Regarding Ted Rall’s June 29 article, “End of editorial cartooning”: I was surprised to learn that there is an annual conference of political cartoonists in America where “partisan divisions fall away.” Hardline leftist Rall writes that “one of my dearest friends is a conservative cartoonist.” What a splendid assembly! Such meetings are just what we need. I think cartoons by, say, Oliphant and KAL are indispensable in political discourse for evoking issues from an angle different from what we’re used to. It contrasts with the repetition of boring partisan arguments by political commentators whom we’ve become fed up with. We’re turning our languages into deceptive and ineffective tools for thinking and discussion through sick logic, distortions of word meanings and the misuse of key words. Hence the stinking mudslinging in political debate.
We need a means of political discourse based on the sound instinct and common sense of ordinary citizens who want decent work to live a modest, stable life. While lavish amounts of money are being spent to destroy the natural environment for the sake of accumulating more money, the precious culture of the political cartoon is being killed by penny-wise but pound-foolish newspapers that skimp on compensation for cartoonists.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.