The 2016 Presidential Election is already one for the history books. This year's vote is even more ground breaking for me because it is the first election I can vote in. Voting is a right of passage, a validation of your democratic privilege. I have always wondered who would be the first candidate I would ever vote for ... and boy am I disappointed. I suppose I expected to be a fanatic of the first candidate I would officially support with my vote, but instead I find myself choosing whichever candidate is less terrifying. I find the candidates all lack some key traits I am looking for in our next president. You know who does not lack these simple, admirable traits? Fictional characters. Thus, I give you my 2016 Presidential Nominees, and what I think they have that my real choices do not. I would be happy to give my first, precious vote to any of these characters.
1. Elle Woods
Elle was the president of her sorority, which gave her leadership experience, and then went to Harvard Law School to learn all about the politics (and rules of hair care) a presidential candidate needs. Elle is an inspirational woman who defied everyone’s doubts and found success by believing in herself. Elle, you have my vote.
2. Leslie Knope
Leslie is another strong woman leader who would be the best president in history. Think of all of the good she has already done for her hometown of Pawnee, and how much more she could do for America. With Ben Wyatt as her VP, she will be unstoppable. Watch out raccoons, Eagletonians and all opponents of justice and feminism.
3. President David Palmer
The best President Jack Bauer had the honor of serving. I would nominate Jack Bauer himself, but his expertise is needed in the field. Palmer can handle a crisis like no other. He might be too busy now with Allstate commercials, but at least we know the nation would be “in good hands.”
4. Kimmy Schmidt
Kimmy Schmidt exemplifies endurance through tragedy. Kimmy has bounced back from her horrible circumstances and remains a positive, hopeful person. A good candidate would have this same unbreakable spirit in the face of the world’s most terrifying turmoils.
5. Mia Thermopolis
Mia is already the Queen of Genovia, but I think if elected, she would consider returning to the United States. Mia exemplifies the care a leader should have for those who are less fortunate in their community (if you did not cry at her benevolence in this parade scene I am convinced you have no soul). Mia also made immense progress for women’s rights when she convinced the government to allow her to be the first queen without a king. You go girl.
6. Phil Dunphy
Phil is a great dad, and an even better presidential candidate. He is very mature, never makes reckless decisions, is very decisive and gives great advice -- just kidding. But he is Phil; we love him anyways, and he would Make America Funny Again. A good candidate should be able to take a joke as well as Phil does.
7. Chuck Bass
If we are a nation in the business of electing businessmen to government positions they are not qualified for, look no further. Chuck is one of the Upper East Side’s elite. Chuck knows money, and although he may have some trouble saying those three words, eight letters, he will have no trouble leading the country. Plus, he would lead with style.
8. Alicia Florrick
Alicia may not always have made the best choices, but she made most of these questionable choices for love. That should not negate the fact that she works hard for justice, strives to do the right thing, cares immensely for her family and overall slays the legal game no matter who tries to stop her. Sure, her husband’s presidential campaign did not go so great, but she is a better candidate. Alicia might be "the good wife," but she would make an excellent president.
9. Ned Bigby with Vice Principal Crubbs as VP
Ned taught everyone how to survive middle school. He became a leader of his peers, and was trustworthy as well as relatable. All of these traits are important in a candidate, but must be balanced by a vice president who can play bad cop. Ned’s Vice Principal, Mr. Crubbs, would fill this role perfectly. Students feared his authority and he was always watching. They would make a perfectly balanced team.
10. Red Forman
Red is the strictest fictional dad ever. His lack of tolerance for Eric’s nonsense was admirable. All candidates should be as strict as Red. Just beware of his foot...
11. Buddy the Elf
Buddy is as fictional of a character as it gets, but he has the spirit of a candidate I could support. Buddy is incredibly productive — he gets things done. In one night, he was able to completely transform an entire toy store. A president that determined will no doubt get things done in office.
12. Tami Taylor
Tami stood her ground and fought for what she believed in, even though it led to the school board removing her as principal. But you know what, y’all, she stood for what she believed in, and that is all I can ask for. Clear eyes, full hearts, (she) can't lose.
