Series Overview:
– Welcome to the world of PENsive, from the mind and pen of Artist Damon Kardon. This is a weekly editorial cartoon satirizing the social ills of our time, especially what Damon finds most perplexing in the music/arts, social media and political industries.

About the Sketch:
– I like big ideas when it comes to saving this earth from the brink of existence. I think we need some….fast! I don’t know about you, but I believe our scientists. If they are worried about sea levels due to a hole two-thirds the size of Manhattan in one of the largest glaciers in Antarctica, then I’m worried too. I believe the world’s leading economists, who say the disparity between the rich and poor in the U.S. grows at an astounding rate. I see a degree of that in my own wallet. If you don’t, you must be in that special club who selectively labels news that doesn’t benefit you as “fake.”

I think it is too late to get it twisted. I am 42 years old and living in a country (and a world) that has declined financially and ecologically since my parents were my age. My kids will see it decline even further. We need big ideas from people who hold some sway in this world. We need big ideas from our government who, whether you like it or not, will always pull the strings. I don’t expect those ideas to become law in an instant, and I don’t want them too. I want them to be pliable and to be argued, filtered and digested through our congress. That, to me, is democracy.

Check out the full-resolution version of the PENsive #18 sketch.


One person with a big idea who decides to make the dream a reality through executive “emergency” order (cough, cough, big wall, cough)… that is totalitarianism. A big idea like taxing the rich 70 percent and have it laughed at, argued, considered and talked about by the masses….that could bring some actual change.

I love Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ideas. They are big and they always make everyone stop and listen (whether you agree with them or not). I don’t 100 percent think these ideas will work, but I do think they are the discussions we need to be having right now! She has been the only one recently (with a loud enough Twitter bullhorn) to speak with the urgency so needed on global warming right now. The Democratic Party seems to feel a bit deflated when trying to make some serious moves on this issue, and I really don’t fault them. Look at the state of The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) right now. Regulations are being eliminated that had already barely kept our water and air clean.

I think Ocasio-Cortez is the charge that will ignite the party (especially Nancy Pelosi) to help take back the power and steer the conversation to the real issues. To me, those issues are the always-rising number of poor people in this country, the lack of medical benefits, and the polluting of our earth by big corporations. We are talking about the basic needs of survival. Don’t even get me started on the state of our public education system in the U.S. and what Betsy DeVos has done to further destroy it.

This recent clip of Ocasio-Cortez challenging Trump ideals and political corruption in the United States gets very much to the heart of what makes her such a compelling figure in the country’s current political climate.

Ocasio-Cortez led a successful grassroots campaign to New York’s 14th congressional district and she did so with a progressive platform that left out all of the bullshit. So many politicians sling nonsense to the public when they want the only thing the public can give them… money and votes. She won because she actually believes in what she is saying to us and is young and driven!

I was a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016 and wished that he was the Democratic candidate in that Presidential election. I knew he had big ideas that most likely would not work in our government (single-payer healthcare, taxing the rich close to 70 percent, free college). I still think those ideas he had should’ve been brought to the table and worked with until we could come close to that. We needed those ideas to be incorporated into our twisted maze of a healthcare system and maybe untangle some of the capitalist bullshit.

Do I think Bernie would make a good president now? Not really. I think that time came and went and he had some flaws in his campaign that came into the light after the election. I do see that Bernie’s ideas definitely influenced Ocasio-Cortez and that makes me very hopeful. I think it’s early and she is too young to run, but she could be a future president and I only hope her resolve stays strong throughout her time in Congress.