Theodor Geisel, more famously known as Dr. Seuss, also created a number of political cartoons for the liberal, New York-based newspaper PM during World War II. Geisel created many cartoons, critiquing aspects of WWII; the cartoon above criticizes American isolationism in particular. The cartoon depicts the majority of Americans’ beliefs concerning Hitler and his conquest of Europe. Many Americans believed that Hitler and the Nazi party would tire after conquering all of Europe, particularly after defeating England, and would lack the supplies and stamina to wage war against the US. Geisel also seems criticize the apathy toward subjugated European countries that the majority of Americans felt. The bird in the Uncle Sam hat–the United States– can see the carnage around him, however he looks to have no intentions of protesting the German bird’s actions, nor intervening on behalf of the destroyed trees– European countries. The bird representing the US is carefree, and sits twiddling his thumbs, an act associated with inactivity.
The caption in the cartoon has a whimsical air to it. The bird representing the United States seems to not take the dire situation in Europe seriously. He does not understand or realize that in the likely event of England falling to Hitler, the German forces will attack the US. It seems that the US bird is mocking those who worry about the safety of the country, which could have been a genuine sentiment of the isolationists at that time, or it could have been Geisel’s way of ridiculing them.