At the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland last week Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) made the odd claim that Lisa Simpson (fictional character on the long running animated series The Simpsons) was a Democrat and the rest of her family were Republicans.
And I actually believe that you can learn a lot about deep policy by using “The Simpsons” as a starting point. For instance, when Homer and Lisa were having a conversation about gun rights in America — you can look it up. It’s in “The Cartridge Family” episode. Homer points out that guns are for things like protecting your family, hunting delicious animals, and making sure that the King of England never shows up to push you around.
From here, he goes on to claim:
I think the Democrats are the party of Lisa Simpson.
And Republicans are happily the party of Homer, and Bart and Maggie and Marge.
I can certainly understand Lisa as a Democrat – she herself has, in many episodes demonstrated this. She is the voice of reason (as far as it goes) in this largely dysfunctional family in a largely nonsensical world. She is arguably the most artistic and compassionate of the family. She is portrayed as being the most intelligent, though there are hints that this title may belong to Maggie. A vegetarian and supporter of Science and NPR, I can understand the scorn of the Republican from Texas. What I cannot understand is why the good Senator would lay claim to the rest of the family. I will, for reasons I will address later, cede him Homer and Bart – but Maggie!?
Maggie Simpson is the youngest of the Simpson clan and would seem to be a very poor Republican. Ignore for the fact that she is an infant who cannot (or does not – the jury is out on that) talk – so identifying Party Membership is a bit difficult. The other problematic issues include the fact that she is anathema to all things Republican. Far from being self-sufficient, she is perpetually suckling at the teat – but then, as a baby, this is to be expected. She also seems to be horrified by Homer and avoids his constant attempts to try to bond with her. She shows her knowledge of Einstein’s Energy/Mass equivalence equation by spelling-out E = mc2 on her blocks thus showing a belief in science, not a hallmark of the Republican party. So, the argument that Maggie is a Republican, I find questionable at best.
Marge, the matriarch of the family is definitely NOT a Republican. In the episode “Marge Gets a Job” Marge admits to having voted (twice) for Jimmy Carter. But as she is not proud of the fact (she responds to Lisa’s point this out by saying “Shhh! Someone might be listening.”) so she cannot be a Democrat. She is often disapproving of Homer’s antics and is scandalized by Bart’s constant acting-out so, at best, Marge is an independent.
Bart Simpson is an entitled thug who seems to think that nothing he can do is wrong. His main foils are Mayor Quimby, Police Chief Wiggum, and Principal Skinner; all of whom have been identified in the show as having (or at least as stating) Democratic party membership.
Homer is patriarch of the Simpson family and the one that I am most surprised that the Republicans want to claim. He is mumbling, accident-prone, marginally intelligent at best, and semi-literate. He changes his belief structure on a whim, depending on which way the wind blows, and appears to grab-hold of whatever idea he last heard and think it is the greatest thing ever – in short, he is just like POTUS.
But the greatest evidence that Senator Cruz doesn’t understand that The Simpsons are no fans of the Republican party are shown in portrayals of Republicans and the Republican Party in general. The headquarters of the Springfield Republican Party is a haunted castle in the middle of a dark and spooky forest.
In the run of the show, members of the Republican party identified in the show are Montgomery Burns, Sideshow Bob, and Count Dracula. The Simpsons even ran Kang, a slobbering and tentacled alien with bent on world domination, for president. Why Mr. Cruz thinks that claiming any of the Simpsons is a good thing is beyond me… but there it is.
Wherever you are today, I hope you will think before claiming that someone shares your political views.
Don Bergquist – February 26, 2018 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA