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Mar 31 2017
by Diana Pope

5 Moments from House of Cards That Are Too Real in Today's Political Climate

By Diana Pope - Mar 31 2017

This past year in American politics, many remarkable events have forced the American public to reconsider the foundation of our government. If anything, the 2016 election cycle proved just how unpredictable the American presidency can be. Luckily, House of Cards may shed some light on the "hidden" corruption within the American government. Throughout the hit Netflix series, Frank Underwood is the lead character and a ruthless politician who is trying to climb to the top of the food chain in Washington, D.C. If you want to understand how House of Cards is more relevant than ever before, Fresh U has you covered: 

1. Journalism Takes a Hard Hit at Congressmen

In Season One, Frank Underwood worked with Zoe Barnes to reveal Donald Blythe's "far left of center" draft for an education bill. Barnes published his bill, and showed how congressmen were working beyond the intentions of their constituents. Zoe, with the help of journalists at The Washington Herald, was able to stir up public controversy over the hidden agenda of Congress. Today, Donald Trump's work with repealing ObamaCare is comparable to this scene in House of Cards. Republicans have tried to maneuver repeals of the Affordable Care Act through Congress; however, reporters from major journalism agencies revealed the true problems with Republicans' efforts to get rid of ObamaCare. Since then, the repeal struggled to gain enough votes in Congress and was pulled from the floor

Image Credit : Giphy

2. The White House Staff Becomes a Critical Asset 

Doug Stamper is Frank Underwood's ruthless aide, and covers up many of the President's questionable decisions with ease. Stamper goes to any lengths to protect Frank Underwood, and even gave up his liver for Underwood while he was in the hospital. He meets with foreign leaders like Xander Feng to negotiate deals to settle risky compromises. In comparison, KellyAnne Conway has become the Doug Stamper to the Trump presidency. She has been featured in countless interviews, tirelessly working to explain Trump's decisions to the media. She takes whatever necessary steps to save the "face" of the Trump presidency; Conway even evaded questions regarding Russian wiretapping

Image Credit: Giphy

3. The United States Has Fishy Relations with Russia

In Season 3, Frank Underwood had to make compromises with Viktor Petrov, who is the fictional President of Russia in the TV series. Underwood eventually caves into Petrov's foreign policy and demands to renegotiate an Israel settlement. Petrov is the only foreign leader that Frank is unable to outsmart.  Petrov is just like Vladmir Putin; the Russian President has proven that he is able to outsmart the White House to comply with his demands. Trump has gradually developed a relationship with Russia where he will "attack anyone and everyone" except Vladimir Putin

Image  Credit: Giphy

4. "Democracy is so overrated." 

Before Frank Underwood was sworn in as Vice President, he uttered the sentence: "One heartbeat away from the presidency and not a vote cast in my name. Democracy is so overrated." He was able to easily maneuver his way through Congress to earn his position, even without popular support. After this past election cycle, Donald Trump may have shared the same sentiments as Frank Underwood after winning the Presidency without the popular vote. In addition, the American public questioned the underpinnings of American "democracy" when Betsy DeVos and Scott Pruitt were confirmed for cabinet positions, despite lacking valuable knowledge to effectively carry out their roles. 

Image Credit: Giphy

5. An Open Seat in the Supreme Court

In the fourth season of House of Cards, Frank Underwood has the perfect opportunity to fill an open seat on the Supreme Court. Underwood has to undergo the task of selecting a candidate for this position, while carrying out his duties as President and running for re-election. Underwood understands that his nominee will change how people view his leadership.  Similarly, Trump has also been forced to consider a candidate to fill the seat of deceased Antonin Scalia. The American public is watching closely as Neil Gorsuch has become the prime nominee for the esteemed position on the Supreme Court.  

Image Credit: Giphy

Even though the Netflix series House of Cards is fictional, it may reveal more truth about the American political system than you think.

Lead Image Credit: MANYBITS via Flickr Creative Commons

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Diana Pope - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Diana is a political science major who also enjoys journalism, history, and philosophy. She loves writing, researching, and debating about politics. In her free time, she enjoys Grey's anatomy marathons and reading detective fiction.

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