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The Conservative Dead



In a recent episode of AMC's The Walking Dead, that mega-popular series about surving during a zombie apocalypse, the Governor of Woodbury ordered the firearms confiscated from his town's citizens. This was seen by some as a furthering of what they consider to be a conservative agenda fostered by the program. Others disagree, simply citing it as a storytelling tactic.

Regardless of the gun confiscation issue, the argument can be made that The Walking Dead is somewhat conservative in nature. This is neither praise nor a rebuke of the program, simply a (subjective) observation. Of course, I'm conflating conservatism with how it manifests itself within modern day America and, also, within the Republican Party. That in and of itself could be cause for an argument.

But consider certain aspects of The Walking Dead TV series. Many of the characters are religious, and not just religious, but Judeo-Christian. Bible-quoting, even. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But many programs don't even touch upon religion. There's also a rather obvious theme of male dominance within the series. The men are the hunters/gatherers, while the women tend more to the things at home, such as cooking and looking after the kids.

Probably the single biggest issue I have with The Walking Dead -- and another notch on its conservative belt -- is the lack of any gay or lesbian characters. Apparently, we didn't survive the initial stages of the zombie apocalypse. How else to interpret the lack of presence? Seriously: We've seen white, black, Asian, young, old, well-educated and hillbilly types, but no gay people? For shame.

Honestly, I don't know if The Walking Dead has a conservative agenda. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. But the frequent-enough Bible references, the lack of people from other religious denominations, the male/female divide, and the lack of LGBT folk makes for a rather homogenous character arrangement. I guess it depends on why you watch the program. Granted, I tune-in for some zombie scares and tension, yet the lack of diversity has not gone unnoticed.

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