A few weeks ago, my friend Michael asked me if I’d rather face a zombie apocalypse or a U.S. presidential election season. This post is the unexpected lovechild of that idea. It contains some spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen all six seasons of The Walking Dead yet.
Two things have been on my mind recently: The Walking Dead and the 2016 election in the States. They’ve both been full of unexpected surprises, both positive and negative. They’re both also threatening to go on until the end of time.
What interests me the most about The Walking Dead universe is that it’s a society without politics. Nobody there cares who you voted for or what party – if any – you align yourself with. It’s hard for me to imagine any of the characters arguing about abortion, marriage equality, the death penalty, police brutality, gun control, or any of the other issues that people have strong opinions about in our universe.
Rick, Michonne, and their friends have other things to worry about at the moment.
Still, it’s fun to think about what some of the main characters from that show would be like as political leaders. You don’t live very long in a zombie apocalypse without knowing how to finagle your way out of a sticky situation. This is how I imagine they’d behave if they were transported to our version of Earth and decided to run for office.
Rick Grimes would start off by adding his name to the ballot and campaigning more aggressively than the average candidate. If he didn’t win, he’d pay close attention to the winner. An intelligent and fair one would have little to fear from him. Anyone else would be in grave danger of being deposed, especially if they threatened to reduce the funding of the public schools that Carl and Judith would and will be attending. Under no circumstances would he allow his children to run for office when they grew up.
Carol Peletier would skip straight to the deposing when her opponent won. She would be wildly uncomfortable with all of the schmoozing required to be a politician, but she also wouldn’t trust anyone other than herself to keep society chugging along.
Michonne would run a fair and honest campaign. She wouldn’t make any promises she couldn’t keep, and she’d treat her opponent with respect. For these reasons, she probably wouldn’t win unless the other characters were voting for her and she was running in a very small town. If she did win, though, she’d be the most competent leader out of anyone from this show.
Daryl Dixon would quietly disappear into the forest the second that anyone mentioned the possibility of him becoming a politician. He wouldn’t return again until someone else had been elected and he was sure he was safe from the possibility of being forced to take a bath and make small talk with strangers. Morgan Jones would most probably leave with him, although they’d go their separate ways once they were safely a few miles into the forest.
Glenn Rhee would relish the idea of being a mayor in a small town or in a quiet suburb of a bigger city as long as Maggie was with him. He would stand a good chance of winning, although he probably wouldn’t run for re-election. One term would be more than enough for him.
Maggie Greene would prefer the faster pace of life in a big city. She wouldn’t be opposed to running for more than one term if she won the first race, although at some point she’d probably want to move on to a more physically active career.
Abraham Ford would lie his way into office. Most of his constituents would love how much he accomplished, though, and wouldn’t have a problem re-electing him in the future as long as he wasn’t running against Rosita at any point and they didn’t find out about his trouble telling the truth until after he’d been in office for a few years.
Rosita Espinosa would only run if Abraham was also running. It would be a tight race, but she would probably be triumphant if she was willing to talk about all of the things her opponent was hiding from the public. She wouldn’t enjoy the pressures of being a public official, though, and would probably not run for re-election.
Which characters from The Walking Dead do you think would make good politicians? What characters from other shows have you imagined running for office?
To finally answer your original question, Michael: at this point, right now I think I’d take my chances with the zombies.