Respect must be earned

Dec 21, 2016

Rip Van Winkle is reputed to have slept for 20 years. When he awoke his beard was a foot long, his wife and dog had died, his son and daughter were full grown, and the American Revolution had occurred. His proclamation of loyalty to King George III quickly got him into trouble.

George Spadaro must have slept centuries longer than Rip, for he seems to have forgotten that the constitution resulting from our revolution guarantees freedom of the press.

Spadaro also fails to comprehend the historic tradition of the political cartoon. William Hogarth is credited with its origination. A Rake's Progress, Hogarth's 1719 cartoon, was featured earlier this year in an exhibit of influential cartoons in the Seattle Art Museum.

Political cartoonists serve a vitally important social role by lampooning those in power to draw attention to their nefarious, self-serving activities.

Political cartoons have used caricature for 300 years to restrain the power of rulers and bureaucrats and empower average citizens to question their omnipotence.

As Publisher Archipley noted, the Beacon is a community newspaper. The Beacon's focus on stories of interest to the local community is commendable. Nevertheless, we are gravely influenced by national and international political developments, as is everyone else in the United States.

The Beacon's publication of two political cartoons highlighting the dishonesty, bigotry, and misogyny of President-Elect Trump provide a sober reminder of the unsavory character of the man who will soon become the president of the United States.

I agree that, as Americans, we must continue to respect the Office of the President.

However, all should have learned from President Richard Nixon's behavior that our respect of the Office must not blind us to the fundamental lack of decency exhibited by the man in (or about to assume) the office.

Tony Tinsley



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