On Sunday evening, Game of Thrones’ season 7 premiered. It opened with Arya Stark, the wronged daughter of beheaded hero Ned Stark, taking revenge on the enemies of her family. This led Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress, to tweet:
Tanden is a former policy director for President Obama.
There are two rather large problems with using Arya Stark as a banner for resistance. First, Arya Stark is an assassin. Yes, she’s a kickass character — she’s fun to watch. She also goes around killing leaders. In fact (SPOILER ALERT), she says mid-way through the Season 7 premiere that she’s going to attempt to kill the current queen. So if the Democrats are attempting to tamp down the violent rhetoric, they’re not doing a very good job of it.
Second, Democrats keep searching for fictional counterparts for their current situation. First, they cited The Handmaid’s Tale as a sort of apocalyptic vision of the Trump era. Now they’re moving on to Game of Thrones. The only common theme seems to be that if a show is prominent, it must be a metaphor for Trump’s America.
But Democrats’ entire problem is their failure to live in reality. They seem to believe that the more they retreat to fantasy, the better off they’ll be. But it was their lack of on-the-ground realism that cost them the 2016 election, and their embrace of the enormous fiction of intersectionality that continues to cost them credibility.
Still, Democrats search for a message. And the only message they seem to be able to unify around is that of #Resistance — even though they can’t even explain what they’d do with power.