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Auchter's Art: Let's get focused

John Auchter for Michigan Public

Aligning various demographic groups into voting blocks is a longstanding American electoral tradition. (Well, maybe not at the start -- white, male landowners pretty much had the whole thing locked down in the early years.) But as immigrants arrived, enslaved people were freed, and things got generally more democratic, it became clear that people with shared characteristics often voted in similar ways.

Naturally, political parties and their political machines took note. Pollsters, too. And God knows pundits and talking heads are clear on the concept.

Being part of a voting block isn't a bad thing in and of itself. Organizing as a group is a great way to ensure your voice is heard. Many Arab Americans in Michigan are displeased and horrified by the ongoing war in Gaza, and their leaders have taken steps to use their leverage as a significant demographic in a so called "swing state" to effect change from the Biden administration.

One of the downsides, though, is the aforementioned pundits and talking heads seizing upon this: "Southeast Michigan chock full for Arab Americans! Who knew?!" "Growing rift with White House likely to sink Biden reelection bid!" "Experts predict effect on 2028 election ... and the 2024 NFL draft!"

It's disheartening how quickly it goes from people's real concerns to the gamification of those concerns.

Editor's note: John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Public, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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