By Cameron Flatt, E23 Reporter

It seems like everyone is all bothered by the presidential election, saying the normal things people say about politicians: “He’s a racist idiot,” “She’s a criminal,” “I am legitimately concerned for the welfare of our country as both candidates show a distressing lack of ethics or leadership ability.” You know, the usual political rants. I, however, am loving it all because it is playing out just like a great political satire would. Both parties have chosen the worst, most hysterically inept nominee possible and the media coverage is comedy gold. In honor of this insanity, I offer to you some of the best in political film (and a Netflix series).

House of Cards 

House of cards poster. It is likely that you saw this one coming, so I am going to go ahead and get it out of the way. This Netflix original series is just as amazing as you have heard. Centered around one sociopathic senator’s series of manipulations and power plays to make it into the white house without getting elected. Kevin Spacey (whom you probably know from Horrible Bosses) and the rest of the cast knock every scene out of the park with mesmerizing character chemistry, legitimately nerve-racking tension and award winning writing to back it all up. From double crosses to extramarital affairs to straight-up murder, there is something in every episode to make you gasp and leave you clamoring for more. You will learn more about our political system than you have in any classroom and have a blast doing it.

Dr. Strangelove

Dr. Stangelove scene.What I consider one of the greatest films ever, “Dr.Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop
Worrying and Love the Bomb” comes from director Stanley Kubrick (“The Shining”, “Full Metal
Jacket”, “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “A Clockwork Orange”). A comedic and hypothetical look at how World War III could have started during the Cold War, the movie’s biting humor and lively characters helped define modern political satire. With the threat of nuclear devastation always on the world’s mind, “Dr. Strangelove” never fails to be relevant.

In the Loop 

In the Loop movie poster. Similar to House of Cards in it’s use of eccentric characters in realistic scenarios, “In the Loop” deals with the relationship between British and American officials. The stand out performance is delivered by Peter Capaldi (the current Doctor Who) as a foul-mouthed and constantly irate British politician. This one will help you understand the little differences between how the U.S. and the U.K. operate, but also a lot of similarities (especially in the media and the general cluelessness of elected officials and their staff).

They Live 

Definitely the most metaphorical on this list, “They Live” is about a man drifting through L.A. who They Live movie scene. finds a box of sunglasses that expose a horrifying secret when he looks through them. They allow the wearer to see past the disguise of aliens that live among us, as well as revealing that all advertisements have a subliminal message behind them to keep humanity in check. The hero comes to find that all of society has been infiltrated by the aliens who have managed to become leading politicians, billionaires, and other people of authority. What has now become recognized as one of John Carpenter’s greatest directorial works (his others being “Halloween”, “The Thing”, and “Big Trouble in Little China”), this story has a lot to say about conformity, mob mentality, and manipulation by way of the media. These themes tie strongly to the voting process and emphasize that individualistic thinking is a critical aspect of freedom.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington scene. To end this list positively, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is a classic underdog story about a Boy Ranger Leader that is thrust into the world of politics when chosen to be a temporary senator after the previous one unexpectedly dies. He discovers the corruption of the politicians from his state and their graft scheme to buy land for a dam. He fights for bill to give the land they want for the damn to go to the Boy Rangers. It is the typical story of the little guy versus on the man and it embodies the lack of wholesomeness and character in most of what we get now. And who else could carry a movie like this than the timeless star power of Jimmy Stewart?

Thanks for reading. What movies or shows did I leave out? Do my opinions make you lose hope in the future of our country? Come tell me on twitter @Cameron_Flatt and we will have a battle to the death of it.

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