A subset of Acceptable Targets. This one deals with demonized political groups. It's gonna be a Long List, because politics is one arena where (in a democratic society, at least) all groups not only have to compete against each other, but have to publicly compare themselves with each other. This too easily leads to making the other guy out to be a Straw Character.
It is important to remember that your opinion on how (un)deserving of ridicule or hatred a given political group is has nothing to do with whether it should be listed here; this is merely an index of how the group is treated in popular culture. So ideally, examples shouldn't be "These guys suck lol" or "We deserve to be on here because we're so persecuted" or "This stereotype is not true."
This is not That Other Wiki, so we're not concerned with what groups actually believe or don't believe. It's also not just about groups that are disagreed with or controversial — the group has to be among the Acceptable Targets for mockery and derision.
It can be taken as a given that literally any political position is a valid target in media intended solely for people who oppose it (or in political ads intended as an attack); so for sanity's sake, this list should mostly be limited to political targets that are viewed as acceptable in "mixed company" or media with mass-market appeal. You might attack a major, mainstream political party on a TV channel intended for its opposition, for instance; but you would (almost) never do so in a Hollywood blockbuster, and not without significant backlash if you did, because it's probably not an acceptable target to the public as a whole.
Given the infamy of Communist leaders including Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot, the ideas of communism itself and the intense geopolitical competition between the Soviet Union and USA known as the Cold War (which nearly led to nuclear Armageddon in 1962 and 1983), it's no wonder that Communists are acceptable targets.
Stalin was responsible for the deaths of about 10-12 million Soviet citizens including 6-8 million during the Collectivisation of Agriculture (1932-1934), 2 million state prisoners from overwork and starvation during World War II, 1 million in the famines of 1946-7 caused by the Germans' scorched-earth strategy, 800,000 executed during the purges of 1935-9, and thousands executed or dead in prison as a result of political crimes (as opposed to robbery, murder, etc). Stalin also did little to prevent Nazi German and Imperial Japanese POW, Nazi German and Japanese citizens, and German and Japanese settlers evicted from eastern Europe and east Asia, from being victimized by Soviet or local troops and citizens. Several hundred thousand of these may have been killed or died after being robbed of food, and more were sexually assaulted.
Chairman Mao Zedong was responsible for the deaths of at least 36 million Chinese citizens including about 35 million during the abortive Second Five Year Plan (marketed as "the Great Leap Forward", 1958-61), about 1 million designated as "landlords" by local communities and executed in public show trials, at least several thousand identified as "reactionaries" and "capitalist-roaders" and killed by teenaged Red Guards in the mob violence of the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76, and several thousand more executed or dead in prison as a result of political crimes.
Pol Pot was responsible for the deaths of at least 1.5 million Cambodian citizens, largely in the Cambodian Genocide of 1975-9 which reduced the population of the country by a fifth in an attempt to totally extirpate all non-Communist influences.
The few "Communist" governments which survived the collapse of the Soviet Union now largely exist in name only. These include the People's Republic of China, which implemented market reforms in the 1980s and exists today as the largest holder of US debt, and North Korea, which replaced Marx-Leninism with Juche and dynastic succession, and remain a thorn at the US's side with its constant threats of nuclear annihilation and hilarious propaganda videos, Vietnam, who despite being it still has for economic reasons good relationships with the USA and trades regularly with them, and Cuba. Despite this, many "evil Commie" tropes of the Cold War era, aside perhaps from those in Vietnam, can still be applied to these countries, albeit with a new coat of paint.
Alternatively, they could be portrayed as out to overthrow the government. The overall stereotype has shifted over time, going gradually from one of Ax-Crazy Terrorists Without a Cause a century ago to today's "Big Brother" portrayal (which invariably gets conflated with the Nazis - though as the Secret Police and The Gulag show, these bitter ideological enemies are Not So Different).
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the Soviets are portrayed as the primary villains (as the Setting Update from The '40s to The '50s made them the natural replacement to the Nazis). Of course, they failed miserably in their mission.
- All games in the universe of Fallout play on this, although that stems from the cultural nature of the games: the United States just before the nuke in 2077 represented what people in the 50s thought the future would look like, with Bauhaus-ey furniture and cars and extended use of nuclear energy, and still thriving waves of the Red Scare.
- Stalin is mentioned along with Adolf Hitler on the Godwin's Law page. For right-wingers, calling someone a Stalinist is seen as worse than just a Communist.
- The most acceptable target of post-Stalin communism is anything related to the Berlin Wall. After all, how well can communism be working if they have to build a wall to keep people in their "workers' paradise"? The western propaganda practically writes itself!
Being megalomaniacal racists bent upon world conquest and mass extermination is obviously wrong. The fact that the Nazis are one of the few groups that made a serious go at world conquest in real-life and spread the effects as far as they did took the idea of it from "stock goal of fictional villains" to Adult Fear and No Mere Windmill.
The fact that the Nazi's, despite their evil, gave birth to a very common weapon on Internet debates: Godwin's Law. Mere association with them also made card-carrying Fascism unacceptable among NATO countries. Debates may exist over how cartoonish a fashion it is acceptable to portray the Nazis (do you make them as cartoonishly bad as possible, in an attempt to make them ridiculous and thus impossible to take seriously? Or do you take them perfectly seriously, because anything else would be disrespectful to their millions of victims?). In fact; start mocking their victims and you'd better be prepared for every civilized person in the western hemisphere to take offense. Of course, a further unfortunate repercussion of their existence is that even today they continue to generate a rather unfortunate impression of Germany and its citizens. And if you are yourself a fascist, one big drawback is that you'll be forever linked to the German variant; people hardly ever or never speak of the Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Hungarian or Croatian fascists...although, truth be told, some of those groups were just as bad, if not worse.
- In Blazing Saddles, we see Nazis in line to try out for Hedley's army of thugs, and a (heavily implied) Jewish actor playing the dictator appears briefly. He is also visible repeatedly giving Nazi salutes in the background of the Great Pie Fight, as well as during the swearing in scene.
Hedley: RIGHT hands!
- You Nazty Spy was the first film to ever lampoon the Nazis.
- Nazis. Indiana Jones hates these guys. They're the secondary villains in two out of four of his movies. After directing Schindler's List, Steven Spielberg decided he would never again do a movie with "cartoon Nazis".
- The Blues Brothers hate Illinois Nazis.
- Deliberately averted in Downfall. According to director Oliver Hirschbiegel, the message of the film is to show people the Nazis were people too, albeit very flawed people and not just cartoonishly evil monsters.
- Subverted in Iron Sky. The film really isn't subtle with its portrayal of the Space Nazis, lampooning many Reichstropen, but it also does not shy away to take a jab at other nationalities, especially Americans. In fact, the American government is portrayed just as cartoonishly immoral as the Space Nazis, while one of the protagonists is a Space Nazi who genuinely believes National Socialism is a good thing, seeing the Space Nazis' upcoming conquest of earth as bringing enlightenment to the planet, but soon realizes the opposite is true.
- This is one of the reasons why a lot of First-Person Shooters are set in WWII.
- Lampshaded in Hellsing Abridged.
(While the Hellsing compound is under attack by Nazi vampires)
Willingham: Uh, so, sir? What's the over-under on any of us finishing this mission alive?
Pip: About as good as any of us actually getting laid tonight.
Willingham: I don't know, those vampires do look kind of rapey.
Other mercenary: Holy shit, dude!
Willingham: OH, WHO THE FUCK AM I OFFENDING?! THE NAZIS?!
- Public service announcements were directed at English fans traveling to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany not to mention the war. Special attention was paid to the fact that the German authorities wouldn't take kindly to people doing Hitler impressions and the like. This is due to imitating stereotypical Nazi behavior being usually understood by modern Germans that a person believes these behaviors are still common in Germany and that rules and standards of society are still the same. Which is probably the single most guaranteed way to piss about every German seriously off. And the English are particularly infamous for doing it. In fact, it is illegal in Germany to make the Nazi salute in public. At best you will get a fine and at worst years of prison if you're caught by German authorities.
Fascism is also politically unacceptable given the atrocities committed by Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, and the quasi-fascist states of Romania and Spain.
With the end of WWII, the notion of a Fascist politician or leader went the way of the Dodo bird and is often portrayed as behind Nazism and Communism in terms of evil. This doesn't mean that fascist partisans no longer exist (they do, and are even politically competitive in some countries); it does mean, though, that they usually must perform all kinds of rhetorical gymnastics in order to present themselves to the public. In a case of Reality Is Unrealistic, the most notable subversion (especially as time passes and people forget) is probably Fascist Spain, which maintained its openly, explicitly fascist and Axis-friendly government from the 1930s right up until 1975, largely thanks to not officially having taken part in WWII despite allowing Spaniards to join the Waffen-SS.
Generally portrayed as some or all of the following: paranoid wackos stockpiling guns and Krugerrands for the imminent collapse of society, regular conservatives who just want to smoke weed all day, crypto-racists and anti-Semites, "fuck yours, I got mine"-style sociopaths, and obese basement-dwelling armchair political theorists posting on Reddit. Love using words like "fact", "reality" and "truth" as it makes them sound like genius outcasts. Often, liberals will see them as an exaggerated version of their stereotypes of conservatives, and vice versa. They're nearly all depicted as straight white men of upper-to-middle class upbringing who view the UN, environmentalists, women and pretty much whoever has differing opinions to them as a threat. Note that these words do not mean the same thing outside the United States.
Anarcho-capitalists are a sub-type that are generally stereotyped as completely amoral, greedy, and heartless bastards who turn a blind eye or engage in all sorts of disgusting behaviors so long as it benefits them, and don't care a single shred about anything but themselves and money. In the worst cases, they'll be portrayed as pseudo-tyrannical dictators, profiting off the oppression of others. See Libertarian stereotypes.
- Jeff Winger on Community runs for student government under the Libertarian platform, according to Abed and Troy's show anyway. He is, of course, only running to aggravate Annie.
- Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation has been explicitly identified as a Libertarian. His idea of a perfect government is "one guy who sits in a small room at a desk, and the only thing he's allowed to decide is who to nuke." He criticizes government for being an inefficient waste of taxpayer money, while drawing a government paycheck and foisting all the actual work on his deputy director.
- Dale from King of the Hill isn't a libertarian, but is subject to the same hostile caricature as more right-wing lean libertarian.
- ZigZagged in American political culture, with depends in portraying political ideology or any movement that have Libertarianism in general by any American political groups or individuals throughout late 20th and early 21st centuries.
- Both played straight and for some laughs along the way with Gary Johnson for his political career. Despite being the former governor of New Mexiconote , he wound up being mocked in 2016 election for his lack of foreign issues.
- Generally the American Libertarian party itself in recent years, as with most American third parties like Greens below, is viewed as a "spoiler" party that only exist to take votes from the two main partiesnote , thus attracting a lot of derision from Democrats, Republicans and Tactical voters alike.
The word invokes images of groups of bikers with guns and Molotov cocktails spreading terror to the surrounding countryside and militia that do what they please, regardless of the damage that is done in the process, because, after all, Anarchy Is Chaos. Of course, they tend to see the government the same way. (In reality, Anarchism has a wide political spectrum including hippie-type activists, pacifists, capitalists, communists and even primitivists.) Was particularly strong in the 1800s, mainly because anarchists went around assassinating world leaders (Leon Czolgosz killed William McKinley, for example).
The term refers to a specific subset of US conservative who believed in the aggressive use of unilateral military action to achieve American foreign-policy goals and "spread democracy";note as this led to the fiasco in Iraq, it is generally considered to be discredited. Their other plank, regarding deregulation of businesses, is still alive and well. However, the term is thrown around generously to refer to any US politician who belongs to a conservative party yet advocates un-cautious action. By the end of the George W. Bush's second term "neoconservative" had come to mean "Republican I don't like," which has them overshadowed by the Alt-Right.
- Alan Moore complained that the villains in the movie adaption of V for Vendetta were more neoconservative rather than fascist like in the comic, one of his reasons for disavowing the movie.
