Eric Millsaps

The lady on the phone was more determined than angry.

This reader of the Hickory Daily Record had seen enough editorial cartoons spoofing the decisions of President Donald Trump. She would have no more.

I pulled out the paper and, yes. the cartoon in question did feature Trump wrestling with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s finger. That’s a witch finger, according to the reader.

I agreed with her that the cartoon took a swipe at the president. I hoped to point out that the next edition of the paper featured an editorial cartoon that lampooned Democrats pledging allegiance to the flag of politics rather than the United States.

I didn’t get that far.

She said she did not want to hear it. Then she hung up.

There is something I wanted the lady to know. The Hickory Daily Record is an equal opportunity offender on the Opinion page.

The cartoons we publish can be challenging. (You should see the ones we do not run!) They are designed to elicit a strong reaction.

There’s a reason. Editorial cartoons must convey big ideas in a small space. They are not subtle. The cartoons we publish often take jabs at the president. They also frequently focus on the follies of the Democrats.

Trump backers are correct. He is one of the most criticized presidents of all time. Some of that is because of the way he communicates. President Trump, much like those political cartoons, is far from subtle.

Here’s an example. President Trump says he wants the talk of impeachment to go away. But he’s tweeted about impeachment and/or the Mueller report about a dozen times between May 29 and June 3.

Love him or hate him, he refuses to be ignored.

I guess you could say the same for us. Somebody is going to dislike just about every cartoon, letter to the editor or opinion we publish.

But we believe giving voice to those views, as varied as they may be, is an important part of what we do.

And I still wish the caller had stayed on the line a few more minutes. Angry callers often turn out to be some of our best readers and, over time, our strongest allies.

Eric Millsaps is editor of the Hickory Daily Record.

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