Television's 10 Most Beloved Republican Characters

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | January 21, 2013 | Comments ()


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10. Sandy ("Girls") -- He was only on two episodes of "Girls," but Donald Glover was phenomenal as a Black Republican made all the more sympathetic because he represented the antithesis to the self-entitled liberalism so many people dislike about the "Girls" characters (and don't think Lena Dunham doesn't understand this: She wrote Glover's character). He was pitch perfect in deconstructing Hannah's essay about a woman's perspective on who she was and her sexuality, presenting a sympathetic criticism to "Girls" itself ("It felt like waiting in line and all the nonsense that goes on in your brain ... there wasn't anything going on, but it was well written.") In defending his values, he also resented Hannah for reducing them to "hate gays, love guns," and then wonderfully, incredibly made a complete mockery of the "I never think about a person's race" argument ("That's insane, because you should! Because that's what I am [black]."

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9. Fitzgerald Grant ("Scandal") -- Here's an amazing Republican character whose politics are never really an issue, except in juxtaposition to the evil Tea Party Vice President. It's hard to even know what his exact politics are so far, except that he's timid about war (because as a Air Force pilot, he understands the fear that men feel in war) and he's clearly not terribly obsessed with the family values gang, what with having a mistress despite the fact that the First Lady is pregnant with his child. Also, in the context of his relationship with Kerry Washington's lead character, he's kind of a dreamy Kennedy-like President.

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8. Will McAvoy ("Newsroom") -- From a liberal perspective, Aaron Sorkin's Republicans are the best Republicans because they're Republican's in name only. Will McAvoy is like an old-school William Weld Republican: Moderate on social issues and libertarian, I guess, on fiscal issues. He also hates the Tea Partiers for destroying his party.

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7. Ainsley Hayes ("The West Wing") -- I don't know how a Smith graduate who opposed the Equal Rights Amendment could be beloved, but hell if fast-talking "Republican sex kitten" Ainsley Hayes wasn't one of the smartest, most sensible characters on "West Wing," despite the fact that her viewpoints were at odds with most of the characters. But she backed her views with a literal interpretation of the Constitution, which always pissed me off because it gave her credibility (she felt that women were covered under the 14th Amendment, and a literal reading of the Constitution would support that claim).

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6. Red Forman ("That 70's Show") -- A staunch conservative and a Nixon supporter (although, he had his issues with Nixon), Red hates liberals, healthy food, Commies and everyone else, and there's certainly something to be said for a general disdain for humanity, no matter your politics. How can you dislike a guy who holds dumbasses in such contempt?

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5. Lucille Bluth ("Arrested Development") -- A known Bush/Cheney supported, Lucille Bluth is a lifetime one-percenter, and would've been a huge backer of Mitt Romney, whose lifestyle she completely understands. In fact, the leaked Romney speech that sank his campaign sounded very much like something Bluth would've been heard to say.

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4. Jack Donaghy ("30 Rock") -- A true conservative who idolizes Ronald Reagan, Donaughy's politics have played central to his character for the entire series, and despite the fact that his politics are consistently skewered, he comes off as one of television's most beloved characters. He was a huge backer of Romney. Also, after funding a gay bomb, may or may not have had sex with Dick Cheney.

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3. Ron Swanson ("Parks and Recreation") -- Oh, I know what you guys are saying: He's LIBERTARIAN. So is Ron Paul, but Ron Paul had to run on the Republican ticket, and as much as I don't like that it's true, Ron Swanson is totally a Ron Paul supporter: No taxes. No bureaucracy. No government. Just bacon.

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2. Don Draper ("Mad Men") -- I admit, I don't know a ton about Jon Hamm's politics, but I do know that he voted for Nixon over Kennedy despite the fact that his lifestyle is more like that of Kennedy. If more Republicans were like Jon Hamm, though, there'd be a lot more Republicans in the world.

