Was 2017 the beginning of the end for the social safety net? Find out in the new Darrin Bell book: “We Eat the Poor: Political Cartoons of 2017.”


The year 2017 in political cartoons by Darrin Bell of the Washington Post Writers Group, winner of the 2015 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Editorial Cartooning, and the 2016 Berryman Award.

The first year of the Trump presidency was a test of our national character. Would we stand by as the president and his party tried to rob tens of millions of poor and middle class Americans of their health insurance? Would we care if the president allowed restaurants to confiscate tips from their employees? Would we stand by in acquiescence while he slashed taxes on the wealthy and hiked them on the poor?

Would we mind if the White House showed utter disdain for the truth, telling us over 1000 documented falsehoods? Would we allow the President to forbid transgender troops from serving in our military? Would we stand by in silence as he declared the press to be an “Enemy of the American People”? Would we agree with him banning travelers from Muslim countries and banning Syrian refugees? Would we stand by while he provided aid and comfort to white supremacists and Neo Nazis? While he obstructed justice? While he appointed an ultra-conservative to a stolen Supreme Court seat? While he handed over sacred Native American national parks to private developers? While he pushed a budget that would slash Medicaid and anti-poverty efforts?

Would we look the other way as he maligned women he’d allegedly sexually assaulted even as the #MeToo movement was finally holding sexual harassers and predators accountable? While he at first stood by and did nothing as 3 million American citizens suffered and more than 1000 died in impoverished Puerto Rico? This was our test.

Did we pass?

These stunningly-drawn, full color cartoons are thoughtful and evocative. As Amy Lago of the Washington Post Writers Group put it, “Bell deftly takes on the pressing social issues of the day, from gay rights, to rape victims who are not believed, to children flooding into the United States, hoping for a brighter future.”