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Polibrief Cartoons of 2016

Polibrief

Cartoons of 2016

Ashlynn Stewart

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Published By Jihona

www.jihona.net

Shakespir Edition

Copyright 2017 Ashlynn Stewart

ISBN: 978-0-9925204-4-1

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold

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Table of Contents

Politics in a Nutshell

The Republicans

The Democrats

The Conventions

Hillary vs Donald

The Debates

November Surprise

Trump Wins

About Polibrief

[]Politics in a Nutshell

Thanks for reading Polibrief in Cartoon.

We hope you enjoyed our political coverage in 2016. As a way of rewarding our loyal followers and entertaining everyone else, we have decided to squish all of our cartoons together into a handy little book for minimum fuss and maximum enjoyment.

Polibrief is basically politics in a nutshell. Want more? Join us in 2017.

polibrief.com

The Republicans

2016 decided it wanted to be different from all the other elections. #MissionAccomplished.

In 2015 the concept of “President Donald Trump” was only slightly less comical than “President Kanye West”. The Republican Party, the other candidates, the media and even the rest of the country, could barely contain their giggles. But in the end Donald Trump had the last laugh.

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The Republican Party treated Donald Trump like a bad comedian at a late night comedy club, with little patience and few laughs.

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Trump and the media have a love-hate-hate relationship. Trump’s unique ability to manipulate the press and his near-constant coverage was a vital part of his success. But Trump also revoked press credentials and ditched media gaggles whenever unflattering stories surfaced, leading critics to protest about the First Amendment.

[]

Trump has been single-handedly responsible for prolonging the life and relevance of Twitter. In the history books, his most famous quotes will probably be tweets. A sign of the times?

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Trump’s yuuuge rallies were tests of his popularity and a place for him to trial some of his more radical (i.e. anti-establishment) ideas. His supporters were so loyal that they refused to tolerate any protests against their leader. Dissenters were quickly, and sometimes violently, sent packing.

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Against a backdrop of terrorist attacks in Europe and San Bernardino, California, Trump’s attacks on ISIS were indistinguishable from his attacks on Islam. Many, including Hillary Clinton, argued that by alienating Muslims, Trump was indirectly helping ISIS to recruit more soldiers.

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Even though the country experienced its worst mass shooting ever in Orlando, NRA-friendly Republicans continued to thwart Democratic efforts to introduce stricter gun control laws.

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2016 is the year that polls failed. Polls are inherently flawed but when millions are spent on them, campaigns tend to take them literally. Trump’s odds on voting day were below 30%. Apparently everyone forgot the golden rule: the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day.

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The Iowa Caucus was the first time Ted Cruz became a serious contender, with a decisive evangelical win over Trump, whose invincible campaign hit its first major pothole. By the following week however, dust clouds over the cornfields were all that was left of the campaign circus.

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Party favorite Jeb Bush and golden child Marco Rubio were expected to kill it in the Republican primary in New Hampshire. But Trump’s unexpected win and subsequent momentum became an all-too-familiar pattern over the next few months.

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Arguably Trump’s most controversial and winning campaign promise was to build a big beautiful wall on the Mexican border to keep out all of the illegal immigrants, rapists and job-stealers. When the primary wins started rolling in, it was tacit permission for Trump to start building his wall, brick by brick. With Cruz lagging and Bush struggling to justify his campaign, many Republicans began to take Trump seriously.

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The GOP thought they had the election picked, predicted and in their pocket. But the Trump Train was an unexpected obstacle that was as volatile as it was vital to a divided and struggling Republican Party. Infighting began in earnest and the GOP started to crack under the weight of one man who was both devil and deliverer.

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Older presidential candidates can get by on folksy personalities, dad jokes and good medical records, but when you want to reach out to younger voters, you need to be a bit tech-savvy these days. Unfortunately not even a good selfie technique could save Jeb Bush in the end, but hey, he tried.

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Jeb Bush’s attempts to discredit Trump made him an early target for Trump’s thin-skinned bully tactics. His gift (and the media’s appetite) for nicknames like “low-energy Bush”, “lyin’ Ted” and “little Marco” punched small yet effective holes in the others’ campaign boats. Jeb sank first.

