Political Cartoons

By: Jay Lee & Matt Tuggle

"Fiddler"-Herb Block

Published July 25, 1967

Subject: Congress standing idly by while conditions in U.S. cities worsened

Concepts: President Johnson celebrated high living conditions among many Americans, yet he and Congress seemed to ignore the places where living conditions were worsening, primarily among Blacks. While people protested the horrible conditions, Congress ignored them and many possible solutions, and instead passed a bill to prevent rioters from crossing state lines in order to protest.


  • (Sym.) Fire hydrant- the fire hydrant shaped like the capitol building represents Congress' ability to solve the problem including multiple hoses labeled as different possible solutions
  • (Lab.) Fiddle, hoses, Nero's robe- the fiddle was labeled with the name of the anti-agitator bill passed by the house, the hoses were labeled with different ways to the "put out the fire", and Nero's robe is labeled with "90th Congress"
  • (Ana.) Congress : U.S. :: Nero : Rome- Block compares Congress to the Roman Emperor Nero, who allegedly played the fiddle while his city burned down.

Purpose: To display the simple lack of congressional effort to improve living conditions in lower-class America.

"Invasion of the Corporate Body Snatchers" -Herb Block

Published April 21, 1985

Subject: The wave of risky tactics and maneuvers that came with the deregulation of banking.

Concepts: Once the deregulation of U.S. banking came in the early 1980's, major corporations were able to start using bold tactics such as junk bonds and stock manipulation to buyout smaller companies. this produced a surge of corporate mergers and also caused the failure of a large number of savings and loan institutions, which ended up costing U.S. taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.


  • (Exa.) the "Corporate Body Snatchers"- the cartoon portrays powerful corporatons as large, batlike creatures who are here to prey on smaller, weaker companies.
  • (Lab.) the body snatchers- labeled with different tactics used by the large companies during their aggressive expansion.
  • (Ana.) the big companies are compared to the antagonists from the classic sci-fi movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", who were aliens that took control of the weak human race by inhabiting their bodies.

Purpose: to frame the aggressive nature of some of the campaigns launched after the deregulation of banking in the U.S.

"Cardboard Ronald Reagan" -Herb Block

Published March 5, 1987

Subject: Ronald Reagan maintaining a strong image

Context: Despite the issues swirling around during Reagan's presidency (The Iranian Hostage Crisis, EPA, the conflict in Lebanon, etc.), Reagan was able to uphold the the strong image that he established upon getting elected and also retain his popularity.


  • (Sym.) Cardboard Reagan- the image of President Reagan as seen by the public; something he could hide behind
  • (Exa.) The large size of Cardboard Reagan- Reagan's wide popularity among the American people
  • (Irn.) The contrast between Cardboard Reagan and the actual Reagan- ironic because Reagan was one of our country's most popular presidents, yet he obviously had many shortcomings and made his share of mistakes

Purpose: To expose some of the flaws of on of our most popular presidents