This past weekend, countless Netflix viewers stayed cooped up in their dens, binge-watching the newly-released fourth season of “House of Cards”. The most recent season follows antihero Frank Underwood battling in the Democratic primaries against the “outsider” candidate Heather Dunbar, who has immense wealth and has never held public office before. Meanwhile, in the real world, the presidential primaries are raging, with flamboyant personalities like Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders racing to make it to the White House. I recently came across an article on CNN that interviewed the actor Michael Kelly, who plays Frank Underwood’s right-hand man Doug Stamper on “House of Cards”. In the interview, Kelly discussed his character, his personal politics and how he thinks current events compare with what’s been going on in the show.
Looking at the current Presidential races, where candidates seem to be more interested in attacking each others’ small hands than actually addressing any substantial issues, it almost feels stranger than fiction. On both sides of the political spectrum, outsider candidates such as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have been gaining a huge number of voters, even as they face no shortage of critics. Yet much to the frustration of established Democrats and Republicans alike, these men just won’t quit, and have the potential to actually make it to the White House.
Kelly, a vocal Democrat and supporter of Hillary Clinton, attributes much of the current drama surrounding the Presidential primary race to Donald Trump. Even if Trump had earned no shortage of foes and critics, and has even been frequently compared to Hitler, he seems to be consistently gaining supporters, and has a serious chance of winning the Republican nomination, if not the Presidency. He’s suggested that if a Trump-style character were to appear on “House of Cards”, fans and critics would accuse the show of jumping the shark. Both Kelly and his co-star Kevin Spacey have insisted that “House of Cards”’ antihero main character Frank Underwood could “easily” beat Trump. However, neither of them has elaborated on how this would occur. Something I’m sure many liberals and established Republicans wish they would do.