Television's 10 Most Beloved Republican Characters
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].”
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.
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.