See also Misplaced Nationalism
According to most people and media nowadays, every nationalist party or movement is the KKK, the
neoconservative paleoconservative elite, or British National Party in disguise — though possibly for a different race. This goes double for people in first world countries, triple for people in world "superpower" nations, and quadruple... err... times infinity for people in the United States. The rule of thumb is that the hate a nation will earn for expressing nationalist sentiments is proportional to its perceived political and cultural power in the world.
Liberals and conservatives in general
Due to The War on Straw, people perceived as being, or who defend even a single position that is, far to the left or right of center politically are often portrayed as crazy or evil.
- Both are often portrayed as spoiled, wealthy folk who don't understand the value the working poor place on hard work (if liberal) or the hardships others face (if conservative). Both can be libertarian idealists who believe Rousseau Was Right or Ludd Was Right (liberals want to return to nature to save the Earth from man's machines, conservatives want to go back to a time before modern permissive society). Alternately, they are closet communists, nazis, elitists, etc. who believe Hobbes Was Right, because common folk can't be trusted.
- Liberals and conservatives who aren't rich aren't immune, either. Working class liberals are hippies who think that abandoning all the technological progress made over the past 100 years will save the world, while working class conservatives blame anything bigger and/or different from them for all their problems.
- Liberals also get portrayed as Cloud Cuckoolanders who don't see why others object to the Animal Wrongs Group or the Artistic License – Economics politician. Or trying to make friends with people who very obviously will never be your friends.
- Conservatives are often portrayed as not really believing the positions they take; they are in it for the money. Alternately they are mindlessly devoted to outdated political, cultural, and religious beliefs and do not consider the consequences. Or they're sociopaths who vote against rape victims.
- Both ideologies are actually split between elitist and "common-man" factions, with a different set of stereotypes for each.
- Elitist liberals are crypto-Orwellian dogmatists insidiously transfoming this country bit by bit into a totalitarian state. They think that everything should be illegal.
- "Common-man" liberals are scruffy New-Age Retro Hippie hedonists who all have the mental capacity of a twelve-year-old girl. They think that nothing should be illegal. Naturally, the two groups hate each other - but they'll always join forces when it comes to bashing conservatives.
- Elitist conservatives are snooty rich country-clubbers who drink cognac and smoke improbably long cigars.
- "Common-man" conservatives are rabidly fundamentalist trailer-trash losers with no social skills and very few language skills. Naturally, the two groups hate each other - but they'll always join forces when it comes to bashing liberals.
- The fact that a small minority of both groups (far more on the internet, due to G.I.F.T.) actually are like the above doesn't help matters.
- Liberals get attacked by socialists, left-anarchists and other people on the "hard left" for only wanting to reform the system, not create a new one through revolution and being in their view Not So Different from the conservatives. These people point to the corporate funding of the Democratic Party, its business-friendly neoliberal policies, and support for foreign wars.
- Similarly, many white supremacists hate modern-day conservatives and liberals for not being racist enough. In the United States, white supremacists also hate the Republican Party for its unflinching support of Israel and hate the Democratic Party which had supported their views on race for much of the history of the United States.
Modern-day Democrats and Republicans in general
The latter is often portrayed as a warmongering Bible-thumping "party for the rich", while the former is often portrayed as a bunch of cowardly corporate sell-out hippies that constantly "betray their base" and that has moved too far to the political center in many key issues, if not being outright ineffectual. In many places, both parties are portrayed as fully pro-war, fully pro-corporatism, and fully pro-big government, and both working for the Federal Reserve in taking away your constitutional rights.
The Green Party
Members of the Green Party of the United States tend to get portrayed as Politically Green Single-Issue Wonks who don't care about anything but their overly naive brand of environmentalism. Their platform is actually a lot broader than that. In fact, the word "green" in their case might be said to stand for reform or renewal rather than the "woodsman-spare-that-tree" cliche.
- Ralph Nader himself is also frequently made fun of as a politically irrelevant miscreant who gave the 2000 election to George W. Bush, enough this unchanged mostly until 2016. (Although technically he was was unaffiliated with the Green Party after the 2000 election.) One joke told by Conan O'Brien: "Ralph Nader announced he's running for president again. Immediately after the announcement, the guy sitting next to Nader on the park bench told him to shut up."
- Jill Stein instantly became this in the 2016 election to Donald Trump as she was getting more supporters during the election campaign up until election day. She has become a Butt-Monkey for Democratic Party-leaning pundits and celebrities to even being called the literal Devil by both staunch Democratic Party loyalists members and Tactical voters for being a spoilernote .
Islamists can end up being painted as people who want everyone to be Muslim and take us back to The Dark Ages, or are all considered to be in league with Al-Qaeda and/or ISIS (no Sunni/Shia divide here!). Osama bin Laden is mentioned on Godwin's Law for this very reason. The fact there are a number of political parties opposed to Islamic immigration that paint a view very similar to this doesn't help much. The Islamist advocacy of using Sharia as a "source of legislation" riles up Western Anti-Islamists and the more liberal Muslim alike; it doesn't help that it's often unclear what this means to the specific Islamist group in question (for some it means "our proposals for secular laws will be inspired by Islamic religious ones, in much the same way that laws in the West are influenced by Christian morality; if you don't agree, we'll debate it in Parliament", while for others it means "our extremely strict interpretations of Scripture will be imposed on everyone whether they like it or not"). It's been slowly becoming discredited as an acceptable target on the left, but is still very much a target on the right.
The Liberal Democrats
In Britain, the Lib Dem stereotype has recently changed drastically. Up until the first TV debate of the 2010 General Election, they were considered a party with no chance of ever getting any powernote , and the usual candidate for protest votes. Several months, a coalition, and a lot of broken promises later, they have become a by-word for spineless, power-grabbing hypocrites.
Any extremist political faction (Far-left, far-right, etc)
While most people wouldn't admittedly classify themselves as "extremists", these do, unfortunately exist, though extremists tend to think of themselves as the "true" representation of their affiliation's ideals. Often ridiculed as fringe lunatics (and considered dangerous) not only by the mainstream of the other party but also by more moderate members of the same wing, who tend to disown the extremists. Of course, the debate on what makes one a ''true member'' of a particular group and just where the line is crossed over into crazy territory continues on in the calm, rational manner that such "civil discourse" is known for. Naturally, this doesn't prevent opponents from using the extreme examples as their go-to insult for a given group, considering Communism was historically a far-left political philosophy, and Fascism was far-right.
- The novel The Sum of All Fears had the terrorist attack being committed by Arabs. The 9/11 attacks forced the film adaptation to search for someone else. Replacing them with a group of European Right Wing Militia Fanatics not only fit this trope but had Reality Subtext given politicians such as Jean-Marie Le Pen were on the rise.
- When a poll was circulating among Belgians to vote for who was the best Belgian ever the celebrity magazine Deng decided to organize a poll where people could vote for the worst Belgian. The "winner" was Filip De Winter, the leader of the far-right Flemish movement Het Vlaams Belang.
- Geert Wilders is an infamous extreme right activist in the Netherlands that quite gets a lot of hate for his extreme right ideas, to the point that he is seen as a racist prick. It probably tells us a lot that even US cartoonists portray him this way.
A reactionary extremist group based around racist beliefs who are known to violently attack and kill those they're prejudiced against and anyone who associates with or supports them is obviously wrong.
- In Django Unchained, our protagonists take on a gang of proto-Klan members hunting them, with hilarious results that is very satisfying to the audience.
- Sherlock Holmes is a good example for how this trope changes over time. At the time people complained over how Arthur Conan Doyle demonized The Klan, but no one raised a eye-brow over how the Mormons were painted as a Church Of Evil in the first Holmes-story.
- Notably, they were featured as the villains in The Adventures of Superman... back in the '40s, when they were still considered kind of respectable. Well, the villains were called "The Clan of the Fiery Cross," but it's very clear who they meant. That show helped expose the truth about their racist agenda, which led to the organization as it was then being eventually completely disbanded. (Klansmen nowadays are pretty much all imitators) That's right, Superman defeated the Klan.
Joseph McCarthy was a second-string United States Senator (Republican from Wisconsin) who was on the fast track to censure by—or even expulsion from—the Senate for less than honorable dealings he had engaged in while a Senator. The Republican Party thought that by sending him to speak in Wheeling, West Virginia it would be near the last anyone would ever have to hear of him. However, after delivering a speech in which he claimed to have a list of 200-odd prominent members of the U.S. State Department who were also active members of the Communist Party, his fortunes revived and he became almost untouchable for a time. Between 1950 and 1954 Senator Joe McCarthy led a crusade against communist infiltration in the U.S. government and society. Although immensely popular during his heyday, these days McCarthy is used in fiction and other discourse to represent the absolute nadir of political mudslinging and opportunism, and he's often in some way connected with the dark Government Conspiracy that authors like to create. Quite an accomplishment (so to speak) for a man who's been dead for over half a century.
Note that according to the reports of defectors, corroborated after the fall of the Soviet Union by both the opening of the KGB archives and the declassification of the VENONA intercepts (a CIA/NSA program of tapping Soviet diplomatic telegram traffic) there actually were quite a few Soviet agents in the government, including some who did pose a threat (it finally proved, for instance, that Alger Hiss was a spy after all). This is not this trope. McCarthy didn't particularly care whether or not there were Communist agents in government, just so he could piggyback on the issue to ensure his political future, and did not care just how much bullying or slandering of reputations he committed to attaining that one goal of political survival.
- The Manchurian Candidate makes that explicit by having its McCarthy analog actually be a Soviet agent whose antics served to discredit more responsible anti-Communists. They also have him pick the number of communists he can identify off a ketchup bottle.
- George Clooney's film Good Night, and Good Luck., telling the story of news reporter Edward R. Murrow's attacks on McCarthyism, featured actual footage of McCarthy speaking. When screened for test audiences, most of them thought that it was an actor hamming up McCarthy's lines.
- This paranoia was brilliantly mocked in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove.
- Also, chillingly portrayed in Fail-Safe was the dire consequences that many feared would be a result of the tensions between the USSR and the US.
The Tea Party
Springing up in the wake of the 2008 elections, the Tea Party is mostly made up of junior Republican Congressmen and Senators. The term is ill-defined and usually self-applied, though liberals use it as an insult. According to the Left they're a bunch of theocratic racist fascists who hate women and worship the super-rich, as well as many other accusations. The name comes from their anti-tax stance as a reference to the Boston Tea Party, and Taxed Enough Already.
Occupy Wall Street
A protest movement of liberals and anarchists, working through "sit-in" demonstrations in financial districts across the US. Their stated goal is to force criminal investigation and tighter regulation of the investment banking industry, though there was a lot of "mission creep" at their demonstrations as anyone with a reason to be unhappy joined in. Like the Tea Party, you become a member by publicly declaring sympathy with them, but conservatives also use it as an insult - according to the Right they're shiftless, lazy, and entitled, and their demonstrations are hotbeds of crime. On the Left, they may be known for the perceived failures of their demonstrations.
Tend to be characterized as shrill misandrist harpies who twist any kind of male / female interaction, no matter how innocent, into a warped representation of male domination and violence against women and who, at the furthest extreme, actively wish to see men eradicated. In fiction, they're usually presented as physically unattractive, implying that they only think this way because they're too ugly/fat/hairy/whatever to get laid. They're also often presented as utterly humorless, absurdly politically correct and hypocritical lesbians who actively hate sex, especially if it involves a man. For such characters, feminism is a kind of reverse-chauvinism, rather than a movement for equality.
- Averted by the Factual Feminist, Christina Hoff Sommers, who tries to maintain a fair viewpoint by thoroughly scrutinizing information and events. Since she also writes for notorious MRA webpage A Voice For Men, many feminists question her allegiance.
- This was helped in the U.S. by the backlash against feminism in the 1980s. Oh, and Rush Limbaugh helped cement this view by coining the term "feminazi."
