words that can damage a reputation. Pictures can be just as powerful.

What do you think? What do you understand from this cartoon? How does it make you feel about Donald Trump? Does your opinion of him match that of the artist? Do you think a political cartoon has the power to change public opinion about a person or issue?

Comments (1)

  • Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
    14 Feb 2020

    I really like how you have shown excellent open-mindedness by asking these questions, even when you have already shared your own ideas. I have sent a message to the cartoonist, and will let you know if they respond!

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