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Auchter's Art: Skirting the rules to win the game

cartoon of someone trying to gather signatures
John Auchter for Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio ran a story this week where the city council of Hillsdale, Michigan, is considering an ordinance that would basically criminalize anything related to having an abortion within the city limits. Obviously any story about abortions comes packed with visceral feelings and opinions. But what struck me about this particular story was its nuances and complexities (and how it was told).

I encourage you to read the whole article, but briefly, the wife of a Hillsdale city council member asked a Texas-based pastor to come to town to promote his "Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn" initiative. She collected signatures of support and brought it up in the public comment portion of a meeting this week. Hillsdale is famously a conservative town, so it was hard to find opposition to the idea itself, but there were plenty of concerns about how it was executed.

What I found most interesting was watching a community determine how far it is willing to go for an end to justify the means. Is it okay to skirt rules, bypass convention, take some shortcuts? And if so, then how about rigging the game, locking down the opposition, declaring rule by fiat? Would that be okay, too? It will be interesting to see how all this plays out in Hillsdale.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, 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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