I’m no artist, nor do I know how to create art for the computer, so you’ll have to bear with me while I draw the image for my political cartoon in your minds.
In the first frame, a massive jet liner flies through the air, set for a collision course with a mountain range not yet visible but looming ahead nonetheless. Faces of the passengers can be seen through the windows of the plane. Many are calmly reading their books and magazines or relaxing with their headphones, but others are casting worried looks through the windows, straining to see the doom that they sense is ahead of them. In the cockpit a lone pilot sits calmly at the controls, playing with this and that button and pausing to take a smiling selfie now and then. Outside the locked door the more mature and sensible co-pilot is just returning to the cockpit only to discover that he’s been locked out. Next we see him loudly banging on the door and frantically trying his access code on the keypad with no success. The pilot has deliberately locked him out to prevent interference with his fun. A look of dread comes over the co-pilot’s face as he begins to realize the peril for everyone aboard. With each frame more worried faces can be seen through the passenger windows of the doomed plane.
Now let me fill in the labels for you:
The name on the uniform of the pilot at the controls – ‘Barack Obama, Leftist-in-Chief.’
The name on the uniform of the frantic co-pilot – ‘U.S. Congress.’
The names on the luggage tags of the increasingly frightened passengers – ‘Joe American’
And in big letters on the sides of the plane: ‘United States of America’
The world is watching as the sickening tragedy of the crashed Germanwings plane unfolds. No doubt we can look forward to endless hours of hindsight analysis in which people will lament that the warning signs were there but people ignored them. They will say that the safeguards didn’t work because no amount of safeguarding is foolproof when people are not vigilant. They are right, and such blind irony is the stuff that makes for great political cartoons.