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1. Alex P. Keaton ("Family Ties") -- More than any other character on television, it was Alex P. Keaton that helped to lionize Ronald Reagan. The Republican black sheep in a very liberal family, there was something about being the political outcast on "Family Ties" that made Republicanism seem cool. Of course, Alex P. Keaton has basically been the poster boy for Young Republicans ever since, epitomizing the country's reversal from the countercultural spirit of the 60s and 70s, and the warm embrace of wealth, capitalism, and supply-side economics of the 80s.

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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Ben

    Seriously? No Coblert?

  • dizzylucy

    In keeping with Jack Donaghy, Liz Lemon said she was probably going to secretly vote for John McCain.

  • lowercase_see

    I hated Ainsley's screed against the ERA. You're humiliated to think you didn't have those rights and protections before? You didn't, you don't and covering your ears and shouting "LALALAICAN'THEARYOU" won't make that any different.

    For the love of christ, the GOP is putting forward yet another amendment to give full personhood rights to *$&% fetuses meanwhile, 90 years later, the ERA still idles at the bottom of a pile on some senator's desk.

    Fetuses! More important than real women!

  • superDOOPER

    Oh lookit the raver writing a rant accusing a ranter of a screed!

    PS. There is a staff of writers out there who know what strings you like pulled.

  • meh

    Um, Eliot from Scrubs? Remember the whole episode where she finds out that her fiancee is secretly Republican, which leads to a Hilary-bashing session of hanky-panky in the supply closet?

  • csb

    Token Black (the South Park one, not the Girls one).

  • Pookie

    So Rowles, in just two thirty minute episodes you came away with the idea that Glover is the black republican of your dreams? Dude, in my opinion it seems that the guy was just thrown in because of the heat the show was facing for not having any black characters. This is the kind of token bullshit that drives me bat-shit crazy. What makes this guy a black republican, is he rich, and what is his political ideology that makes him republican? Or is he one of those self-hating brothers that will do anything to run away from his blackness. Just this morning I was watching Michael Steele on “Morning Joe” and Steele is still carrying the water for the republicans, sad, this guy raised a ton of money for the republicans and delivered the house of representatives to the republicans in the 2010 midterms and they still kicked his ass to the curb. I would be more inclined to believe the “Girls” story line if in the first episode of this series it would have opened up with a shot of the broad with a black cock in her mouth, but no, they chose to present the black republican guy like he was a prop for the broad to fuck as the price of admission into a sorority.

  • babybiceps

    Claire's boyfriend Ted on the last season of Six Feet Under, especially when he talks her under the table.

  • Cos

    Denny Crane - Boston Legal?

  • Bob Barker

    okay already i'll watch "girls" already. pajiba is always twisting my arm, jeez. fyi actors and/or actresses dont turn me off for a show its usually the the trailer not giving a good enough selling point. i assume thats the real point of this article and not watching the spanish"24" la mariposa amores que matan. because jack bauer is AMURICA!

  • Waited patiently to see Michael J. Fox at #1. Rowles delivered.

  • Quatermain

    "From a liberal perspective, Aaron Sorkin’s Republicans are the best Republicans because they’re Republican’s in name only." That's why he does that, because that's who he writes his shows for. That and he probably doesn't know any actual Republicans.

    Ainsley Hayes was the only reason I ever bothered to watch The West Wing.

  • Peeps

    Ron Paul rules, so does Ron Swanson

  • Jezzer

    How exactly does "he was on two episodes of 'Girls'" translate into "ONE OF THE TOP 10 MOST BELOVED REPUBLICAN CHARACTERS ON TELEVISION OMG"?

  • Lindsey Gregory

    How many episodes of the entire series have you even watched? If it's less than three, you're not really qualified to ask these questions.

  • Jezzer

    I am "qualified" to say whatever the fuck I want to say, thank you. How many episodes would you say someone would need to see before pointing out that adding someone to a generalized list of "beloved" characters based on two television appearances is specious at best?