- In This Very Wiki, the Double Standard and The Chick articles had to be locked as they were huge magnets for real-life feminism soapboxing and debates. Luckily, other articles that seem like Flamebait for critics of Feminism like the Straw Feminist and Does Not Like Men articles have avoided this fate so far. Like all the Strawman articles, the Straw Feminist also does not allow any real people to be listed.
- Ironically, notorious antifeminist Milo Yiannopolous fits the stereotype pretty well, being a homosexual who dyes his hair, is antagonistic towards the opposite sex and calls his opposition a blight on society. His Deadpan Snarker demeanor is an aversion though.
- Camille Paglia is an aversion, since she's a lesbian with a son and is quite vocal about her love of men and her belief in women's strength and agency. Notably, she's rather well-liked by many antifeminists.
- Chanty Binx is another infamous example - half the internet has seen the video where she reads her group's demands in an obnoxious, shrill voice while having dyed hair and wearing so-called "problem glasses", as well as being unbelievably rude and hypocritical. This was after her group pulled the fire alarm to disrupt a meeting.
Social justice activists
Pretty much stereotyped the same way as feminists, although the range of social issues their activism covers is much larger than just women's issues. Often pejorativelynote referred to as "social justice warriors" by detractors and politically right. The stereotypical modern social justice activist runs a Tumblr as their de facto blog site and unofficial headquarters to spreading their political views and hates white people, men, cisgender individuals, and especially cisgendered white men. Usually stereotyped, like feminists, as being incredibly unattractive as well as morbidly obese. Detractors also call them "special snowflakes" and mock their beliefs into "every emotion or viewpoint needs to be taken seriously", as well as "hypocrites" if they disagree with a minority on a particular issue.
- Most of known famous YouTubers (from gaming to the political commentary) like The Amazing Atheist or Mr Repzion usually hate these people for what they are, some as their benefit from current political climate or few more common reasons for hating them.
Men's rights activists
Frequently characterized as bitter misogynists posting incoherent, hateful screeds on Reddit about "the gynocracy" and being "friendzoned" at their best and complete psychopaths who think that all rape and domestic violence victims are either liars trying to drum up support for their misandrist agendas or sluts who asked for it because they wanted the attention at worst, with the latter frequently having open support for famous rapists or anti-women extremists, as well as possibly being either domestic abusers themselves or straight-up budding serial killers. While they will doubt a rape accusation against a white man, they very rarely show this kind of skepticism when it's against a black man or a Muslim.
Popular culture portrayals are few and far between due to the comparatively recent emergence of the movement, but when they do show up, expect fedora-clad Redditors who go on about being "nice guys" and whose support for the movement mostly comes from extreme resentment caused by being repeatedly rejected by women, which is almost always because of their obvious undesirability.
- The TFL (True Forced Loneliness) movement probably emerged based on this mentality. But it consists mostly of middle aged basement dwellers posting rants to YouTube.
- Somewhat related is the budding movement of American men who claim to be fed up with American women whom they perceive as superficial, selfish, and unattractive. These men often speak well of women in Asian countries where feminism is not part of the culture. Their answer to this is what many essentially perceive as sex tourism.
- Some are men who completely opt out of dating women altogether for a number of arguments, but this is a related-yet-separate phenomenon called MGTOW (Men Going their Own Way) - but it is worthy to note that MGTOW has more relation to the MRM than aforementioned sex tourism.
- The film The Red Pill, a documentary by Cassie Jaye, actually subverts stereotypes of both Men's Rights activists and feminists. All the interviewees bring up valid complaints (parental rights, gender roles, genital mutilation, etc.) back them up with statistics, and behave in a polite manner.
- Played Straight in the Saturday Night Live skit, Jewelry Party where the MRA is portrayed as a creep who lost his virginity to his mail-order bride and shut down two Planned Parenthoods.
- Completely averted by the discussions had at the International Conference on Men's Issues. Each speaker provides evidence for their points and the demographics they belong to subvert common stereotypes.
- Meninists in some episodes of The Nostalgia Critic are portrayed as Immature trolls (similar vein to Alt-Right stereotypes) and loser nerds that usually failed on portrayed as opposition to hypocritical feminists and even Devil Boner can't take them seriously.
As a Whole: Depicted as coming from a (relatively) privileged background and believing that racial and sexual discrimination died in the 70s, so no-one has the right to take offense to what they say.
Gender-based Egalitarianism: Depicted as the best option because of the Golden Means Fallacy between radical feminists and MRAs. Feminists strongly suspect that they're just MRAs trying to wash away the stigma of their movement, while MR As may see them as too progressive in that they don't demand women step down from traditionally masculine roles. May include women who believe that feminism is redundant, using their own privileged upbringing as a basis. May also include feminists who are transphobic and assume that trans people have it just as easy as men solely because they have some testosterone.
Race-based Egalitarianism: Depicted as entitled racists who hide behind the Civil Rights Movement as soon as they're called out. The general school of thought is "We're paying you now, what more do you want?". May mention how someone with a darker skin tone than themselves is more successful than they are, so it must make the poverty-stricken members of their group. They Loathe Affirmative Action.
Economic Egalitarians get a bad rap in Europe, especially in France where, since the 80s (when Liberals decided that Liberty is better and more preferable than equality) its associated with communist sympathizers, crypto-Stalinists and people who are jealous and envious of the Rich. These stereotypes played a huge role in explaining the general consensus for austerity and in Germany is used to justify writing off Greece. This is mostly because of Political Ideologies where European liberalism differs sharply from American liberalism (which sees some amount of equality and social justice as coterminous with liberty).
Classical Liberals are a self-described group of disillusioned left-leaners on YouTube who claim to wish to distance themselves from the far-left without embracing right-wing politics. Naturally they come across as insufferably pretentious and arrogant who's allegedly prized "skepticism" and "rationality" gets dropped the second they encounter a position that fits their biases. Defines "Social Justice Warriors" or the "Regressive Left" as "Anything I don't like, on the Left." Probably secret right-wingers.
Eugenics is the belief of improving the genetic quality in humans, and its ambiguous definition brings the picture of genocide and bigotry. Supporters are usually viewed as Axe-Crazy murderers with lots and lots of Black Comedy surrounding them. They also are by definition in favor of abortion, which makes them a very beloved target for pro-life works.
