History of the Book

This is a book of cartoons. The observations are from a psychological perspective, a psychological view of the current political scene.

I am a retired psychologist in Vermont. I have had time to watch and think about the current cast of political characters and about my own reactions to them.

I have become distressed about what I am seeing and have discussed my worries with friends and family and colleagues. Many of these people, all of who I respect deeply, aren’t as worried as I am.

At least three friends say they will vote for Trump. They see him as a strong man who, overall, has been very successful in business, and who has leadership qualities. They think we need someone like this now. In addition, they don’t trust Clinton.

I know what they mean. I value strength and business success and leadership qualities (though I think there is female power as well as male power, and Clinton may be as powerful as Trump or more powerful, in her own way).

I have even gone one step further. At different moments in the last few months (and, as recently as two nights ago), I have given in to the desire to feel we have finally found, in Trump, a way out of our problems, a strong personality who can tackle China, ISIS, the economy, and racial tensions, and find workable solutions.

But, for different reasons, I have not been able to give into this feeling, this hope. My fears of Trump and doubts about his personality and qualifications flood back in, as strong as ever, so strong I have decided to join the political fray by rolling out this book. Since the Sixties I have not been seriously interested in politics, so this is new for me and shows the strength of my worry.

Writing my observations down seemed the wrong approach. Words, at least mine, didn’t strike deep enough. Pictures cut deeper and quicker. I hired a pro to put down my first idea (Drunk driving?) back around April, but this was cumbersome and expensive, and I began to draw my own. My shortcomings as a cartoonist became obvious to me immediately, but I could not see other options.

So my weapon is the cartoon!

At first I thought the Democratic Party would welcome my psychological approach if I could just find someone to talk to about it. I managed to contact five(!) local politicians to offer my help, but there was zero interest.

Next I decided to send the cartoons to The New Yorker and the Washington Post. Rejections from The New Yorker, and, three months later, no answer from the Post. Meanwhile the cartoons have multiplied from a few to ten, and now to seventy six, as of today (September 11, 2016).

I am thrown back into doubt, “Are the cartoons way off and that’s why there has been no response, or may they have some still undiscovered use?” There are only 60 odd days to the election. If they have any value, it’s too late to wait for a publisher. I am self-publishing.

Tips for looking into this book

  1. Double click images to make them larger.
  2. If reading this on a computer, you should drag out the pages, both vertically and horizontally. Otherwise the cartoons will split into two parts, and each part will appear on a different page.
  3. I have added a comment to each cartoon. I had showed some of them to intelligent people who didn’t understand what I was getting at. I hope the comments I have added for this book are useful to some readers. I see no problem if others find it enough only to look at the cartoons.
  4. The cartoons do not appear in the order they were created. I found it more useful to divide them into six subjects (six parts). Each cartoon is presented as a separate chapter within one of the parts.
  5. Some of the cartoons I drew free-hand. At best this was slow. I found the process was more efficient with Adobe Fireworks: I could import images from the web and manipulate them in Fireworks. I know there have been copyright issues with this approach. I think I have manipulated the images enough so they fall under the Fair Use doctrine. In the last chapter, Citations, I have given references and links to the sources and have done my best to cite them appropriately and give credit where credit is due. This has not been possible in all cases, as noted.


Mostly Trump: 76 Political Cartoons from 2016 Copyright © 2016 by Thomas R. Hersh, Ph.D., P.C. All Rights Reserved.

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