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Robotic Rubio felt safe on his home turf of Florida and started attacking Trump with Terminator-like laser focus. But the Marcomentum was halted after a crippling loss to Trump in the primary. Guess there’s only room for one predator in that swamp…

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Once the GOP realized that it could be stuck with Trump as its nominee, it threw everything it could at him, including the last two viable candidates, John Kasich and Ted Cruz. But that backfired as the Republican establishment realized, too late, that it had seriously misjudged the will of their voters.

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When you get right down to it, elections are basically popularity contests. And Ted Cruz went up against the Regina George of candidates. Half the party seemed to feel that Cruz was a slightly saner choice compared to Trump, but unfortunately he didn’t stand a chance.

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Once Cruz was mathematically out of the delegate race, Trump declared himself the presumptive nominee. But Cruz had an ace up his sleeve – Carly Fiorina. She was supposed to swing in at the eleventh hour and save the day but her feet barely hit the ground before Cruz’s campaign was over.

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Meanwhile the Trump Train continued to collect endorsements and donations from all over the country, ensuring that his campaign was at full steam ahead of the convention.

[]The Democrats

While the Republicans were fighting over who should be their nominee, Bernie Sanders was fighting to get noticed during the Hillary Clinton Power Hour. His revolutionary supporters could “feel the bern” but the establishment Clintonites poured cold water on those hopes as quickly as possible. Unfortunately it wasn’t quick enough to soothe the hurts of a deeply divided party.

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Hillary Clinton had to walk a fine line to prove that she was the best candidate for the job without looking like she was taking anything for granted (after all, she’d already lost to another outsider in 2008). Bernie Sanders’ message resonated so much that he quickly became her strongest competitor, and their rivalry dominated the whole primary.

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Debates are like TV shows, full of commotion, characters and conflict. Clinton of course was in her element but Bernie Sanders gave as good as he got. However many viewers got bored very quickly, so perhaps a few celebrities could be hired to lift flagging ratings? Paging Tom Hanks or Judge Judy.

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Sometimes it was hard to tell where a Bernie supporter ended and a Trump supporter began. Thank goodness for those red baseball caps. But it seemed that the same economic message was reaching both sides of the aisle, and a revolution was the only solution.

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Clinton’s emails overshadowed her campaign everywhere she went. And while the FBI said she was “careless” in deleting thousands of emails that went through a private server, they did not recommend jail time. To which Republicans said, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

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Even though the Clinton campaign continued to surge ahead in donations and delegates, Sanders chugged along as fast as he could, as bit by bit his revolution started to gain momentum. By the New York primary, he had eight consecutive wins under his belt, and showed no signs of stopping…

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Bernie Sanders built a magnificent sand castle on the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans wanting real change. But after the New York primary and Super Tuesday, the delegate count was stacked against him. Sanders had to get his head out of the sand before the tidal wave of reality hit.

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Conspiracy enthusiasts and Bernie Sanders fans chalked up the acknowledged but inexplicable “numerous errors” of the New York primary to Democratic Party favoritism; why else would entire buildings and streets mysteriously vanish off the voting lists? And some places ran out of “I voted” stickers. Unacceptable on both counts.

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As the Democratic National Committee email leaks showed, the writing was on the wall for Sanders long before the end. The conspiracy to crown Clinton as the nominee meant that it would take nothing short of a revolution for him to win. He hung in there but even though he lost the primary battle, he’s still fighting the ideological war.

[]Conventions

The conventions were designed to be star-strutting, publicity-generating balloon-filled spectacles. Most commentators agreed that while Clinton had the stars, Trump had the spectacle. This would continue to be the case for the rest of the election.

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The nominees were presumed, the delegates were delegated and the balloons were blown. The Republican and Democratic conventions should have gone off without a hitch. But where’s the fun in that?

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GOP leaders boycotted the Republican convention, the Never Trump movement created chaos on the delegate floor, Melania Trump’s speech delved into plagiarism, and Law and Order candidate Donald Trump predicted the Apocalypse. Just another day in the 2016 Election.

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Despite all the rallies, protests, emails and revolutionaries, Hillary Clinton had the delegate and the super delegate count locked in well before the Philadelphia convention. Bernie Sanders was no longer needed. #FeelTheColdShoulder

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At the Democratic convention, speaker Khizr Khan offered to lend his copy of the constitution to Trump. That week, two things happened: pocket-sized constitutions sold out and Trump attacked a gold star family. This was the historic moment when Trump deliberately rammed his ship into the iceberg.

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The Bernie or Bust movement tried to influence the delegates at the Democratic convention, but even if Sanders had used magic he would have struggled to overcome the insurmountable lead of She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

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The award for best speech from the 2016 conventions goes to Michelle Obama. She totally crushed it.

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Here’s to the forgotten parties, like the Greens and the Libertarians. Their conventions were not nationally televised and failed to attract the star power and donations of their older, popular siblings. Still, they provided a voice for millions of dissatisfied voters who tried to turn convention on its head.

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And here’s to the independent third party candidates who get very little air time, money or votes, but still want to stick it to the man. Evan McMullin, former CIA spy and Mormon from Utah, didn’t have a snowball’s hope in hell of becoming president, but that doesn’t mean he won’t try again in the future.

[]Hillary vs Trump

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were now the Chosen Ones. One was an establishment powerbroker and household name, the other was an outsider underdog and money magnate. The battle of the titans was about to begin.

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Roll up, roll up, the circus is in town! The two main nominees threw their hats into the ring and their antics over the next few months would determine which clown ended up in the White House Big Top.

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Trump’s campaign has often been compared to Brexit because it is built on globalization, grievances and greatness. But even though the shock June result was seen as a bad omen for the November election, no one really thought the same thing could happen in America.

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Kellyanne Conway was hired to be Trump’s new, fresh-faced, scandal-free campaign manager. As with everyone Trump hires, there was plenty of reality TV drama thrown into the mix for free.

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Ah Mother Russia. The land of vodka, shirtless leaders and cyber hackers. Who could have predicted that a major feature of 2016 would be foreign intervention undermining American democracy?

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Regardless of hacking scandals, email scandals and daily Trump scandals, Clinton deftly jumped every race hurdle. Even when Trump accused her of playing the woman card, she turned it into an opportunity to paint him as sexist. She thought she had the election in the bag. Or wallet.

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To counter Trump’s economic argument, Hillary reminded voters of the prosperous ’90s and the other Clinton that was in charge at the time. Unfortunately it also reminded everyone of just how much baggage she was bringing with her into the new century.

[]The Debates

The debates were a chance for Clinton to show just how unfit her opponent was for office. They were also a chance for Trump to show just how much of a failure his opponent was. They both succeeded in muddying the waters and voters realized how fed up they were with the whole thing.

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The candidates came out swinging for the debates in front of a live Super Bowl-sized audience. It was style vs substance but neither was afraid to hit below the belt when it really counted.

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The debates set ratings records but not everyone came prepared. Trump’s floundering looked amateurish next to Clinton’s polished performances. Trump certainly won some sets but Clinton easily won the match.

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The 8th Commandment is often forgotten or ignored, but a loose relationship with the truth is better than none. However in the post-truth political race of 2016, lies made up a good portion of the debates, the policies and the news stories. Fact-checking became a national sport, but unfortunately no voters were watching.

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This year’s biggest loser was arguably the “crooked”, “dishonest”, “rigged” media. Polarizer and TV star Donald Trump should take a large portion of responsibility for the fact that Americans’ trust in the media has fallen to an all-time low. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

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The battle of the vice presidential candidates was a folksy, polite, soccer-dad sequel to the presidential debates. Democrat Tim Kaine kept Republican Mike Pence on the defensive all night, attacking him for supporting Donald Trump. Pence proved to be a dodgeball champion but unfortunately there was no dodging around the fact that America was living in two alternate realities.