13. Cher Horowitz
Cher is extremely charitable. From her hard work to help two lonely teachers find love, to her makeover of a new student, to her leadership in the Pismo Beach Disaster Relief, Cher puts the needs of others before her own. As a candidate, Cher would put the country’s needs before her own, which is shockingly hard to find in a candidate.
14. Captain Kirk
Captain Kirk has proved himself a leader as the captain of the Enterprise. If he can handle the complicated politics and relations of the many differing populations in space, he would have no trouble dealing with negotiations between countries on Earth.
15. Ross Geller
Ross is no dummy — he is a professor of paleontology after all. Ross is loyal to his friends. He is passionate about what he believes in, such as the integrity of his sandwich, the occurrence of a certain “break” and divorce. Ross, you are the worst, but you never change, so at least you are consistent and we know exactly who we are electing.
16. Ferris Bueller
Ferris is possibly the most creative high school student of all time. His master plan to gain a simple day off was inspiring, and the support he received from his classmates when they heard of his “illness” shows he would truly be the people’s president. My only concern is that he would take too many days off.
17. Mr. Krabs
Mr. Krabs is nothing if not good with money. His skills used to run Bikini Bottom’s most successful restaurant could be used to run the nation’s economy. With billions of dollars hanging in the balance, Mr. Krabs could be the only nominee who would produce a balanced budget.
Stephan knows exactly what the real, normal people want. He represents the true silent majority. Stephan could truly give the people what they want.
19. Paris Geller
Paris may have been Rory’s frenemy at the start, but Paris blossomed into a loyal friend. Paris’ ability to fight for what she wants is key to her success as a candidate, but her secret weapon is her kindness that she reserves only for her truest friends. Keep your friends close, Paris, but your enemies closer.
20. Dwight K. Schrute
Dwight may be a bit of an extremist, but he is a born leader. He gets what he wants from people and keeps order in his office. Dwight’s determination is unmatched, all he ever wanted was to be the manager of the Scranton branch. This fiery determination makes him a candidate I can support. Beets, bears, better America.
21. George Costanza
George may be one of the laziest, least morally sound and most annoying television characters of all time. However, I see an important presidential quality deep within George. He is not afraid to go against the grain. Often what is being asked of a politician may not be what that politician really believes, and if George were president, his stubborn personality would surely prevent any corruption. George has his flaws, but his inability to listen to anyone else makes him corruption-proof.
22. Miranda Priestly
Ms. Priestly is "the devil," but you cannot deny her success. She leads her magazine with an iron fist and gets the results she wants. That fear-instilling stare and calm confidence cannot be taught, and she could use them to her advantage as president.
23. Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin for VP
At least we know their constant disagreements will result in getting nothing done, which means they cannot do any damage. Knowing they lack the ability to cause any real damage has become one of my top political criteria. This impossible pair could also be the best thing to happen to American politics, as the two hail from opposing political parties, and thus they could gain support from the right and the left. Finally, these two could possibly put the entertainment business in danger, as they would provide all of the comedy America needs for the next four years.
24. Tim the minion
Hear me out: This particular minion, Tim (the tallest one), is very special. Tim never gets angry — he is the only minion without a temper. Also, Tim is the only minion who does not blow things up, nor ever gets blown up. A cool temper and an avoidance of explosions seem to be simple traits, but I believe these traits are scarce in some candidates, and would make this annoying yellow guy a stellar choice.
25. Nurse Jackie
Sure, Nurse Jackie is battling a drug addiction, but everyone has their flaws. Once you get to know Jackie, you realize the immense care she has for her patients and the effort she puts into getting what is fair for them. If our president cared half as much about the citizens of this country as Jackie does for her patients, we would be incredibly lucky.
Some of this may be a lot to ask of a real, non-fictional person, but some of it may not be so unrealistic. I think that is why we have fictional television and movies: They give us hope for something better and an escape from our often terrifying reality.