Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.


nwj: Does anyone remember the cartoon SheRa well enough to know if the Horde fits? I have vague memories that it does, but I'm not certain.

Daibhid C: I wonder if Discworld's Lord Vetinari counts? It's often mentioned in the books that just about everyone hates him. Subverted, of course, by the fact most of them recognise the city works, and hate every alternative they can think of even more. Which probably means he doesn't count at all.

Ununnilium: Plus, he's not really a villain.

Lale: Edited the Narnia list because: we're given a very good picture of Calormen, chapter by chapter, province by province, in The Horse and his Boy, and because I'm sure the spell the witch tried to put on the heroes in The Silver Chair was different than the one used to enslave the gnomes. The spell used on the heroes took a lot of time, talking, and mind games that would take more time and effort than is feasible to use on an entire nation.

Nezumi: Also, technically it raises the question, rather than begging it. Begging the question is putting forward an argument that assumes the point it is trying to argue is true—a form of logical fallacy. But I'm not pedantic enough to change the entry because of that, just to point it out.

Lale: This is particularly embarrassing, considering that was covered in a Forensics class I once took. Oops.

Anonymous: Just to bring this up for discussion... I don't really think the Tisroc belongs on the list, on the grounds that any character who is virtually worshipped, seemingly sincerely, by every citizen but the Heroic Rebel, can't possibly have Zero Percent Approval.

Lale: I don't think all the beggars, slaves, and mistreated peasants that the characaters are constantly surrounded by in the city would approve.

Uberschveinen: Removing the Machiavelli quote from the top. Not only does it never appear in Machiavelli's works, but it is in fact the exact opposite of what he espouses in The Prince. He advocates that the ruler rule through both fear and love, as love generates popular support and is effective for repelling external attacks, while fear quells internal dissonance. Only if the ruler must choose between being feared and loved exclusively should he choose being feared alone, and even then the main point of the message is to tell the reader that they can't let chasing public sentiment get in the way of effective rule. Even in a more correct translation it's completely inapporpriate for this trope, give he spends an entire chapter telling the reader that it is vital that you aren't hated.
Zeke: So stupid. So stupid. I knew this page would be afflicted with Real Life examples eventually, but it doesn't make them any less stupid. Pulled:

  • Real life example: Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert has had approval ratings as low as 3%.
    • Outgoing US President George W. Bush also suffers from this affliction, mostly outside of the USA, but very much inside it too.
      • And the rest is backwash anyway.
      • The senate pulls even lower approval ratings. It has not been a good time for politicians.
      • and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich manages to beat(or whatever word would be used in this context) even them
  • Several third-world countries have had candidates who lost an election with nearly zero percent of the votes. Of course some might argue that that circumstance is less like Real Life and more like a special kind of Speculative Fiction.
    • Russian President Boris Yeltsin actually had an approval rating of 2% at one point.

None of these examples fit the description. Low approval ratings are one thing; zero approval is another. And you know what an Evil Overlord doesn't do? Leave when his term is finished, or stand for re-election. This is a good trope. We don't have to stupid it up.
Madrugada (3/30/09): deleted Star Wars example

  • Emperor Palpatine and the Empire in the original Star Wars trilogy, but notably not the Prequel Trilogy, where Palpatine's rise to power enjoyed popular support. According to its Expanded Universe, Palpatine does enjoy the support of many humans, the segment of the population he favors over the others; nonhumans are officially and unofficially discriminated against.

The original trilogy didn't cover enough of the Empire to come close to saying Palpatine ha a Zero Approval Rating. He had a ZAR among the people we learned about, but they were all La Résistance or affiliated with it in one way or anther, so of course they didn't approve.