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Skyler Z. Clark Professor Irene Peterson English 1010-071 20 February 2013 Milk It for All Its Worth Political cartoons are a form of communication that convey ideas through a sketch or drawing that cannot be conveyed through writing alone. They state opinions that have already been expressed, or are common themes in the public eye more effectively than the written word. Cartoons are a combination of both written and visual expression. They 1 engage their audience through rhetoric and use appeals called Ethos, Logos, Pathos, or Kairos to state a point or opinion. Each cartoon employs these appeals in different ways, and one can learn more about the nature of rhetorical appeals through the study of one such cartoon. Political cartoons are written to display feelings or opinions that otherwise could not be expressed, or are better expressed through a more artistic or visual genre. For example, if you were living in the Revolutionary War era, circa 1776, no other medium seems to be able to capture the urgency for unity as Benjamin Franklins Join, or Die. The cartoon allied colonists to unite under a common cause, and also played a great role in many political decisions thereafter. Such cartoons use rhetorical appeals to petition their audience. Political cartoons are not often seen as credible, but rather satire. For a cartoon to be seen as a credible source, it would have to be validated as such by a source that can be trusted and must illustrate that it is approved by a trusted authority or institution. Such a cartoon would be said to be applying the Figure (Franklin)

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Ethos appeal. Oftentimes artists will appeal to logic in order to make their statements. For example, in Franklins Join, or Die, if the snake is chopped up, it cant live; therefore it should not be divided. This is considered a Logos appeal, although, for some, the same cartoon could be called Pathos, as it is written to urge citizens and politicians to an action or cause. Franklins purpose was to create greater unity with his cartoon, and through Pathos he has proposed that the state cant do it alone, and incites a feeling of brotherhood to those who see it. After all, they are all a part of the whole, a part of this snake, which if void of any pieces, surely must perish. The current president of the United States, Barack Obama, is said to have driven up spending. Some joke that the nation is so indebted that declaring bankruptcy is imminent, others are shocked this has not yet happened, and all fear the possibility. The Author of this cartoon, Steve Sack, (see Figure 2) marks his subject, the (Figure 2)

president, well by characteristically enlarging his ears and teeth, and elongating his grin. The emaciated cow representing the US Treasury is apprehensive as a jovial and seemingly oblivious Obama draws closer to milk the last ounce of sustenance from the starved creature. A Logos appeal is applied simply by the appearance of the cow. The cow is malnourished and surely should not be milked any more to prevent its death. Obama has brought numerous buckets to milk the treasury cow, and each large enough to fit what is left of the cow in its entirety. How he intends to draw so much from a cow obviously having so little is a logical thought brought to mind upon seeing the unfortunate situation of this cow.

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For those who would sympathize with the cow in its dire circumstance, Sack has created a catalyst and a cause for action. In this way, the author has also applied Pathos to move citizens to act to stop the milking of a cow with nothing left. He states through his cartoon more quickly and effectively than he could with words, that the spending done by the president, and the spending he plans to do will be detrimental and is what caused the cows grotesque figure. For all those who would save this poor and abused cow, Sack has created the motivation to action. If someone doesnt stop this jovial character from happily stripping the cow of its last drop of life, the cow will die. The cow portrayed representing the US treasury makes this fact truly frightening as all of these buckets, or organizations which they represent, are in need of sustenance from this cow. The cartoonist seems to argue that as Obama brings buckets to the cow to drain what it may yet posses, he ought to be bringing smaller and fewer buckets, but rather to feed the animal, it being as undernourished as it is. Sacks cartoon gives the idiom milk it for all its worth new meaning. Given that the United States has not always been in a dire financial situation, Sacks cartoon has also employed Kairos as a rhetorical appeal. The time in which the cartoon was written is the time for which the cartoon is meant, and is also the only time which the cartoon can apply. Its scope is limited, as the nation may not always be in financial disarray, or even exist. President Obama, as well, is only limited in his seat of power, or to better fit the cartoonist depiction, his milking overalls. He will not always be able to bring great buckets to an animal unable to fill them. The time in which this cartoon will be important to Americans is short. However at the time of its publication it was powerful, because of the time, and the situation at the time in which the cartoon was published.

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Sack has accomplished a feat with his cartoon that would be at minimum extremely difficult and surely not as effective had he tried to state his opinion in writing. His efficacy in showing citizens the financial situation they are in is impressive, and only possible through this artistic medium. If Sack had written a discourse on the political decisions the President has made or is planning to make, and then tried to persuade people to read it to learn his point he would be nowhere nearly as effective. In todays world not many have the time to read all the intrinsic facts, figures and happenings affiliated with events, news, and political decisions. Sack has made it possible to quickly get an opinion and situation into the mind of the viewer, who can further interest delve into the looming mounds of information to solidify a personal viewpoint. Sack has in effect made a summary of a situation, nicely packaged and ready for consumption, similar to many quick and ready-to-go meals common to fast-paced American culture. His synopsis of a situation enables the reader to quickly realize the state of the situation. The cartoon employs rhetorical appeals to inform American citizens of excess spending which has taken place during the Obama administration. The cartoonist has designed his piece well and implemented many rhetorical elements: Pathos, to urge to the viewer to act; Logos, to show them what has been and must be done; and Kairos, as the cartoon is applicable now-a period in time. As a professional cartoonist, with years of experience the viewer can trust that Sack is a credible source for information, and Sack shows his credibility through the skill with which he portrays his views. The author entertains many different points of view with this work, including the dire fiscal situation in which the nation finds itself, the seemingly oblivious idealism with which the government has handled and is handling the situation, and finally the unwritten or drawn conclusion that that there cow needs some food. The claims made by the Star Tribune (Sack), if correct, indicate that the nation is in a precarious position indeed.

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Works Cited
Franklin, Benjamin. Colonial Williamsburg. 9 May 1754. Retrieved: 19 Feb. 2013. Sack, Steve. Obama bleeding the U.S. Treasury Dry. Star Tribune. February 2011. Retrieved: 19 Feb. 2013.