Sunday, November 4, 2012

Top 10 Television Democrats

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

With the 2012 Presidential Election upon us, I thought that it would be cool to take a look at some openly political television characters. Today we'll look at Democrats and tomorrow we'll look at Republicans. No special reason that we're doing one before the other.

all images pulled from wikis, except Family Ties from IMDB
10. Joe Quimby, The Simpsons. Mayor Quimby is largely portrayed as an animated collage of political Kennedys, with an accent, a passion for womanizing, and uses money to solve as much as possible.

9. Grace Adler, Will & Grace. She wastes no time in declaring her political affiliation - in the fifth episode, "Boo! Humbug," she says, "I'm a Democrat" when she has to take Harlin's children trick-or-treating and one is dressed as Richard Nixon!

8. Phoebe Buffay-Hannigan, Friends. Though the show never gets very political, it would be difficult to peg Phoebe as conservative! She's a vegetarian, respects the environment, loves all animals (even smelly cats and rat babies!), donates to the homeless, and is really a free spirit in many ways. She's a lover of peace, not a big fan of Western medicine, doesn't like mass-manufactured products, and generally doesn't worry about how others see her. One very liberal thing she does is after she gets married she legally changes her name to Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock for an episode! 

7. Hawkeye Pierce, M*A*S*H. Hawkeye was drafted and opposes the war, often disagreeing with everything the army stands for and disregarding their policies. In "Dr. Pierce and Mr. Hyde," he sends a telegram to President Truman, asking "Who's Responsible?" for the insanity taking place. Many seasons later, in "Give 'Em Hell, Hawkeye," he writes a letter to Truman, begging for him to stop the Korean war. He explains how dire the situation is and that the peace talks need to take place.

6. Christine Campbell, The New Adventures of Old Christine. For someone who is hardly motivated about anything, Christine founded her college's Democrats group. She doesn't talk about her political beliefs specifically all that much, though in the early season 4 episode "White Like Me," she does point out to Richard that she's a Democrat (and also says that's why she won't take alimony). She also drives a Prius, liberally drinks wine, and marries a woman for a short period of time, if you want to further stereotype a character who thoroughly stereotypes throughout the series.

5. Winnie Cooper, The Wonder Years. Winnie genuinely cares about stopping the war, as it took away her brother far too early. So, she works for the McGovern campaign in 1972 ("Politics as Usual" in season six), and is genuinely sad that there are folks who won't take a leaflet about a guy who wants to end war, poverty, and pollution. She is swept up in wanting to see change in the world, and even meets the Senator, who loses by a landslide. The local head honcho, Mike, depresses Winnie further when he says that McGovern never stood a chance, and Kevin says their political views were forever changed that night. 

4. Dorothy Zbornak, The Golden Girls. Though she never comes out and says it, Dorothy is implied to be a Democrat - she supported both Mondale and Dukakis and planned to "tell off" George H. W. Bush about the educational system's flaws. Dorothy also believes in female independence and allowing immigrants to stay in the country as long as they're productive members of society.

3. Rory & Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls. In "Dear Emily and Richard," Lorelai thinks back to being pregnant with Rory, when she planned to register as a Democrat because it's so far from her parents' ideals. Multiple times throughout the series, Rory and Lorelai talk about their liberal thinking, solidified toward the end of the series as Rory goes to work as a reporter on Obama's campaign. 

2. Brian Griffin, Family Guy. A supporter of Dennis Kucinich, this dog is anti-religion, hates George W. Bush, served in the Peace Corps, believes that marijuana should be legalized, and supports gay marriage. He considers himself an intellectual (attended Brown University and all) who thinks global warming is man-made, yet he drives a Prius. Surprisingly, he did vote for John McCain.

1. Steven & Elyse Keaton on Family Ties. This show depended on the liberalism of the Keaton parents being contrasted with the conservatism of their children (except maybe Jennifer). They married young, joined the Peace Corps, had their first child, THEN went to college at Berkeley, when they had their second child. They often speak of protesting, Elyse is a hardcore, independent feminist, and Steven works in public television. Imagine his cries as Mitt Romney tries to assassinate Big Bird!

Honorable Mentions include Brian and Joe Hackett from Wings, Mary Richards from Mary Tyler Moore, Lindsey Weir from Freaks and Geeks, Eric Camden from 7th Heaven, and Shirley Feeney from Laverne & Shirley. Am I missing anyone?
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This

No comments: