Tuesday was Election Day in the US, and by the time you read this theoretically we’ll know who our elected officials will be for the next term (hey, I was in high school in Florida in 2000, I will never make that assumption again). Also likely: you’re probably sick of discussing politics. With such a divided nation, someone is bound to be unhappy.
But hey! The world of sci-fi fiction is a great place to gain some perspective, and it’s relatively non-partisan to boot. After all, chances are we likely haven’t just elected someone who will enslave the entire Earth! So if you’re being approached about election results today and you’re uncomfortable with the whole thing, perhaps you can deliberately misunderstand your co-workers and family members and talk about these politicians instead:
Harold Saxon (Doctor Who)
This man, really the Master in disguise, plays politics like only a Time Lord can and swiftly becomes Prime Minister. Then he rules the Earth for a year, enslaving lots of people, picking a fight with the Universe. Talk about betting on the wrong horse.
Gaius Baltar (Battlestar: Galactica)
Gaius is kind of like a weed: he manages to find a way to survive, even thrive, all the while being loathsome. At one point, Baltar manages to become the President of the Colonies, though he surrenders to Cylons almost immediately. Later he’s subject to any number of terrible things and manages to become a religious figure at the same time, but to many his best years were as a scientist who manages to both scheme and stumble into the Presidency.
Senator Palpatine (Star Wars)
An obscure Senator befriends a young Queen, and before we know it we’ve got an Emperor shooting lightning out of his fingers. I’d like to believe that Leia would have seen right through all that spinach. At any rate, the Galactic Republic Chancery election of 32 BBY was certainly one for the history books.
Harvey Dent (The Dark Knight)
This version of the district attorney is a complicated one; he starts off as a man determined to clean up Gotham and face down the Mafia. Later, he becomes twisted with grief and goes on a murderous spree of revenge. Still, in Gotham he’s remembered as that man with the heart of gold, at least for some time, because it’s been determined that the people need to believe in someone like that more than a masked vigilante.
What about you? What do you recall as some of the most memorable fictional elections and politicians? Share your contributions below!