Comic Illustrates the Difference Between the Republican and Democratic Convention

July 29th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

Now that the Republican and Democratic conventions are officially over, we can take a step back and reflect. One defining difference between the conventions is the message each party's presidential nominee sent about the fate of America.

This comic by cartoonist Joe Heller nails that difference.


At first glance, the text offers a gloom-and-doom vision of America — one defined by fear and rampant criminal activity — which is meant to reflect the vision put forth by Donald Trump. But read it again — this time from bottom-to-top. Hillary Clinton's depiction of the country starkly contrasts Trump's, Heller argues.

The comic might exaggerate the difference, but it's not far from the truth.

During his speech at the Republican National Convention last week, Trump opened by outlining a series of national security threats, warning of terrorism and attacks against police while positioning himself as the savior who will restore safety.

"Together, we will lead our party back to the White House, and we will lead our country back to safety, prosperity, and peace," Trump said. "We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order."

Clinton also recognized that the U.S. faces national security threats, but the crux of her speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday looked forward. She decried Trump's "mean and divisive rhetoric," opting for a message marked by hope, progress, and inclusion. The contrast was so apparent that even a number of high-profile Republicans took note, expressing jealousy over the Democrat's optimistic worldview at the convention.

"I know that at a time when so much seems to be pulling us apart, it can be hard to imagine how we'll ever pull together again," Clinton said. "But I'm here to tell you tonight – progress is possible. I know because I've seen it in the lives of people across America who get knocked down and get right back up. And I know it from my own life."

Watching or reading the convention speeches from Trump and Clinton gives you a sense of where Heller came up with the idea for his comic. As many have noted, the tone and content of the conventions were mirror opposites.

"The themes planted over the past two weeks reflect two different wagers on the mood of the nation," TIME reports. "Trump believes that in a time of economic dislocation, rising fears of terrorism and frustration with elite institutions, voters are seeking a blunt-spoken outsider. Clinton cast herself as an experienced leader who will carry on Barack Obama’s progressive program."

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