- The majority of the antagonists of Orphan Black are part of (or at least linked to) a movement called Neolution, that preaches eugenics and transhumanism in generally immoral ways.
- Foamy the squirrel from Neurotically Yours supports eugenics. He's also a Villain Protagonist who openly abhors everyone.
- In Film Cow Ferrets, the unnamed ferret's view that eugenics makes a "pretty face" is supposed to be one of his many psychopathic traits.
A relatively recent movement which developed in reaction to Political Correctness Gone Mad. Typically characterized as spoiled brats who say things they know are prejudiced with no real purpose outside of trying to appear edgy. Can't stand hearing about social justice issues, but will bring them up when they're marginalizing a group they hate so they can call SJWs hypocrites. Claim to be all about creating discussion (when they're not claiming to be doing it for the lulz), but accuse anyone who disagrees with them of pushing an agenda and trying to silence them. Defines Marxism as "anything I disagree with". Probably allied with The Klan and Nazis.
Black Lives Matter
A relatively recent movement that sprang up in response to several high-profile Police Brutality cases concerning officers killing black men (whether said killings were justified or not is a debate better left to a different page), supporters are typically portrayed, if black, as a bunch of racist, thuggish Lower Class Louts who use the movement as an excuse to blame white people for their own failings and regularly commit violence against whites and police using the movement as a justification, or if white, spineless progressives desperate to show how empathetic and virtuous they are by siding with the movement, even though the black members could not care less about them.
A surprisingly old movement (the concept dates back to the 1930s, unsurprisingly) that has seen a relatively recent surge in popularity following political events in 2016-17, Antifa is short for Anti-Fascist Action and as such is utterly opposed to any form of Fascism — this opposition tends to take the form of street protests and riots to "make fascists afraid again" amid calls to "bash the Fash". Antifa tends to be stereotyped as literal Bomb-Throwing Anarchists and Dirty Commies who's members are upper-middle-class college students convinced they're in the early stages of a revolution but don't realize the consequences or costs of their actions. Defines Fascist as "anything I don't like".
As Mark Twain once put it: "If the opposite of Pro is con, then the opposite of Progress is Congress." It is generally accepted that people generally approve of THEIR senator/representative, often even supporting those who are of the opposite party, but view the Congress in general as a bunch of corrupt morons out of touch with reality. Except for the nontrivial number of people who despair that Congress is a bunch of corrupt morons in general including their senators or representative, and tend to spend their time voting for dark horse candidates in the primaries and then slouching through general election season in apathy. You know people don't like them when even the much-reviled Bush's approval rating was double digits more than the congresses under him. Even Richard Nixon had a higher approval rating during Watergate than Congress has had in recent years. So did BP during the oil spill and banks during the 2008 financial crisis. Other things which polls have determined to be more popular than Congress include root canals, colonoscopies, head lice, traffic jams, cockroaches, polygamy, and used-car salesmen.
- Often used by political ads, surprisingly enough. It usually goes like this: "Congress is full of evil, corrupt people. Of course, the candidate we're advertising is different, which is why you have to vote for them."
- Congress is the butt of many a joke by Mark Twain. Some of his more famous quotes:
- "Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
- "It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress."
- "A second flood, a simple famine, plagues of locusts everywhere, or a cataclysmic earthquake I'd accept with some despair, but no! You sent us Congress! Good God, sir, was that fair?"
"I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace; that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a Congress!"
- Bear in mind that this comes from the mouth of someone who is both a member of Congress and a lawyer.
The United States Department of Homeland Security and the PATRIOT Act
Both were created in the interest of protecting American citizens from the threats of terrorism and sexual perversion. It goes both ways. Those who favor these new policies are accused of being "sheeple". Those who feel that these policies go too far in some aspects are accused of being one of the groups targeted: mainly terrorists and child molesters.
- This brings to mind invasion of privacy and the government spying on and profiling normal citizens, especially if they are of a certain ethnicity or creed that is associated with terrorism. There is also the rising reports of TSA seizures of laptops and smartphones at airports in the search for terrorist information or child pornography.
- Harsh punishments for minor offenses pertaining to obscenity or indecency. In some states, a man can be punished for the rest of his life for consensual sex with a slightly underage girl, even if there was only a year or two difference between their ages and even if they are both underage. In some states, urinating in public qualifies a person for the sex offender registry. In Florida, artist Mike Diana was convicted of obscenity by publishing the comic book Boiled Angel. Part of his sentence was that he was not allowed to draw. In 2011, an Iowa man was convicted of possession of obscene material (via the Miller Test) when his manga order from Japan was opened by postal employees without his permission (and without good reason) and the police contacted. Being of modest means, he pled guilty rather than face a lengthy, stressful, and undoubtedly expensive court trial.
When one of the main platforms of a party is owning other people, it's fair to say that it won't be well-liked, especially since the ideology lost a war and subsequently disappeared. Whenever a Democratic politician or sympathizer appears in historical fiction, expect them to be a frothing-at-the-mouth racist Card-Carrying Villain plantation owner who mistreats and tortures his slaves in ways that are so over the top as to be almost unbelievable. Ironically, this portrayal came about as a result of so-called "southern apologetic" literature that portrayed the slaveholders as compassionate and their property with Happiness in Slavery while glossing over the atrocities that occurred; the backlash toward this type of literature caused the pendulum to swing in the other direction so that a slave-owning character that isn't an abusive monster is very rarely seen in media today.
- To a large extent they've replaced the USSR as the Communist Big Bad (see, for example, Tomorrow Never Dies). Interestingly, for a few years after the fall of the USSR the new Russian Federation (often incorrectly called things like the "Russian Republic") became a brief stand-in for the USSR due to the common misconception that it remained as powerful. Crimson Tide and GoldenEye were good examples of this.
- This was very much a Cold War era trope. Consider the James Bond films: the Red Chinese are Goldfinger's backers (1964), and in they tolerate Scaramanga operating out of their country (1974).
- And then there's The Manchurian Candidate...
