Sunday, November 15, 2015

The wisdom of Doonesbury

I’ve long been a fan of Doonesbury, which Garry Trudeau has been publishing, almost continuously, for more than 45 years. Trudeau has received numerous rewards for the comic strip, including a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1975. The Doonesbury strip was the very first comic strip cartoon to be so honored.

On occasion, the Doonesbury strip comes up with some facts that are so unbelievable that I feel compelled to conduct my own fact check, and this morning’s strip was one of those times:

today’s strip

When I read in today’s strip that 23,000,000 Republicans believe that Barack Obams is a Muslim, I found it hard to believe that THAT many people could be that stupid. As it turns out, that figure is actually pretty accurate, and possibly even conservative.

According to a recent CNN/ORC poll, 29% of the American population, and 43% of the members of the Republican Party believe that Obama is a Muslim. I couldn’t verify the 23 million figure, but I suspect that the 43% total would be a rough approximation of that, since there are 55 million registered Republicans in our country.

In addition to their belief that Obama is a Muslim, 20% of our population STILL believes that Obama was born outside the United States, and there are still a handful of people who believe that “Denali” is a Kenyan word for “black power”.

There are also a surprising number of people (including a few well known liberals) who are convinced that all Muslims are killers. Since there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, that belief simply does not make sense. I don’t believe that for a minute, and I’m one of the few white Christians who have actually read the Koran, which I‘ve written a lengthy book report about.

Much has already been written about the recent attack in Paris by members of ISIS, and the final resolution of the crisis won’t be happening any time soon. The vast majority of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world have the same opinion of terrorism that the rest of us do, as demonstrated by the fact that the President of Iran, as well as the leaders of Qatar, Indonesia, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia has called the attacks “criminal", and have called for an end to the plague of terrorism. Indonesia, incidentally, has the highest percentage (12.7%) of the world’s Muslim population, with over 200,000.000 followers living within its borders.

Earlier this year, a University of Nevada political science major named Ivy Ziedrich confronted Jeb Bush at a town hall meeting in Reno, and accused his brother of creating ISIS.. To some folks, that may seem a little far fetched, but if you truly analyze our foreign policy decisions in Iraq, she is absolutely correct..

Like any writer, Garry Trudeau has generated NUMEROUS controversies over the years, but his comments about the shootings at Charlie Hebdo exhibit a wisdom that proves that even satire, if not handled carefully, can be a very dangerous thing.

don’t make fun of my dog, my truck, or my religion

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