Political Cartoons

AP American Experience

Nixon Awash in His office

Created by Herb Block

Year Published: 1973

Subject: Nixon and the Watergate incident


Context:


In June 1973, John Dean, a former presidential counsel, was the first to accuse president Richard Nixon for his involvement in the cover up of the Watergate scandal.


Techniques:


The water destroying the presidential office in this political cartoon symbolizes how Nixon's involvement in the Watergate scandal is destroying his reputation and career. Nixon holding on to his desk symbolizes him trying to save himself from all of the negative media. The flag being pulled into the water represents how Nixon's involvement has not only affected him, but the American people as well.


The amount and force of the water rushing into the office is greatly exaggerated. This shows how much of an impact the incident had on Nixon's career. Nixon's involvement in the Watergate scandal caused him to resign.


Purpose:


The purpose of the political cartoon is to display Nixon's involvement in the Watergate incident and how it negatively affected him.


Nixon, with sign, " I am not a crook"

Created by Herb Block

Year Published: 1973

Subject: Nixon using public service profits for his own benefit.


Context:


In November 17, 1973, when Nixon is accused of using public service money, he claims," I am not a crook". An investigation proved him guilty of the crime and announced that he owed $432,787.13 in back taxes plus interest.


Techniques:


The money bags symbolize the money Nixon took from tax payers. The money bags sizes are exaggerated to show how big his crime was. Nixon's face is labeled with a money bag, which represents his greediness. His sign is labeled," I am not a crook", which is ironic, because he is surrounded by enormous money bags that prove he is obviously a crook.


Purpose:


This political cartoon's purpose is to show that Nixon was a crook.

Health Coverage

Created by Herb Block

Year Published: 1991


Context:


In May 1991, the cost of health care was increasing, therefore many patients were uninsured because they couldn't afford it.




Techniques:


The shivering man represents the 33 million Americans who are not insured, while the dead man represents the insured people suffering due to expensive health care costs. The political cartoon exaggerates the cost of being insured. The beds are labeled with the rising cost of health insurance and the amount of Americans who are not insured. The paperwork killing the patient is labeled with an exaggerated cost for health coverage. The situation is ironic because the man who is insured is suffering from the cost of health insurance, when the insurance should be saving him. At the same time, those who are not insured are suffering as well, so either way it's a lose-lose situation.


Purpose:


The purpose of this political cartoon is to show that health care costs are too high.