‘No Family is Safe from Phil Murphy’s Sex Ed Mandates!’ a recent political cartoon read
A political cartoon targeted at Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s education agenda has piqued the interest of concerned parents across the state.
The cartoon, commissioned by the Sussex County Republican Committee, depicts Murphy tearing a child away from his parents, while demon-looking aides poke him with needles and present him with a dress. The cartoon is captioned, “No Family is Safe from Phil Murphy’s Sex Ed Mandates!” and comes on the heels of the state’s controversial guidance that schools do not have to notify parents if students decide to change their gender identity. The Murphy administration said doing so would protect students from being “outed” to their parents.
Sussex County Republican Chairman Joe Labarbera said Thomas Nast, often referred to as “the father of political cartoons,” was the inspiration for the cartoon. Nast famously drew satirical cartoons of Tammany Hall’s William “Boss” Tweed to expose political corruption in New York City.
The Sussex County Republican Committee released a political cartoon aimed at New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s education agenda.
Labarbera said the response to the New Jersey artwork has been overwhelming.
“It’s been ecstatic,” he told FOX News Digital. “My phone has been blowing up nonstop. Emails have been blowing up nonstop. I would say I’ve had at least 140 to 150 between myself and staff of the Sussex Committee, at least 130 to 140 well-wishes… I’ve had multiple billboard vendors call me… saying, ‘We would like to do this billboard,’ and we have other party chairs saying, ‘We’re going to put up a billboard. We’re going to do this too.'”
The image, he said, is set to be displayed on billboards “sporadically” throughout the state instead of just doing one billboard for a long period of time. The committee is also planning a social media push.
When three school districts in New Jersey – Manalapan-Englishtown, Marlboro and Middletown – adopted policies that went against state guidance, New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin filed lawsuits.
“‘Outing’ these students against their will poses serious mental health risks; threatens physical harm to students, including risking increased suicides; decreases the likelihood students will seek support; and shirks the District’s obligation to create a safe and supportive learning environment for all,” the Marlboro lawsuit read. “Indeed, LGBTQ+ students in New Jersey and elsewhere have died by suicide after being outed.”
Sussex County may be very conservative, Labarbera said, but he suggested the “old school, JFK Democrats” in the county have also been upset by the state’s school guidelines.
“The line was crossed when they took away the parental rights,” Labarbera said. “At this point, I believe that the argument has changed. Before, the argument was about what children are being taught in school. And is it appropriate to teach A, B and C to children in school at certain ages? Is it appropriate to expose kids to this kind of stuff? Is it a distraction? Is it protecting a particular group?… To me now, this is a dramatic revolution in affairs where the state is saying… ‘You parents do not have a right.’ If you take out the transgender issue, you replace it with any other issue. Parents don’t have a right to sway their kids anymore.”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy gives a speech on the Hudson River tunnel project at the West Side Yard on Jan. 31, 2023 in New York City. His administration was in opposition of the policies.
Most importantly, the chairman said he hoped the cartoon would reach the state’s large number of unaffiliated voters.
“They are largely agnostic politically, and they largely don’t pay attention to what’s going on at the local politics,” he said. “So the point of the cartoon is to create strong enough image to where it gets their attention.”
And that, Labarbera said, is just what Nast did in the 1860s and 1870s in his illustrations for Harper’s Magazine.
“He used to make outlandish pictures of Boss Tweed, you know, piling up gold in the corner from orphanages, etc.,” Labarbera said. “Yeah, I know he wasn’t really piling up gold in the corner, but it created the embellishment. It created the artistic license to show something’s wrong here. And that’s what we’re trying to make New Jerseyans understand, because I think most of them who are paying attention understand it already.”
Three school districts in New Jersey – Manalapan-Englishtown, Marlboro and Middletown – were sued by the Murphy administration after adopting policies that went against state guidance that schools do not have to notify parents if students decide to change their gender identity.
Labarbera expects education to play a “huge role” in New Jersey’s next elections.
“It’s going to play a huge role,” he said. “I mean, look what happened in Virginia. Youngkin won in Virginia based on that. New Jersey is a state that has always given gravitas to education. This is a state that has always – used to be, previous towards the current political powers that be – the state used to lead the nation in education, lead the world in education.”
He concluded by saying the Democrats are “marginalizing” the issue and that education will “turn the tide for the Republicans this time around.”
Murphy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Source: FOX News