I’m back with a new Political comic… Not like there’s a major election happening somewhere in the world in a few days… No sir…
Those who have followed my work all these years know I’m not afraid to address politics through my work. I pay close attention to this stuff and I don’t fall into the trap most people fall in by fooling themselves into thinking they can be apolitical. I’m a Black minority; politics and its baggage is unavoidable for me. I also want to normalize addressing politics through art as a meaningful form of political expression and critique as I think more artists should embrace it and not shy away from issues that matter. That being said, I am very cynical about politics and this comic references one of my many political frustrations.
I never pledge allegiance to any party or a candidate. I am loyal only to policies and values that help people and address issues and against those that would use power cause great socio-political harm. That being said, I tend to be left-leaning on the Political Spectrum when it comes to most policies and parties. Most progressive causes on the Left, as we’ll call it, tend to be things I’m passionate about: Equal Rights, Healthcare, the Arts, Climate Change, etc. However, I’ve noticed a very common problem with leftist movements around the world that tends to ruin everything: Despite their ideals, they can’t settle on anything politically. Whenever an election happens, focus shifts to major candidates fighting for their vote and all these lofty ideals often get thrown out the window and devolves into petty nonsense and conditions that sometimes contradicts each other. A politician made one sucky vote 30 years ago different than recent habits? Cancelled. They didn’t fulfill one promise? Won’t vote for them. A dark horse old candidate they liked isn’t on the ballot? Not voting. One candidate is literally the only thing standing between the people and the worst politician on the planet, but they don’t like Mike & Ikes? They’ll “Protest Vote” a joke party (or the opposite party) and act like they did something meaningful besides skew the vote thoughtlessly because how dare they not like Mike & Ikes! Left voters are always looking for their perfect Jesus Candidate that will never exist rather than candidates/party that are best aligned with them and their interests. The notion of settling on another candidate with any form of sin inspires a very bad entitlement complex in some Left-leaning voters that often ignores consequences of the alternatives and the fact that world’s on fire. If they can’t have everything, they accept nothing. As a result, the Left vote implodes and it loses because it can’t settle and often splits over relatively minor things. Not just talking about American politics here as there are many examples of left-wing voters around the world being unable to unite over a common cause for somewhat petty reasons and its inability to compromise is why the left often loses and gets in its own way. It’s, of course, more complex than I have the space to talk about and specific to different political situations (This is an entirely different beast in Canada vs US for example), but I find the Left tends to WAY too picky and critical of its candidates.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Right has the OPPOSITE problem: It’s not picky enough. For as long as I’ve paid attention to politics, I’ve seen Right-Wing leaders rise through spewing whatever harmful rhetoric and problematic policies they like to shout the loudest. I’m not going to paint the Conservatism with an entirely bad brush and I recognize it a valid part of the political spectrum even though I often disagree with it. However, rather than have the Right also bicker over what its values are like the Left does, it more or less seems to just… Blindly accept what is available to them regardless of the policies. Say what you will about Conservatives, but what that side of the spectrum meant in America was pretty different 5 years ago vs Trumpism. However, when the time came, the Right fell in line without much debate and still does, despite 200,000+ dead in 10 months. In the UK, the Right blindly accepted Brexit regardless of the issues it presented or the social implications. Canada’s Conservative party recently decided its new leader who, less than 24 hours after his election, declared a rallying slogan of “Take Canada back”. When their supporters defend them, there is a lack of policy in their reasoning and it devolves into just defending their mudslinging or mental gymnastics to misdirect blame for failures. The Right just seems to unite over the loudest and shiniest turds it can find, regardless of vision or policy, instead of being overly critical of its leadership, which is what leads it to devolve into other things. Right-leaning voters aren’t inherently terrible people, to avoid painting a broad brush of my own bias, but I find the lack of criticism from the Right over the values its leaders represent, especially the issues that cause harm to others, incredibly concerning, as well as its willingness to blindly enable harmful candidates leading them like lemmings off a cliff. I just ripped the Left for generally having far too many dealbreakers, so why does the Right seem to have none? I’d argue that the Right-Wing needs to find an actual political position to represent beyond ‘punishing’ its enemy of the week and its voters need to have some standards for what they represent.
One detail that’s often lost in both of them is how minorities get screwed from the sidelines on both ends. The Left can’t get its act together a lot of the time and will lose elections when it splits its vote for petty reasons. This often defeats the entire progressive cause by itself. The Right will blindly unite over the shiniest turd it can find and if that turd is little more than nonsense rhetoric conspiracy theories and racist rhetoric, we’re the first ones targeted in many ways; from ‘justified’ police brutality to assaults over misinformation in a pandemic. Both ends of the spectrum are guilty of using minorities as props when it suits them without addressing these issues, making navigating politics as a minority very difficult. When either of them drop the ball, minorities are often compromised as the political landscape is greatly tied to our rights and well-being which are hardly guaranteed.
Politics is more than a single candidate and being politically active means engaging as a citizen all the time to address issues you care about, not just every election year. Politics is a marathon, not a sprint. You should vote for leadership and policies, not because you think you could hang out with a candidate for a drink. The Left isn’t purely good and the Right isn’t inherently evil or vice versa, even if they can be twisted to feel as such. No politician is perfect or gonna make your life better within 5 minutes, but it helps when an informed electorate can actually pick worthy leaders, be it a country, a province, or a city. You are no hero for refusing to choose a side unless under impossibly perfect conditions. Politics has consequences and it’s important for the candidate that’s gonna take you even one step forward than the ones that will take you five steps back.
That brings me to the United States. You guys have a big vote coming up. Look Seriously at the candidates. Look at the policies. Don’t throw a nonsense political tantrum because Bernie Sanders or someone isn’t on the ballot. NO POLITICIAN IS PERFECT. Pick select issues that are deal breakers for you and stop making terrible voting choices because you may not have gotten your Jesus Candidate… And don’t dodge responsibility by voting third party like a fool (The US is not equipped for a 3rd Party President Vote). Also, don’t forget your smaller elections on the ballot too because they’re equally important. Do your research. Make a plan. And wherever you are, be it in the United States, Canada, or anywhere else, do your duty: Vote.
P.S. The Politician who supports my right to Pineapple on Pizza gets my vote. :P