Monday, January 25, 2010

Political Card Trick

During the preliminaries in 2008 artist Daniel Kurtman found a similarity between democrat candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Playing the race or gender card is a colloquial phrase that refers to the act of bringing the issue of race, racism or sexism into a debate, perhaps to obfuscate the matter. Basically, it is a metaphorical reference to card games in which a trump card may be used to gain an advantage. In this case, like all politics the politicians know exactly what subjects may be considered “touchy” to bring up in debate, such as race or gender inequalities. For some reason many Americans still have old racist sexist blood pumping through their veins, these Americans don’t like to see prominent black men and strong women leading their country for whatever reasons.

Both Obama and Clinton feel they have an advantage in the game, which they may, if only liberals existed in this country, hence the score in the game. “Change” racked up zero points in the game and “politics as usual” has a whopping one point. Meaning the so-called “touchy” subjects is just part of dirty politics. I like this drawing for its attempt to address the fact that Obama is the first African American running for presidential office and Clinton is the first woman, both in the same election. To me this is monumental in our history of hatred, and therefore naturally comical in the history of caricature. Although some people were skeptical, which Kurtman cleverly made apparent. We all know, (or I hope we all know) that Obama and Clinton didn’t really think they would win the election by playing the “race card.”

I think this caricature fits into the description from the reading (page 5) of a good caricature having the ability to make us feel “relieved once in a while to see the sublime reduced to the ridiculous.” Race and Gender being such serious issues that our country has struggled with since our creation; it is sort of relieving to see it being used for laughter.

Lastly I must point out; one of my favorite things in this cartoon is the crooked old Uncle Sam sick of the game. He may represent the old morals of politics, one who had been through it all and finally is sick of politicians playing games.

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