In this political cartoon, Barron is the lens not the target.
Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States and that is a stone-cold bummer. Get ready for an unthinkable shit-storm of mismanaged government and threatened rights, folks! That is, unthinkable to everyone except, perhaps, the POTUS’ youngest son.
Barron Trump’s been living under oppressive Trump rule for the entirety of his young life. But what do we really know about this dead-eyed 10-year-old shuffling his feet next to the podium?
Brian McGovern, an LA cartoonist and comedy writer, takes a closer look at the president through the eyes of “Li’l Barron,” a lonely rich boy who bears a striking resemblance to the First Son.
McGovern, who started developing the character after he saw an absurd Trump family portrait, was inspired create a (sometimes dark) satirical cartoon in the friendly style of “Dennis the Menace” or “Family Circus.”
But when Trump was elected, he nearly scrapped the whole project.
“I was dead set on abandoning it entirely,” said McGovern, “feeling too depressed and ashamed that I even entertained the idea that it would be fun to imagine Donald Trump hypothetically being president.”
But he stuck with it, publishing the single-panel “Li’l Barron” comics on tumblr and Instagram?—?to mixed reviews. In response to the common criticism that he’s attacking a child, McGovern argues the cartoon is “meant to show a unique perspective on all the scary, crazy things we see one man do and say…[and] how it affects someone small.”
In other words, Li’l Barron is not the target of the jokes, but rather the lens through which we see the actions of Donald Trump.
The artist explains his cartoon though an analogy involving Kevin James and a toilet:
“If, in a Kevin James movie, Kevin James eats too many sloppy joes at a picnic and then clogs the toilet, no one would say that the movie was about ‘attacking a toilet’…If the movie was told from the perspective of the toilet, however, I think people would…say ‘I feel very sad for the toilet.’”
Donald Trump is Kevin James, and Li’l Barron is the toilet. We’re meant to feel for the little boy who is (metaphorically) shit on by his father. Via his cartoons, says McGovern, “People still get to laugh about the dumb crap that comes out of him [Donald], but my comic is an attempt to remind people to feel sad about the reality of it, as well.”
A sad reality, indeed. As Donald Trump gears up to undo eight years of progress, many of us are feeling like neglected 10-year-olds overlooked by those in power. Stay strong, Li’l Barron. We’ll get through this together.
All “Li’l Barron” cartoons by Brian McGovern.