Progressives Discovered in Red States

Progressives Discovered in Red States

In my own personal experience, red state progressives are amazing badasses. Which is not to say there aren’t incredible activists in blue states. But there’s a certain humility, I think, that comes with going up against incredible odds, and an awareness of who your real enemies are. 

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The Sorensen Monologues

Impeachment Jury Duty Questionnaire

I was already pretty cynical about what the GOP has become, but the number of Republican politicians defending domestic terrorism, lying about who the perpetrators were (Nancy Pelosi?! Antifa?!), and lying about the election results, has exceeded even my worst expectations. On Fox, Tucker Carlson falsely suggested the impeachment trial was deceptive, comparing it to the “myth” that George Floyd died at the hands of police. This is one of the most-watched news programs in the country spewing shockingly sick conspiracy theories. The fact that there are no consequences anymore — for anything — is a sign that this grotesque movement has captured far too much power. If there is no bottom, where does that lead us?



Race Dismissed

There’s been a spate of stories lately about the right’s attempts to block Black history education. To mention just one: An Ogden, Utah Montessori (!) school sent an opt-out form to parents after receiving pushback to planned Black History Month activities. The letter, which the school sent “reluctantly,” according to the director, allowed families “to exercise their civil rights to not participate in Black History Month at the school.” Now there’s a new twist on civil rights!



The Life Cycle of a Crazy Idea

As you’ve probably heard by now, newly-elected Republican Representative from Georgia Marjorie Taylor Greene once endorsed an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that wildfires in California were caused by laser beams from the Rothschilds, a Jewish family that figures prominently in many such theories by far-right hate groups. It’s easy to laugh at this stuff, but she is increasingly becoming the face of the GOP.  The growing momentum of this movement, as it swallows the entire Republican party like a rapidly expanding sinkhole, is incredibly dangerous.



Freedom vs. Freedom 2021

No concept has been more twisted and abused than the concept of “freedom” in the hands of opportunistic Republicans and libertarian nutballs. Speaking of which, yes, that’s Rand Paul in the fourth panel. He came out looking like Eraserhead, which I am more than okay with. 

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Q-mocracy



How Did We Get Here?

We’re all paying the price now for giving unethical media outlets a pass, granting them legitimacy they never deserved, filling our public discourse with hate speech and dangerous conspiracy theories. The Republican party has grown ever more radical since the ’90s, yet rather than report this objectively, newspapers put forth a safer, more palatable narrative of “polarization.” Even as the GOP dismantled the Post Office, lied about the election, and tried to change the results, we were told to “relax.” And here we are.


Classic Cartoon: Nation of Moochers

I’m taking some much-needed time off over the holidays. This is a “classic” from 2014 with some relevance to our current moment. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the minimum wage would be $24 in 2020 had it kept up with productivity growth.

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Victory in New America

This is all so science fictional already, it’s difficult to parody. It seemed the New White House might actually be built by the time I finished the cartoon. And if it were, many pundits would still call this “bickering” by both sides.



Coddling Corruption

If officials don’t show some proper outrage and act like Trump’s crimes are important, the public won’t perceive them as important. I wish more Democrats and the Beltway pundit class would channel even half the righteous indignation that Georgia election official Gabe Sterling, a Republican, displayed in his speech that went viral last week. 

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Death Worship

I keep encountering this specious argument that “religious freedom” is under attack because in-person services are being restricted while other businesses deemed essential remain open. A more accurate comparison would be indoor concerts, which have been largely shut down. Contrary to Justice Samuel Alito’s claim of victimhood in a recent Federalist Society speech in which he stated “religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right,” literally no one is trying to stop people from worshipping. It is simply a fact that in-person services have been a vector for spreading COVID not just in the US, but around the world, and that safer alternatives to congregating indoors exist. Moreover, this is not simply a matter of individual beliefs, but the lives of those outside one’s church. As Justice Sotomayor put it, the Court is playing “a deadly game” that “will only exacerbate the Nation’s suffering.”

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Disappearing Detroit

While I was doing an image search for lunch counter protests of the Civil Rights Era, I came across this remarkable photo on NPR.org of activist Dion Diamond being confronted by the leader of the American Nazi Party. The year was 1960. When you look at these photos from the not-so-distant past, invariably filled with sneering, cocky white boys tormenting Black people, you can also see the present. 

This got me thinking about contemporary notions of the “real American voter” — a white male Trump supporter in an Ohio diner. How is it that a mere handful of decades after these historic lunch counter protests, our go-to image of an “authentic American” is a white guy in a diner? 




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Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

 

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