The Breakfast Table

The Coming Desperate Political Upheaval

Dear Ted:

All right, I could understand that you’d hate the test-ban treaty for the GOP’s reasons, but to say that we can’t put the nuke genie back in the bottle because we act badly in groups and that all pacts as a rule fail sounds like circa-1952 cold-warrior rant. The facts don’t support that. Nukes have been around since 1945, and since the World War II, not one has been fired in anger. That’s an amazing record for a species that can be counted on for the worst behavior all the time. The treaty didn’t alone arrange for that. It was a part of humanity’s desire to step back from the brink and cool the madness. Unless that idea has salience in the future, we can kiss our sweet planet good-bye. It’ll be a bit of bad news cartoonists won’t be able to draw about. Instead of trashing this treaty because it doesn’t do everything, we ought to be working on how to go further in the direction of international control of all nukes. Einstein said that humanity doesn’t have a prayer without the advent of a world federal government. The whole process of killing the Earth (which is our big issue every news cycle, regardless of what the suits tell us) won’t be brought to heel without strong international agreements … and I’m not referring to Mercedes and Chrysler. Who will lead this movement? Will they be successful? How far will they get before we see we’re really doomed? We’ll find out deep in the next century. It really will be crunch time. A time of desperate political upheaval, calling for a focused and educated world population. But let’s leave that to the kids and enjoy our happy fin de siècle with Jesse Ventura, Rudy Giuliani and his Blessed Virgin Mary, and JonBenet Ramsey (still dead, huh?).

Ted, you seem itching to get down to cases on the subject of cartoons and satire. OK, Spiegelman aside, whom do you love and whom do you hate? And why?

By the way, do you want to hear my Phil Harris theory of politics?

Peace now,