You fill in the face!

In the 1870s, America’s foremost – and first – political cartoonist, Thomas Nast, attacked Boss Tweed with pen-and-ink. Tweed and his political cronies were draining New York to an extent that is staggering even today. It seems everyone in the Tweed ring got a piece of the pie. The New York County Courthouse eventually ended up twice what the United States government paid for Alaska. Proof of the corruption? A carpenter was paid $4.9 million for a month’s worth of work and a plasterer received $1,82 million for two days work. Tweed hated Nast because his constituents could not read but they could see “the damned pictures.” Nast, an immigrant, gave us a few lasting pictorial gifts: Santa Claus and the elephant as the symbol for the Republicans. (The donkey for the Democrats was a gift of Andrew Jackson.)  Nast cartoons are timeless as you can see from the posted picture. It is as appropriate today – and particularly with the tax bill in the Congress – as it was a century and a half ago. [See my books at]

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