John Cole’s political cartoon in the Thursday, May 10, issue of the Advocate had me scratching my head and pondering its meaning. The man in the black suit and top hat is obviously a caricature of President Lincoln speaking an aphorism in an oratorical manner, “If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” The man wearing a crown is obviously a caricature of Republican Majority Chairman, House State Government Committee, representative Daryl Metcalfe in all his inflated pomposity. His cartoonish figure exhibits self-importance and arrogance. The crown has a big “M” on it and the words, “King Daryl the First (the only).” The crown being a symbol of power. In his left hand is an ornate staff, another symbol of power, with the words “House State Gov’t Com.” The caricature depicts him as a bloated puffed up man with his chest popping out of his suit jacket with a pin on his lapel that reads Rep. Metcalfe. Perhaps in the mind of the cartoonist it symbolizes him as a pompous wind bag as compared to Lincoln’s erect and dignified stature of an orator. King Daryl holds in his right hand three documents titled “No Citizen Redistricting Involvement,” “No Democrat Legislation,” “I Am the Boss.” I had to hold the cartoon up to the light and look very carefully to transcribe these declarations so they can be read more easily. I am totally in the dark as to what is written under John Cole’s name. I hope it is not a reference to a deep state esoteric organization.
King Daryl utters in a pompous oratorical manner these words directed to the oversized ears of Lincoln as compared to the tiny ears of the king. “Hmph…You sound like some sorta homo-sexual librul (misspelled on purpose) broweeaten RINO. I was fuddled by the word “broweeaten” until I tried to type it into my letter to the editor on my computer. The spell checker corrected it to read “browbeaten.” That is the punch line, a pudgy, little, selfproclaimed potentate is using threats and angry speech to bully others into doing or accepting what he wants. King Daryl’s caricature is juxtapositioned alongside America’s first Republican president (who died a martyr’s death for the unity and liberty of our nation). In the cartoon King Daryl has the audacity to call Abraham Lincoln a RINO. I asked my wife, of 40 years, what does RINO mean in political terms? Without any hesitation she said, “it means Republican In Name Only.” The cartoonist is using satire to expose and illustrate who the real republican in name only is, the ludicrous buffoon King Daryl.
So what is the political satirist, John Cole, trying to communicate to the readers of this cartoon published in The Elizabethtown Advocate? The caricature of Lincoln represents the Republican ideals, which flow out of a form of government in which the sovereignty is vested in the people and exercised by them through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections. These Republican ideals can be best framed by a quote from Abraham Lincoln’s address delivered at the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg November 19, 1863. “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” The methods of a tyrant clothed in a king’s garb does not reflect the noble ideals of Republicanism but of a Republican in name only.
On a final note I hope the readers see the sardonic irony of Lincoln’s aphorism “If you want to test a man’s Character, give him power” to see if it goes to his head and he coronates himself a king or humbles himself as a servant and dies a martyr’s death. In the words of Jesus “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example…” John 13:14& 15.