- Often averted lately, since China has become a large and important market for Hollywood movies. See for example the RedDawn2012 remake, which used CGI to turn the Chinese antagonists into North Koreans. The idea that North Korea could invade North America is utterly preposterous, which is a measure of how strongly the film makers wanted to avoid offending a potential Chinese audience.
A dictatorial, isolationist military junta of a country definitely isn't going to have many fans in the rest of the world, and they're generally blamed for the general poverty and low advancement of their nation.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Imagine a cheap knock-off of the USSR under Stalin, as performed by a junior high drama club. Then give them constant food shortages, an insane cult of personality around their leader, and enough missiles to wipe the capital of South Korea off the map. It can also be a stand-in for the People's Republic of China if you don't want to risk your movie getting Banned in China.
- How bad is North Korea? It's like this: Jon Stewart had on a guy who wrote about his experiences helping North Koreans escape to the Freedom-Loving paradise that is... The People's Republic of China.
- Crysis and Homefront both originally planned to have Chinese enemies, but later changed them to North Koreans in order to avoid being Banned in China and losing a large part of the international market.
Imagine an entire society with racism as its hat. Despite an awkward Cold War alliance with the U.S. and Britain, the apartheid regime was a pretty acceptable target in the West, especially for those on the left. And now that apartheid and the Cold War are gone, everyone who's not a neo-Nazi can comfortably denounce it in hindsight.
Basically the leftist counterpart to apartheid South Africa, but ruled by a tyrannical dictator on top of it all, seizing the farmlands that grew most of your nation's food from their owners just because they were white was never going to endear Mugabe's regime to the general public. In Africa, he's usually viewed as a tyrant who exploited his starving people for his own gain, but in the West he and his party are usually seen as a complete racists on top of it all.
The Canadian Senate Held in particularly low regard because Senators are appointed by the party in power and there is no input from the voting population. Since Senators also have very little actual power, they are generally perceived as useless party cronies with no redeeming traits. People outside of Canada may notice this stereotype echoed in Canadian-made shows.
- Similarly the British House of Lords, largely made up of political appointees but formerly with many hereditary aristocrats, is generally portrayed as full of incredibly ancient out-of-touch people who're either permanently asleep or actually dead.
- To some extent, this reputation was even brought to American awareness when Saturday Night Live did a sketch about it (or was it the House of Commons?) where, among other things, Will Ferrell's character kept pushing a resolution to declare Oasis the greatest band ever. The other points of order were equally trivial and/or outright rude.
- Recently the opinion of the House of Lords seems to be improving, because they're spending most of their time opposing nearly everything the government passes to them. The fights between the two are referred to as Parliamentary ping-pong, as both houses have to agree on something before it becomes law. While the Commons can invoke the Parliament Acts to push laws through, this is almost unheard-of as it's seen as undermining the democratic process and risks pushing the ruling party straight into this trope. (There is also the Salisbury Convention which states that if something is in the ruling party's manifesto, it should eventually be allowed to pass.)
Subject to the usual vitriol, but state and local governments in particular are often seen as incredibly corrupt and/or comically inept, and either way painfully underfunded and of questionable use.
- Former Prime Minister Billy McMahon is almost universally seen on both sides of politics as among the worst - if not THE absolute worst - Prime Ministers we've ever had. Not only was he a liar, a leaker and a plotter, but he was never elected as Prime Minister - he only got into power after John Gorton chose to resign after a vote of confidence for him was tied. Even then, he only got this chance because John McEwen - the leader of the Country Party who had in the aftermath of Harold Holt's drowning in December 1967 threatened to end the Coalition if McMahon became Liberal leader - had retired mere months earlier, and his successor Doug Anthony removed the veto against him. His time as Prime Minister lasted a little over a year before being defeated by Gough Whitlam and Labor in the December 1972 election. To this day, he is usually used as the go-to example of a horrible Prime Minister, with comparisons ("insert PM" is the worst Prime Minister since Billy McMahon) being very commonplace.
- Former South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson, the sole reason Australia doesn't have an R rating for video games. Unfortunately, his seat was pretty secure thanks to the votes of other old people who think video games are all Pac-Man. After he resigned, much progress was made on moving toward getting that R rating in place, which finally became reality in 2013.
- Stephen Conroy, the Minister for Broadband and the Digital Economy, is rapidly becoming a target of scorn and laughter from virtually the entire internet, and even the American government, among others, got in on the scorning action! It's not just because he is pushing a plan to instate a mandatory internet filter across Australia. It's not just said filter has been proven in tests to be ineffective and detrimental to internet performance. It's more to do with the fact that he's still pushing the filter plan at every opportunity even though it's overwhelmingly unpopular and at this point has no chance of becoming a reality. Recently, the Labor Party dropped these attempts, no one complained except for the Family First Party.
- John Howard, who somehow managed to be the second longest-serving Prime Minister in history (possibly because his opponents were either devoid of charisma or Mark Latham). Considered a toady to George W. Bush (who was an Acceptable Target overseas long before he was in the US), racist, miserly and looking kinda weird. It was a moment of glorious schadenfreude for a large part of the Australian public when not only did his party lose the election, but he lost his actual seat in the House of Representatives — becoming only the second Prime Minister in Australian history to suffer this (the first being Stanley Bruce in 1929).
- Speaking of hated Australian political figures, Pauline Hanson and One Nation are considered the national mascots of racist, xenophobic, idiotic, trashy bogans led by a fish-and-chip shop owner and 'celebrity'. Even long after the One Nation furore blew over, Hanson was still pretty much everywhere milking the "celebrity" for all it was worth, memorably leaving Australia to emigrate to England... because she didn't like Australia's welcoming attitude to immigration... and then returning to Australia within a matter of months...
- The Family First party have a rather deserved reputation for being fundamentalist, homophobic, heavy-handed and a large part of its leadership coming mostly from the congregation of a church that is very exclusive and selective of its members. They're also known for issuing contradicting statements and flip-flopping between sides on an issue depending on whether being deeply conservative is fashionable with the public. Their press conferences are very much a case of Think of the Children! personified.
