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Pencil Politics III: North Korea, money laundering and 2020

di Maximilian Kriz

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This week in politics, summed up in cartoons: let us take a look at how cartoonists have masterfully captured absurdity and contradictions of recent events in world politics.

2020 – Trump versus whom?

The race for the upcoming presidential elections in 2020 is in full swing. While incumbent Donald Trump seems to have secured the nomination of the Republican party with no serious contender in sight, the field of Democratic candidates is getting crowded. Democrats have learnt one lesson from the historical defeat against Trump however: Hillary Clinton is not able to unite the many different camps within the party. As this cartoon underlines, her decision not to run for the presidency may already be a great step for the Democrats towards the White House.

 

2020 – Who is afraid of socialism?

At any rate, the next American presidential campaign will be a heated one, and Bob Gorrell’s cartoon hints at the polarisation of US politics. Screaming “socialism” is a reaction to proposals by some Democratic candidates, most notably Bernie Sanders, to fund more extensive public services through an increase in taxes on top incomes: the reference to socialism is an old tactic that invokes memories of communism and helps mobilize hardcore Republicans. Whether it is justified is a different question, but then again politics is more about emotions than rationality.

 

From Russia, free of tax

News of money laundering allegations between Russian and European banks, supposedly even reaching Prince Charles, have rocked parts of the banking sector and led to significant losses. In this cartoon, Russian President Putin is seen riding a washing machine, but his tired look stands in stark contrast to the picture the cartoonist is referring to – a strong leader riding a bear in Siberia. Though whether Russia or Europe has taken a greater hit by the scandal remains to be analysed.

 

Trick or treaty?

Will the British Parliament pass Theresa May’s deal and decide to leave the EU on good (and agreed) terms or will we become witness to a no-deal Brexit? The next couple of weeks will decide if a treaty between the two parties can be established or not. Until then, cartoonists will cherish the wealth of controversies, uncertainties, discussions and blame-games that the drama surrounding Brexit entails. In his cartoon, Martin Rowson focuses on the difficult negotiations between the EU and the UK.

 

North Korea

What some believe to be true for Brexit might also be true for the summit meeting between US President Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un: no deal is better than a bad deal. The unexpectedly early end of negotiations and lack of agreement between the two heads of state left some commentators wondering if Trump has realised that North Korea is reluctant to give up its nuclear programme.

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