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In a year of unpopular controversy-and-baggage-laden candidates, old, white, Spanish-speaking Tim Kaine was the safe bet for Hillary Clinton. However many considered it a missed opportunity to energize the party’s base with a flashier alternative.

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The third time’s the charm in presidential debates as both candidates saved their best performances for their last encore. Of course Trump’s refusal to say whether he would accept the results of the election probably pushed the media to say Clinton had won the debate (for the third time). Trump’s response? “Rigged!”

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Donald “The Victim” Trump was the boy who cried “Rigged!” He was trailing in the polls and plagued by accusations of racism and sexism, and decided to deal with all of this by throwing more gasoline on the fire and lashing out at an unfair world through Twitter. Classy.

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The battleground states were the arena. The strategies were the games. And the polls were the medals. If politics were an Olympic sport, Hillary Clinton was Michael Phelps. But even though Donald Trump looked like he was out of his depth, he still planned to take center stage. By any means necessary.

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Tech companies are constantly finding new ways to combat terrorists online but now the government wants to get involved. However handing over the backdoor keys could lead to privacy issues. Stopping the terrorists isn’t as easy as clicking a mouse.

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The death of Justice Antonin Scalia and Republicans’ refusal to hold hearings for any of Obama’s replacement nominees left just eight justices dealing with a range of controversial issues in a controversial year. In the event of a tie, perhaps a coin toss or a magic eight ball could be the way to break a deadlock?

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What is Donald Trump worth? After the bombshell report which showed that he declared an almost billion dollar loss in the ’90s, allowing him to legally not pay income taxes for the next two decades, Clinton said it proved that he was out of touch with the Average Joe. Trump said it proved that he was an awesome businessman. Ka-ching.

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Donald “Birther” Trump realized he needed to get minorities on board the Trump Train. So his new sales pitch included the line, “what the hell do you have to lose?” The answer was, “a lot”.

[]November Surprise

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier, November happened. Just a few weeks out from the election saw the greatest surprises hit the presses, and it was enough to change the course of history.

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Two parties, two visions, two Americas. But despite all of the messages to the people that their best interests were at heart, many felt their options were limited and they were screwed. Some voted for their party out of loyalty. Some voted for a third party out of spite. Many didn’t vote at all out of anger.

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“Grab them by the pussy” apparently is just “locker room talk”. Donald Trump’s outrageously sexist comments in the Hollywood Access tape finally had Republicans abandoning the Trump Train in droves; the media and social media were exploding with rage; and women were banding together in a last ditch effort to knock Trump off his throne.

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WikiLeaks ramped up its email subterfuge in an effort to destroy Hillary Clinton’s campaign and push their own agenda. Luckily the November Surprise Trump Tapes kept her afloat for a little longer.

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Questioning the mental health of his opponent was a Donald Trump staple. But considering both candidates’ unpopularity, chronic lying and poor decision-making, maybe it’s the public’s mental health that needs to be examined.

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President Obama’s little surprise for voters was that his Affordable Care Act would soon cost people an arm and a legacy in insurance premiums. Clinton said it needs tweaking, Trump said it needs repealing and replacing. In the meantime, patients are dealing with the bitter aftertaste.

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In the final few weeks of the election, Donald Trump was losing most of the battleground swing states, most of the polls and most of his Republican support. His path to victory was narrowing by the day. Or the tweet.

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But the surprises just kept on coming. Just when everything looked set in stone, the ghost of Clinton’s past emails came back to haunt her campaign. Again. The FBI announced a possible new avenue of inquiry. Then it said it doesn’t comment on ongoing investigations. Ahem.

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Election Day was here. Billions of dollars, 50 states and two political parties all contribute to a needlessly complicated and endlessly repetitive presidential circus. And the audience eats it up every time.

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Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to become vigilante poll watchers to make sure the election wasn’t “rigged”. Democrats argued that it was really a push to intimidate minority (and thus probably Democratic) voters. Regardless there are rules around poll watching, so anyone hoping to avoid getting arrested would need to go in disguise.

[]Trump Wins

And the winner is: President Elect Donald Trump. Wait, what? For half of America, the result was a shock to and a betrayal of the system that they believed in. For the other half, it was an inevitable and anticipated end to a stagnant political era that demanded change. Thanks democracy.

