It has been an emotional day for the American voter. Whether you supported him or not, it is clear that the election of Donald Trump as America’s 45th President is a game-changer in the political world. Those who have been following the campaign that never seemed to end may be wondering what do with yourselves. You may be glad it’s over, but a part of you still yearns for the kind of political intrigue that has occupied are screens for the bones of a year. So, in recognition of this craving, we have prepared a list of the best political satire that The Simpsons has to offer.
Sideshow Bob Roberts
Your choice is between an adulterous sloth of a mayor and a convicted felon. If this undesirable choice gives you a sense of deja vu, then the political battle between Diamond Joe Quimby and Robert Underdunk Terwilliger aka Sideshow Bob is the perfect catharsis for this election season. Years before South Park brought us the Giant Douche and the Turd Sandwich, the denizens of Springfield were learning about decision between the lesser of two evils. This gut-wretching parody of All the President’s Men, may be Sideshow Bob’s finest hour, though it may leave you wondering how two children always seem to thwart an evil genius’ plans. Featuring the wonderful one-off character of Birch Barlow; a Right-Wing pundit of the Rush Limbaugh vintage , this episode should be the first port of call for any politicos.
Favourite Qoute: “Oh my god, the Dead have risen and they are voting Republican”.
Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish
In another case of life imitating art, the unlikely oligarch; Mr. Burns, runs for Governor following a scandal at the nuclear power plant. Homer and Marge come to odds as their chosen candidates clash. Much like the President-Elect, Mr. Burns soars in the polls in spite of the public’s initial repulsion. He even comes equipped with an all-too familiar desire to “to create a new and better world”. Yet, it is Blinky; the titular three-eyed which proves to be Burn’s undoing as the mutated fish proves to be a bitter pill to swallow.
Favourite Qoute: “This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That’s Democracy for you.”
Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington
An essay contest on American Exceptionalism sees the Simpsons win a trip to the nation’s capital. Among the Washington elite, Lisa discovers the corrupt side of the US political system as a desperate struggle for the soul of America quickly ensures. The main reason to watch this one is for all of the cameos, President Bush makes his first in-universe appearance before his later role in Two Bad Neighbours. The almost fairy-tale like way in which the establishment react to restore a little girl’s faith in democracy. If only the system worked as well in real life.
Favourite Qoute: “Oh Marge, cartoons don’t have any deep meaning. They’re just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh!”
Treehouse of Horror VII: Citizen Kang
The absurdity of America’s two-party system is lambasted in spectacular fashion as Kang and Kodos disguise themselves as Presidential candidates; Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. In retrospect, its amazing to think how much American political history I learned from The Simpsons as an Irish kid growing up in the nineties. How else would I know about the particulars of the 1996 election or the hilarity that was Senator Bob Dole? If anything this episode taught us all a powerful lesson, people would rather vote for grotesque aliens than a third-party candidate.
Favourite Qoute: “It matters not which one of us you vote for, either way your planet is doomed…DOOMED!”
Bart to the Future
It’s the episode that predicated the Donald’s rise to power as Bart stars in this flash-forward that sees Lisa Simpson ascend to the role of President. With the nation predictably bankrupt, the Simpsons siblings must negotiate with their creditors in order to avoid all-out financial chaos. Luckily, talking their way out of tough situations has always been their strong points. Of the many potential futures featured in the series, this one provides, if not the most realistic, then at least the most humorous ends for the Simpson family.
Favourite Qoute: “What happened to you China? You used to be cool.”