You are an artist questioning ethics so that says a lot about you. God bless.
First-look at cartooning. Very serious people have been reduced to a caricature through history. That is ethical. It is the medium that does the caricature. This type of artistic representation is not like a sit-down portrait. If I pay a cartoonist to draw me, I may not like the drawing because cartooning is a sort of caricature or “quick take” on my features. No ethics issue here.
If you look at how the Irish people were caricatured in the British press in the last two hundred years, you will see gross exaggeration to portray the Irish people as sub-human. It’s been done with the Jewish people, Black people, Asian people etc. It was a way to avoid looking at how their human rights were violated by portraying them as wild, savage, crazy. That would be an unethical type of drawing.
But it is possible to caricature, NOT de-humanize your subject AND put them into situations, costume, and backgrounds that show their hypocrisy, error, idiocy.
You can practice this.
Imagine a very nice looking politician who pleases everybody to a dangerous fault. It would be appropriate to draw a nice picture of them sitting at their desk with several faces on their head, one talking to a guest, one on the phone, and one dictating to a secretary. You are caricaturing a political situation. Many politicians might even agree that THAT is what politics feel like. You have done your job and have not dehumanized the person, only their role as a politician.
Now if your boss wants to fabricate things about a certain politician that are not factual and he wants your work to demonize that person, then yes, I’d have an ethical problem with that: It’s Not Even An Effective Form Of Editorial. It’s just lame propaganda. The important thing is to draw based on a truth…they lie, they cheat, they don’t listen, they have blinders on, they take bribes, they talk out of both sides of their mouths, they fiddle while Rome is burning, they smile through others’ sorrows, they live too luxuriously, they are friends with brutal dictators,… these things are easy and ethical and fun to portray and a picture is worth a thousand words.
The best editorial cartoon carries a truth that both friend AND foe will identify. If the person is dehumanized, you lose most of your audience. Study the greats.