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Space the Nation: Who wins the Rocinante primary?

Contributed by
Feb 12, 2019

There are television shows that engage directly with today’s politics — via Trump jabs or taking sides on hot-button debates — and then there are shows that are about politics, which includes chat programs like "Meet the Press" but also the science fiction space opera The Expanse.

The release of all three seasons on Amazon Prime in the same month during which 2020 campaigning has begun in earnest has us wondering: How would the characters in The Expanse vote if the characters in The Expanse could vote? We've grouped them by faction/home base, as there are definite ideological trends. Speculation on the character's favorite social media platform included because it was fun to think about. 

Note: some of these characters are dead as Season 4 begins, but for the purposes of our thought experiment and to avoid spoilers, we’ll just pretend they aren’t. 

The Expanse season 3 Hero Image

Credit: SYFY

Rocinante crew
Our favorite former ice salvagers have Outer Planet Alliance sympathies and an egalitarian profit-sharing scheme, so it’s no surprise we’d find them on the left-left side of the political spectrum. These days, however, there’s a lot to choose from on that side.
  • James Holden: A sentimental rebel whose instincts are actually pretty conservative (as in, doesn’t like change), so, obviously: Cory Booker. Favorite social media platform: Tumblr.
  • Naomi Nagata: She has a revolutionary heart but a law-and-order brain — and she doesn’t mind throwing elbows to get things done. Former prosecutor with sass Kamala Harris is her first choice. Favorite social media platform: Reddit.
  • Alex Kamal: It’s only hinted at in the television series (with Alex’s accent and taste for country music), but the books show that Mars colonists were a diaspora of peoples displaced by rising sea waters (East Indians, New Zealanders, Chinese) and “a small contingent of Texans,” whose drawl (in English at least) and cowboy affectations spread throughout Alex’s native Mariner Valley. What we’re trying to say is that Alex would root for Beto O’Rourke. Favorite social media platform: Imgur.
  • Amos Burton: He’s not the best judge of people but likes dynamic female leaders so, maybe… Tulsi Gabbard? Favorite social media platform: 4chan.

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Earthers
Perhaps understandably more conservative than their brethren beyond the gravity well (they have their feet on the 1-G ground, not their heads in the sky), the Earth-dwellers of The Expanse are also prone to overreach and hubris — constantly meddling in the business of others with the belief they know best. Of course, they’re neo-liberals.
  • Chrisjen Avasarala: She’s low-key charming, worked for a real asshole and puts Earth First; she wouldn’t just support Nikki Haley, she might be Nikki Haley. Favorite social media platform: Twitter.
  • Sadavir Errinwright: An oily self-dealer with a bad sense for what the public actually wants? Howard Schultz, we have found your demographic! Favorite social media platform: Facebook.
  • Anna Volovodov: Sure, she’s a sweet lesbian Methodist reverend, but she’s also got nerves of steel — she’ll go on a space mission, boss around a UN guard, say “no” to the most powerful man on the planet. That’s a combination of folksiness and determination (maybe calculation) that brings to mind Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. Favorite social media platform: Instagram.

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Tycho Station dwellers
It’s a liminal space, literally — a border town in a border zone, where the law is less a matter of written legislation than who has the most power. While it’s not quite anarchy, such an environment demands that its leaders have a strong sense of personal mission; the two characters we know there are both attracted to candidates that might be long shots but have proven dedication to a particular political mission.
  • Fred Johnson: Johnson was a war criminal before he became an entrepreneurial activist; he believes in redemption and second chances so it figures he’d like Stacey Abrams’ story — a woman who lost her race for governor but is still talked about as a front-runner for president. He’d like even better Abrams’ advocacy for the disenfranchised and overlooked. And, like Abrams, Johnson is a secret pragmatist disguised as a romantic revolutionary. Favorite media platform: LinkedIn.
  • Camina Drummer: She’s a practical idealist with a vicious tongue. She says unpopular things and admires people who can take a punch. She’s also got a martyr complex and a thing for older men. She’d be leading a Draft Bernie movement, for sure. Favorite social media platform: Pinterest.

 

Political scientist and Expanse scholar Dan Drezner provided valuable feedback on this project. Taki, beratna!

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