Holiday Prompts Political Expression

Photo by Ashley FILIPEK Examples of the cartoons submitted to political science professor Cameron Hastings at GCC.
Photo by Ashley FILIPEK
Examples of the cartoons submitted to political science professor Cameron Hastings at GCC.


“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

This well-known American standard is taken from the U.S. Constitution, which was signed on Sept. 17, 1787. Every year on Sept. 17, or the closest weekday to that date, Americans recognize the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens.

In 2004, a law was passed creating the holiday, as well as creating a mandate that requires all publicly- funded educational institutions to provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day.

“In the past we’ve had speakers that have discussed different aspects of the Constitution. This year, since it was so quick into our semester, like the second week, we just decided to do something small,” said Cameron Hastings, a political science professor at Glendale Community College. “And since we have the flexibility to do anything we want, I said to my large class if anyone wants to bring in a political cartoon relating to the Constitution, go ahead and send it to me.”
On display on the first floor of the San Rafael Building at GCC are the 20 or so political cartoons that students submitted. Although Constitution Day was on Monday, the cartoons will be on display for the entire week for students, faculty, and guests to look at.

There is a wide array of political views displayed in the subjects of the cartoons.

Hastings said, “It’s kind of ideologically all over, which is nice. It was interesting because there would be two cartoons right next to each other that had the same person as their subject, for example President Obama. One cartoon would be completely criticizing him for not valuing the Constitution and then the next one would be showing him as the savior of the Constitution. Then some would be showing a similar thing with [George W.] Bush. It’s really funny; they’re all over the place.”

Luckily, this will not be the last time these cartoons will be available for display.

“I will hold onto these and as the years go on, I’ll just add to the collection,” she said.