The Politics of Dr. Seuss

Last month Fox News’ Lou Dobbs went on the air and declared that the new Dr. Seuss movie, The Lorax, is a liberal attempt to brainwash young Americans. It’s idiotic to think that anyone seeing The Lorax, which hit theaters yesterday, is going to grow up and join Greenpeace. In his rant, Dobbs came off as self-important and made it seem like an orange cartoon is spelling out the end of the world. What Dobbs didn’t point out, though, is the most interesting part of the story. The Lorax is really just the most obvious example from a long line of Dr. Seuss’ political overtones.

Dr. Seuss started his career in as a political cartoonist. He was totally in favor of WWII, drawing cartoons that would cost him his job today.

After the war, the Seuss-man published the books that make him such an icon today. But the books are more than just fluff for kids. There are undertones in The Cat in the Hat that denounce the plainness of suburbia. In The Grinch Who Stole Christmas Dr. Seuss subliminally takes a few jabs at the overwhelming consumerism that’s so prevalent every December. Yertle the Turtle is a clear commentary on how politicians take advantage of people hoping for a good leader. These examples might seem like reaching but Dr. Seuss admitted there are overtones in his books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seuss (real name: Theodor Geisel) wasn’t a smelly hippie, though, just an American. There are more examples than I pointed out above and his political messages applied to both the left and the right. Which brings up the question, why is the environment a political issue in the first place? Is it so wrong for little kids to not want to see trees cut down by an evil businessman? We don’t fondly remember events like people in the 1800s wiping out the bison population by shooting them from train, although I’m sure there were proponents for that at the time.

When we mess around with the natural world too much there’s more potential for disasters to happen. That just seems like common sense. If The Lorax is brainwashing for protecting the environment then I’m sorry it didn’t come out before the BP oil spill trashed the Gulf. Dr. Seuss is political, but he also happens to be right. Lou Dobbs needs to chill out, trees are good.

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