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Whether it’s painful or pleasurable, get used to saying President Trump. So you think the madness is over? Think again. Protests, recounts and hashtags abound and Trump is the 45th President of the Divided States of America. His mission, should he choose to accept it, is to bridge that divide. Too bad he’d rather build walls.

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Donald Trump’s unexpected win meant that all of a sudden cabinet picks had to be vetted, White House staffers had to be hired and Donald Trump had to act presidential. At all times.

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After Trump won, half the country went through the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Most will be stuck in the fourth stage for a while. However some have moved to the fifth stage – literally. Need proof? The day after the election, the Canadian immigration website crashed.

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The tidal wave of anger combined with the reports of Russian hacking meant that Greens candidate Jill Stein felt the need to take action. No matter that the odds of a recount overturning the election result were pretty much zero, but who’s counting?

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“The President can’t have a conflict of interest.” So said Donald Trump, who likes mixing business and politics. A lack of tax returns or transparency about Trump’s business dealings means that we will probably never know if Trump’s policy decisions will be based on America’s best interests or his own. And that should make everyone feel conflicted.

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An entirely inexperienced captain is now flying the plane. Some people may think it’s a good idea to try and highjack the aircraft, but it certainly doesn’t benefit the rest of the passengers if he crashes.

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Melania Trump’s ambitious plan as First Lady is to combat cyber bullying. For reals. In case you missed it, her husband is the Regina George of Twitter trolls. Doesn’t charity begin at home?

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Between Trump’s business conflicts, ambitious children, political inexperience and decision to deck his White House halls with magnates, militia and multi-millionaires, many people are concerned about what will drive President Trump’s decision-making process. Keep following him on Twitter to find out.

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How many generals are too many generals? Trump’s obsession with placing the top brass in his cabinet have some people speculating that he’s preparing for war. But there’s no need to panic…yet.

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Hiring Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon as a senior advisor to the president brought the alt-right movement into the harsh spotlight. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

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As November gave way to December, the Democrats dove into turkey and pie-fueled holidays to comfort themselves. But now is the time to look to the future, instead of living in the past.

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A president’s goal is always to leave the country in a better state than when they entered office, but even though President Obama spent eight years carefully stacking his legacy deck, his house of cards probably won’t be strong enough to stand up against a hostile Republican government.

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It’s a man’s world. After its first African American president, the country simply wasn’t ready for its first female president. So on January 20th, the 45th man will be sworn in as President of the United States.

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After a long, strange, fearful, exhausting year, many people can’t wait to say sayonara to 2016. It was an election year where politicians forgot how politics works, pollsters forgot how polls work and pundits forgot how predictions work. “Populism”, “post-truth” and “political correctness” were buzzwords. And what is there to show for it all by the end? A great internal divide, a diminished external standing and a lot of bruised feelings. 2016 is dead. Long live 2017.

[]About Polibrief

Polibrief talks about American politics in a nutshell, through brief articles and fun cartoons. It is dedicated to providing insights into current political events for people who are short on time but long on curiosity. Check it out at polibrief.com

Ashlynn Stewart is a freelance writer and editor with a keen eye for detail and a fascination with the written word. She started Polibrief in 2015 after seeing a need for a news site with a unique voice and an interesting look that talks about everything political, but briefly. Find out more about Ashlynn at ashlynnstewart.com


Polibrief Cartoons of 2016

Cartoons of 2016 is a collection of this year’s best political cartoons, as illustrated by Ashlynn Stewart. The Chosen Ones were picked from among more than a hundred Polibrief articles from over the course of 2016, covering everything from the Supreme Court to the divided Congress to the Obama legacy and the epic Clinton vs Trump Election Battle Showdown. Enjoy! Polibrief talks about American politics in a nutshell, through brief articles and fun cartoons.

  • Author: Ashlynn Stewart
  • Published: 2017-01-18 14:50:49
  • Words: 3973
Polibrief Cartoons of 2016 Polibrief Cartoons of 2016