Nature abhors a vacuum and so does politics. As newspapers and the media collapse while it kicks journalists to the curb, it’s giving rise to the Trumps in our culture. Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president. This ought to be good. During the campaign, I don’t think she answered one question while at the same time talking in a frenzied whirlwind of nonsense. Anyway, it’s an early Christmas present for caricaturists and editorial cartoonists everywhere. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all. Hang on, everybody. The year is almost over. I hope we don’t look back on 2016 as the good old days.

Inauguration Day

I have on my studio wall a Tony Auth cartoon. It shows Ronald Reagan right after Inauguration Day, 1981, dressed as Betsy Ross sitting in a rocking chair with the American flag draped across his lap. A sign on the wall that looks like a sampler says “The New Federalism.” He seems to be sewing the flag, but in fact he’s removing the stars; they lay on the floor at his feet as Reagan is saying, “At last...finished.” In other words, Reagan is undoing all the gains Pres. Jimmy Carter made in progressive social issues and politics. The cartoon drips with irony, but Reagan’s politics did not. As Rosalynn Carter put it, “He makes us feel comfortable with our prejudices.” Sound familiar? I can’t c


For most people in our barely civilized world, the new year starts after the expiring old year with the waning tones of “Auld Lang Syne” very early in the anti meridiem of Jan.1, 2017. For a majority of voters in the United States, the new year started Nov. 8 and it remains to be seen what kind of year it will turn out to be. Christmas, however, affects everyone in our Western culture even if you’re not a Christian. It’s a time of peace and good will toward humankind, if not in the world, then at least maybe some fleeting moment in our heart. Many years ago when I lived in Dayton, I asked my friend and neighbor, a Conservative Jewish rabbi, if the culture seemed any different around Christma

Forty Years Before The Masthead

Is the media dishonest? Not the mainstream media, but I remember Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee’s comment about printing lies. He said yes, the newspaper prints lies; when it’s told lies by interviewees and sources. There have been rare exceptions for fraud, but the vast majority of mainstream journalists work very hard to find the facts. It’s a simple matter of pride. Back in the last century when I first joined the Fourth Estate in Chicago, I noticed that all the reporters had very worn, unpolished shoes. I came to realize it was a sign of honor, a badge of aggressive fact-finding, an unrelenting search for the story. That was when there were at least five dailies in town and the compe

The Dope On Doping

What would happen if there were no rules in sports about performance enhancing drugs? Sure, a few athletes might die of various maladies––strokes, enlarged heart, brittle bones––but think of the records that would fall. Think of the trophies that would line the walls of the athlete’s palatial home. Why, they’d need to add maybe two or three more rooms to their house. Modern sports is about winning, not coming in second or third. What is bronze good for? Daggers, swords and spearheads mostly back in the good ol’ days called the Bronze Age. And silver? Jewelry and coins mostly, but it has to be alloyed with copper to be practical. And gold, the metal that causes panic in the streets and minor-

John Glenn 1921-2016

I met John Glenn forty-some years ago when he was Sen. John Glenn (D) Ohio. I was new to the newspaper business and he was new to the Senate. I had just signed on as full-time editorial cartoonist for the Journal Herald in Dayton. He was meeting with the Editorial Board in the editor’s small office, so it seemed like an intimate gathering of friends, but I was new to the club. I was just hoping I didn’t have spinach in my teeth. I was very impressed with not only him, but me and my good fortune. I was meeting a world-class hero, a man everybody knew about, an American legend. I was as impressed with his blast into space as I was his past as a World War II fighter pilot. I never wanted to sli

Get It Right

I think Trump would agree that Time magazine is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But, I have a problem with “The Truth” these days. Fake news tells “The Truth” as made up by the writer. That is, it sounds like “The Truth,” something Stephen Colbert called “Truthiness.” That’s a thing that isn’t true, but sounds like it could be. I prefer facts. “The Truth” won’t send a rocket to Mars, but “Facts” will. Facts aren’t as noble or holy as “The Truth.” Jesus never said “the facts shall set you free.” The thing I like about “facts” is they are without judgment. They just sit there, sometimes making you joyful and sometimes making you want to tear your hair out. It’s a

Indians Win One

It’s not very often the Indians win one from the white man (not counting casino games) but they did at Standing Rock. And like all wins from the white man, it could be temporary. Look at Custer’s Last Stand. Yes, he lost, the Indians won, but it wasn’t long before the Indians in the West were overwhelmed and soundly defeated. I hope that brave N. Dakota Sioux tribe is ready for the onslaught with a battalion of lawyers, if it should come. We were talking about this over dinner the other night with my cousin and her husband. I admitted I haven’t been following the story closely but they were, so I learned a lot. The news coverage of it had been fairly light considering the time the fraudule

History Lesson

We all know about Pres. Abraham Lincoln and more than enough about Trump, but we don’t know a lot about Pres. James Madison, other than he was 5’ 4” tall, which was probably average height for a man back in 1809. He’s known as the “Father of the Constitution” and “Father of the Bill of Rights,” and owned over 100 slaves. Wait, what? A hundred slaves? He was probably father to more than the Constitution and Bill of Rights. If you know anything about the country’s most popular advanced American history class, “Hamilton: An American Musical,” you know that Madison collaborated with Alexander Hamilton to write the Federalist Papers and he could rap hip-hop with the best of them. Madison was Je

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© BOB ENGLEHART 2018 | All Rights Reserved.

Editorial and political cartoons by Bob Englehart