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Home Vintage Political Cartoons Time To Put In The Champs, 1951

Time To Put In The Champs, 1951

Throw Out The Bums, The American Way, Tom Kay

There's not some over-arching historical event behind this comic - although it's a common theme that's as relevant in the 1950s as it is today.  Yesterday, November 2nd 2011, the city of Oakland, California experienced a general strike.   Oakland also saw a populist general strike in 1946, with much the same goals and targets of today's Occupy Oakland.

What makes the cartoon above more timeless than other political cartoons of the time is its take on the subject.   A more time-sensitive might have blamed specific communists, or political figures, or used a more direct reference to the time.   Tom Key's cartoon blames the true, and most persistent, problems with political discourse today: stubbornness, impetuousness, alibis, political deals, stupidity, mudthrowing, lack of vision, indecision, misdirection, disunity, and confusion.   The character tearing down the lineup is the Coach himself -- labeled, as in many of Key's comics, "Most of Us".   That means Kay recognizes the key to US politics:  the coach put the lineup on the board in the first place, but he can tear it down and put up a better lineup, one consisting of wisdom, honesty, truth, responsibility, and others, at his own whim.   When it comes to politics today, Most of Us are the coach, and if we're dissatisfied with the performance of stubornness, political deals, and mud throwing, it's up to us to change the roster, and Obama's got nothing on the "Change" that the Occupy movement is at the forefront of.