The Republican Nomination


 “The Issue”
  Cartoonist:  Edward Windsor Kemble
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   March 23, 1912, p. 7

Click to see a large version of this cartoon...

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This Harper’s Weekly cartoon is a sequel to “I Believe in Giving Every Man a Square Deal,” in which Theodore Roosevelt appeared as a street thief ready to steal the Republican presidential nomination from William Howard Taft. Here, the former president (1901-1909) has crossed out the Latin phrase “The voice of the people is the voice of God” and replaced it with his own version, “The voice of the people is my voice.” The cartoonist has associated the original democratic motto with Taft, while making the president’s bitter rival responsible for an egotistical slogan. The change suggests the historical transition of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire, a connotation reinforced by Roosevelt wearing the laurel crown of the Caesars (Roman emperors). The ink used by the ex-president may have been meant by the cartoonist to resemble blood, implying the imperial use of assassination to gain or keep power. Roosevelt also wears his Rough Rider uniform, which supports the militarism and violence of the image.













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