Analysis Of The Political Cartoon ‘the Trump Tape We Need…’

This is an analysis of the political, satirical cartoon ‘The Trump Tapes We Need…’ that was drawn by the American cartoonist Adam Zyglis for the Buffalo News newspaper, and later posted on his Twitter account on October 12th, 2016.

Adam Zyglis, the cartoonist, is widely recognised for his political cartoons about Donald Trump and how he connects with viewers by conveying his message through a few words and strong images.

Caricature is widely used by cartoonist since it is a picture or imitation of a person whose certain characteristics are exaggerated in a grotesque way.

Zyglis drew Trump as a caricature, with Trump’s face and upper body being proportionally large in the frame. The first feature that the viewer’s attention is drawn to is Donald Trump’s overly manicured, yellow hair. Zyglis purposely lengthened Trump’s hair past his face to ridicule him. Trump is dressed in his usual suit – white shirt, black blazer and a red tie to show affiliation with the Republican Party. His face is drawn as round and broad with little neck showing, and his famous tan is also visible. Furthermore, his cheeks are coloured a slight red, which could suggest anger. His squinted small eyes eyes and arched, furrowed eyebrows also suggest that Trump is irritated or angry which could be because his mouth has been taped shut.

Along side this, a fair skinned hand is only shown that has long sleeve that reaches to the wrist and is positioned directly left of Donald Trump. The sleeve has the colours red, white, and blue and resembles the U.S flag which implies that the hand represents the whole nation. The hand is holding a role of silver tape which is ripped, and it matches the tape on Donald Trump’s mouth as well.

Additionally, the tape across Trump’s mouth and tape roll are salient in this cartoon since they are the focal viewpoint for the viewer and also emphasizes the message the cartoonist is conveying, which is that everyone should stand together as a nation and shut Donald Trump’s mouth. Likewise, the background colour of the cartoon seems to be mainly white, except around Donald Trump. A slightly greyish tint is shown surrounding around Donald Trump getting darker the closer it gets to Trump. Also, there are few specks of black flicked sparsely around Donald Trump. This implicitly relates to good and evil where good is represented as white, while black or grey is represented as evil. Adam Zyglis is subtly informing the viewers that as long as Donald Trump will be president, he will continue bringing ‘evilness’.

The political event that was targeted through this cartoon is about the Trump Tapes scandal in 2016.

Prior knowledge is required for the viewer to be able to understand the cartoon. A tape was released 4 years ago, that supposedly had recordings of Donald Trump making misogynist comments to women while on a radio show ‘Access Hollywood’ with Billy Bush in 2005. Trump boasted about how since ‘he was a star he could do anything and whatever he wants, and get away with it’. This led to millions of women publicly sharing their experience of sexual abuse and over 10 million tweets were made in regard to it.

Zyglis is conveying the message that instead of trying to search for the alleged tapes that hold evidence against Donald Trump, they should just simply as a nation, shut Trump’s mouth using tape. The cartoon also implicitly implies that Donald Trump should not have the responsibility of being president and should be voted out.

The cartoonist achieved the visual and literary allusion of the 2005 video tapes scandal of Donald Trump, , and also how the public feels towards him.

The phrase ‘The Trump Tape we need…’ is a pun since it is referring to shutting Donald Trump’s mouth so he doesn’t say or suggest anything and the other meaning of the phrase is about the supposedly tapes of Trump where he is commenting misogynistically on women.

This cartoon clearly illustrates the country’s, especially the cartoonist’s, feelings towards Donald Trump.  

25 October 2021
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