  • Mrs. Julien

    THAT WAS A MAGNIFICENT DISPLAY OF SARCASM!

    15 points to Gryffindor: 10 for sarcasm/5 for reincorporation.

    *1 point to me for spelling Gryffindor correctly on the first try*

  • Ballymena Bob

    Sideshow Bob.

    "No children have ever meddled with the Republican Party and lived to tell about it."

  • theotherone

    I'm pretty sure Don Draper doesn't vote (he didn't want anything to do with helping the Nixon campaign and I remember him say he doesn't vote)...

  • Wait, so Donald Glover's run on "Girls" is over? If so that sucks. He was great, I loved when he hammered on Hannah when she was trolling for compliments on her writing.

  • L.O.V.E.

    I vote Cartman!

  • Lovely Bones

    I've only seen five of these series, and utterly lack interest in Newsroom, Scandal, or Family Ties, but I'll still count Sandy among contributions I'd concur with because the character does sound promising, and, come on, it's Donald Glover.

    Assuming he's a Republican considering his background and general demeanor, I would have Pierce Hawthorne on this list. He may not be so beloved, but he is a damn good character.

    Edit: I'll also throw my hat in for Malory's inclusion, thanks for reminding me, NateMan.

  • Ninja Toes

    Pretty sure Pierce is a Democrat - I think he actually mentions it in one episode

  • Lovely Bones

    All I can remember on that is Pierce running for Greendale Vice President, and identifying under the Pierce Hawthorne Party. If I can find anything to show him identifying as a democrat, I'll withdraw that part of the comment. My apologies for any mistaken assumptions.

  • apsutter

    Hank Hill?

  • evles90

    Carlton Banks?

  • e jerry powell

    He's beloved?

  • Lillimae

    YES!

  • PaddyDog

    Chibs from Sons of Anarchy

  • L.O.V.E.

    I see what you did there.

  • "If more Republicans were like Jon Hamm, though, there’s be a lot more Republicans ~wives in the world"

    There, fixed it for ya.

  • NateMan

    Ohh, now that I think about it Arnold Vinick should have been on here too. His role wasn't as pivotal, but I thought he was a great WW character as well.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I'm curious about the title of this list. Could you find many more than 10? It should be called The 10 Beloved Republican Characters on TV.

  • NateMan

    Arnold Vinick on West Wing (Also John Goodman's character, although he was also a bit of one you could love to hate).
    Archie Bunker (and it's a travesty he's not on here)
    Mallory Archer
    Hmm, I think that's all I got...

  • PerpetualIntern

    I loved Arnold Vinick. And Ainsley. Man am I happy this is on Netflix instant now.

  • Enrique del Castillo

    Don't forget the time Red asked Ford about the Nixon pardon when everybody told him to just ask a silly patriotic question. Say what you want about That 70s Show, but that moment was rather interesting.

    Also, does Jack Bauer count as a Republican? If so, I'd add him to my personal list

  • kirbyjay

    Red was a Republican but he thought most of them were dumbasses too

  • Tinkerville

    I was going to throw a fit if Ainsley wasn't on the list. Carry on then.

  • NateMan

    I wish there were more Republicans like Ainsley. Hell, I wish there were more liberals like Ainsley. And I wish they'd made her a much bigger part of the series. The battles between her and Sam, both true believers and good people, were fantastic.

  • Three-nineteen

    I agree. I hope Ainsley never finds out that noted Republican-appointed conservative and Constitutional "originalist" Antonin Scalia disagrees with her interpretation of the 14th amendment. (Maybe this will start the flame war everyone else is waiting for?)

  • - grabs popcorn -

  • Mrs. Julien

    - sets up lawn chairs -

  • Lindsey Gregory

    Grabs a few brewskies.

  • - lays out a few lines -

  • puddin

    -tells call girl to come back in an hour-

  • NateMan

    You win.
    But remember, you have to pay them even if they don't finish.

  • L.O.V.E.

    "they"? Don't you mean "you"?

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