It is interesting how art imitates life. As I reflect on the new Season of The Walking Dead, it is apparent to me that as the story line has changed and we are discovering different communities with varied governing entities, there are definite parallels to the leadership changes that are happening in the U. S.
I have written more than a few times about how Anarchy is the new Utopia for Gen X and Boomers which explains the large viewing audience in these demographics. As these two generations have watched government continue to grab power and limit personal freedom, the anarchy of the dystopic world of the Dead has its appeal.
The danger of the walkers pales in comparison to the evil that men do when they organize and create a governing leadership. This has been shown time and time again throughout the tale of the The Dead. The Governor, Terminus and even the Hospital community where Beth died all were examples of how power corrupts and people are more dangerous than flesh eating zombies.
The only leader who seems to be almost immune from the corruption of power is Rick Grimes, the long suffering former Sheriff. I would call him the Libertarian-the Gary Johnson- of The Walking Dead. Although he ultimately becomes the main leader of Alexandria, his leadership is not about power over others. He allows freedom of choice among his followers and asks for the input of others on his decision-making. His rule is more of a min-archy. Minimum of rules, maximum of freedom, limited government.
The fatal mistake Rick made was breaking into the Saviour’s compound as an attempt to take them down to protect the Hilltop community from the brutal hold they had over them. He took on a battle that was not his and overestimated the power of his group. This prideful decision may show the beginning of corruption from the power of his leadership. Ultimately this decision lead to the death of two of his main followers Abraham and Glen and the beginning of the iron fisted rule of Negan over Alexandria.
America, on the other hand, seems to have chosen to be ruled by a leader not unlike Negan to replace their leader who is not unlike King Ezekial.
King Ezekial is the smooth talking benevolent dictator who rules The Kingdom with a velvet hammer (and a tiger by his side). He tells Carol “People want a leader.” I echo this thought in my book Blessed Are They That Hunger . Although God wanted the Israelite people to be a Theocracy with God as the leader, they begged Him for a king. King is a fitting title for the outgoing president of the United States who used his Executive orders to enact his will more like a monarch than a president. And like King Ezekial he is smooth talking and reminds his followers that everything he does is for their own good. I am reminded of a quote by CS Lewis:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
Apparently, America was fed up with Obama and the Liberal agenda of the Democratic Party because his antecessor was not elected to office.
The President-elect has all the markings of Negan. He may be the robber baron that CS Lewis refers to. He makes no pretense to his iron rule with niceties and platitudes while enacting his will upon the people. There is no duplicity about him. His speech is brash and crude with no thought to lulling the masses into submission, but imposing his rule with an iron fist -no velvet to cushion the blow (or in the case of Negan, a barbed wire wrapped bat.)
Fortunately for America, there is another power to keep in check the power of the president, and that is the power of the other branches of government. The Congress and Supreme Court stymied the will of the exiting President, and I trust will do the same with the President-elect.
So far no regime has successfully taken away our weapons the way the leaders in The Walking Dead did. The president- elect promises to restore gun rights as he “Makes America Great Again”.
Time will tell if the promises of the election are fulfilled but as for me, my hope is in the Lord God.
Psalm 20:6-821st Century King James Version (KJ21)
6 Now I know that the Lord saveth His anointed; He will hear him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
8 They are brought down and fallen; but we are risen and stand upright.