Political Cartoon Analysis

Category: Government
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Political cartoons are comical way of making you thoughtful and persuade the issues. To understand a political cartoon you are required to be aware of current political issues. In the cartoon above, Gary Varvel uses elephant and donkey as political characters. Elephant is representing the Republican party and the donkey representing the Democrat party. They are sitting at the table having brunch and discussing the budgets that they have prepared. The message seems very clear, “Established in 1974, the congressional budget process now seems broken. Partisan conflict and creaky rules have undermined the process, and with-it Congress’s budgetary discipline” (Reynolds). It is a very common issue that political parties repeat over and over for any budget issues, they agree to review ideas but disagree to approve based on their political character.

Table Discussion

The cartoon speaks a thousand words and the creator Gary Varvel as always is very good at portraying it as he has done many times before for the Indianapolis Star (IndyStar). In my opinion, he had done this cartoon very well and convinced a clear message and picture of the issue of political parties. The cartoon seems to say that political parties will take the budget purposals on their plate, but if it is prepared by certain party, they just disapprove for that one single reason. Elephant and donkey have budget purposal on their plates, but then say “Oh, you made this?” in a sarcastic tone and throw it in the trash without even trying. I believe the cartoonist is trying to demonstrate that nothing has changed to budget process and Congress is again is at a deadlock and frequently in recent year we have seen government shutdown because they cannot agree over budget . It seems that there is always conflict on budget-related issues in the House. The situation has been made worse by the guidelines governing how our political leaders can present the budget bills in the House (Reynolds). The parties just want to do what is best for their parties and popularity. The actual question is, are they really trying to pass a budget than can minimize our deficit, and do they really care about it? The cartoon strongly suggests a “no.”

It is general fact that to keep up with nation developments, the budget will keep going higher every year. But since deficit has been such a stress to our economy, it should be considered by any parties. But both parties are adamant and want to increase spending and not caring to decrease spending which doesn’t help reduce the deficit. The Democrats continue to disapprove military spending and ask to decrease it, while the Republicans continue to demand increase in military spending (Democrat vs Republican). This makes working on goals very difficult. This very well characterizes political party; while they might agree on proposals, they often disregard it just because it is from that particular party. This cartoon is portraying unbiased view as it doesn’t favor over the other. It shows equal satire on both political parties. The message is clear, political parties do not work on the promises they made for gaining people’s vote. All we people want is a good economy with balanced budget and decreased deficit. But both parties are quite far on getting that goal met.


With the current political trend, I agree with the cartoon and cartoonist message as he has unbiased portrayal that both political parties are at opposite poles when it comes to preparing a balanced budget or solve deficit problem. If they would work on it and agree we would not have to see the government shutdown in future.


“Democrat vs Republican.” Democrat vs Republican – Difference and Comparison | Diffen,


“IndyStar: Gary Varvel, Editorial Cartoonist, Columnist.” Indianapolis Star, 2018,


Reynolds, Molly E. “This Is Why the Congressional Budget Process Is Broken.” The Washington

Post, WP Company, 26 Oct. 2017, www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/10/27/this-is-why-the-congressional-budget-process-is-broken/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.906d39156fdc. 

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Political Cartoon Analysis. (2021, Jul 04). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/political-cartoon-analysis/

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