‘Walking Dead’ Mirrors Our Political World
A power shift is underway among the zombie-fighters — sound familiar?
After a painstaking six-month hiatus, fans rejoiced as AMC’s “The Walking Dead” made its long-awaited return for Season 7 on Sunday night. However, their excitement was bittersweet, as it was revealed — spoiler alert! — that one of their most beloved cast members, Glenn (Steven Yeun), had kicked the bucket.
The award-winning show, as program vet Norman Reedus told Entertainment Weekly, is undergoing a “complete change of power.” Oddly enough, the story arc freakishly parallels that of the 2016 campaign trail.
Much like the zombie apocalypse, and its walkers, HRC’s people don’t seem to be easing up on their underhanded ways.
On Nov. 8, the country will experience such a scenario — minus the blood and gore — when the next commander-in-chief takes the reins from Barack Obama, a rather large task, considering our country’s regression under the 44th president.
In terms of its audience, “The Walking Dead’s” sixth season averaged a hefty 13 million viewers per episode. However, as groundbreaking as the hit sci-fi show’s small-screen numbers have been, they pale in comparison to the 84 million viewers that tuned in to watch Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s Sept. 27 debate, or even the second and third debates, which garnered 66.5 million and 71.6 million, respectively.
Evidently, viewers are drawn to a good power struggle — be it the battle for POTUS, or survival of the zombie apocalypse’s fittest. Here’s how the two not-so-similar platforms indirectly mirror one another.
While Clinton and company haven’t exactly killed off Trump, or any of his camp’s members, she has vehemently tried everything under the sun to get at the GOP candidate’s popularity jugular with her incessant smear campaign.
Adjacent to the Trump-Clinton saga, “The Walking Dead’s” upcoming installment pits its main protagonist Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) against his toughest enemy yet — big baddie Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his spike-ridden baseball bat named Lucille. The Democratic nominee certainly isn’t running her campaign with any physical weapons (that we know of). Nonetheless, Clinton is clearly the catalyst behind the never-ending tirade of attacks on Trump’s character.
Much like Trump, Rick has managed to fight his way out of some pretty sticky binds. However, it’s the ruthless head honchos’ faction, The Saviors, that pose the most acute threat to the former sheriff and his Alexandria crew’s aspirations to reach Washington, D.C.’s “Kingdom.” Ironically enough, Trump’s version of it, the Oval Office, also resides in the capital city.
Specifically, Trump’s presidential bid has been riddled with a slew of enemy roadblocks honing in on his political incorrectness and a plethora of sexual harassment claims. In the midst of WikiLeaks’s pending threat and EmailGate — among other crimes — Team Hillary continues trying to discredit Trump’s reputation at all costs. Much like the zombie apocalypse, and its walkers, HRC’s people don’t seem to be easing up on their underhanded ways.
Although they meander from each other’s earshot, from time to time Rick’s right-hand man Daryl Dixon (Reedus) has simultaneously doubled as a voice of reason and much-needed community alpha male. Trump’s No. 2 is Indiana governor Mike Pence, who is also seasoned in dealing with naysayers. Denouncing rumors stating that he was having cold feet about Trump, Pence said being the Republican nominee’s running mate is “the greatest honor of my life.”
If one fancies cliffhangers, “The Walking Dead’s” prior season finale featured just that; a mystery Grimes comrade being bludgeoned to death by mega-villain Negan. To further pique fans’ curiosity, the gruesome scene was shot through the mystery character’s POV. Now held captive, Rick and his crew are forced to put their aspirations for the promised land on hold in order to survive. Until the election, Trump is in a somewhat similar predicament, having to maintain his composure amid HRC’s onslaught.
While Rick swayed the Alexandria crew to adapt to the new world’s animalistic ways, Trump hasn’t fared as well opening up the minds of the die-hard Hillary supporters — especially the feminists that want a woman in office at all costs.
As the campaign trail reaches its final act, the stakes, akin to the pulse of The Saviors’ prisoners, are sky-high.
Survival of the fittest just about sums up both “The Walking Dead,” and the Trump vs. Hillary political match. On both ends, one thing’s definitively for certain: A power struggle is inevitably about to take place. One outcome just so happens to be for entertainment, while the other is no laughing matter.