- Though not a political party, the Australian Christian Lobby is derided for similar reasons, and also for its support for the internet filter and opposition to the R rating for games, again both cases of Think of the Children!. More than that is their audacity in claiming and acting like they represent the interests of all Australian Christians, which they kind of don't. Their leader also gained some infamy for using ANZAC Day as an opportunity to denounce immigration and the legalisation of gay marriage as "unAustralian".
- Julia Gillard, the former Prime Minister, is susceptible to this owing to the circumstances which led to her taking the role; she's widely seen as The Starscream to her predecessor Kevin Rudd. The 2010 federal election which soon followed didn't help - her campaign was widely poked fun at for being inconsistent and unfocused, to the point that partway through she declared everything so far to be a mistake and said she'd change that and start being the "real Julia" (cue every Australian comedian trying to figure out who the "old Julia" was and what the "new Julia" did to her).
- Her opponent, opposition leader Tony Abbott, doesn't fare much better for almost the exact same reasons. That, and how the most publicised event of his election campaign was, for some reason, him burning a pair of his speedos on live morning radio.
- She didn't even make it to the 2013 election, when she was deposed by her own party in favour of, guess who, the same guy she kicked out in the first place, Kevin Rudd, in a mad dash attempt to save votes. It didn't work.
- Tony Abbott now fits under this as well. Most of the hatred comes from environmentalists, due to the fact that he scrapped various environmental policies for profit. He also managed to alienate some of the people who voted him in by introducing a health care tax, raising the pension age to 70 and generally making life easier for the rich whilst punishing the middle-class for the crime of being middle-class. Students are his biggest haters, as he's made so many cuts to education as well as white-collar and arts-related professions that it seems like there's no point in learning anything.
- Less than two years after becoming Prime Minister - and during most of that time with his position in the polls miserably low - Abbott lost the leadership of the Liberal Party, and the Prime Ministership to Malcolm Turnbull. As Abbott said over Australian deaths in Iraq, "shit happens".
- His treasurer Joe Hockey doesn't get off any better. Joe continuously viewed as a penny-pinching miser who used Australia's budget deficit as an excuse to overtax and underpay anyone who isn't a tycoon. As soon as Turnbull became Prime Minister, he was dumped as Treasurer in favour of Scott Morrison, and Hockey swiftly resigned from Parliament.
Sleazy, corrupt, and willing to lie to their grandmother to get elected. Ultimately, politicians are about the easiest group to make into an acceptable target - just about any politician has a topic that they can be attacked on legitimately, and the profession as a whole tends to disproportionately attract sleazeballs only interested in power. It generally takes several years of cleanliness, honesty, and competence before a politician is truly respected by most people - and then, to paraphrase an old Disney song, you're not a politician anymore, but a statesman.
Attacking politicians as a vaguely-defined group also allows writers to avoid offending anyone by insulting their specific brand of politics; politically-minded viewers can still laugh and assume that they're attacking all the other politicians.
- Obi-wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy takes a very dim view of politicians in general.
- Bleak Expectations starts off small in its first series, with a minor character being the Secretary of Bribery and Corruption, before taking the idea Up to Eleven in the second. The British Parliament is portrayed as a group of hedonistic drunkards, who spend all but a few minutes of every day getting really drunk, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer is an evil, undead super-villain ("Because whatever better job is there?") who is bribing them into going along with his plan to take over the United Kingdom. And when Parliament house is burnt down, due to a mixture of an exploding Speaker of the House of Commons and brandy fumes, their only complaint is having nowhere to eat and drink and sleep and "ruin the country" from.
- In series 4, the House of Lords is stated to be so boring a man can actually bore himself to death listening to them speaking.
- Dragon Age II allows Hawke to make 'politicians' jokes at every turn, and at one point if you tell Varric that you are going to change the way Kirkwall works he tells you that entering politics is either "idealism or madness...so, either way, right up your alley."
Anyone who has no political qualifications but who talks about politics on TV. Everyone from Michael Moore, Cenk Uygur, and Rachel Maddow on the left to Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones, and Ann Coulter on the right. They have less protection from satire than actual politicians because of the "who do they think they are?" factor. They also have the drawback of being easily recognizable symbols of the causes/political positions that they support, and thus being easily-recognizable subjects for parody, satire and mockery.
See the trope Pompous Political Pundit.
Politically active celebrities
Being famous gives you a big audience that you can use to bring attention and influence to the political and social issues that interest you, but it also opens you up to plenty of mockery, mainly for hypocritical and/or cynically self-serving behavior, championing political views and causes that they really don't care about just to please their fans and sponsors, or just plain not knowing what you're talking about, whether any of the accusations are actually warranted to begin with. A lot of celebrities become targets of pundits for having opinions simply because it's not in their job listing, even when they're being genuinely civic-minded. Male PACs are depicted as self-styled humanitarians who tell struggling middle-class workers to donate more to poverty-stricken nations whilst showering their 20-year-old trophy girlfriends in expensive gifts. Female PACs are typically considered to be exhibitionists who don't know enough about the cause they're supporting to make a speech, so they just strip naked, take some photos and sell them to PETA or another popular group. Both are bashed by non-celebrities who get sick of having to hear lectures from people they expect to merely entertain them; e.g., "Shut up and sing!" While some people on the left still hold these views, it's far more common on the right.
- Frequently mocked on 30 Rock. Here's just one example:
Tracy: Jenna, we're the most important people here, right?
Jenna: Well of course, Tracy. We're actors. If we didn't exist, how would people know who to vote for?
Forcing others to grow illegal drugs or join an illegal militia can't be right, can it? Throw in a couple Sex Slaves and Child Soldiers for good measure (or even have them be both at the same time), and you have a villain everyone will be glad to guilt-freely hate and oppose.
Incumbent politicians and those running for office
Because mocking them is only relevant for so long.
- In "10 OPTICAL ILLUSIONS That Will MELT YOUR MIND!" by Matthew Santoro, Matthew talks about an optical illusion that makes the viewer think that pink dots that form a circle have disappeared. He then ponders if the effect that makes them appear to disappear works on people, because he'd love to try it on Donald Trump, a Republican running for President of the United States as of the video's upload date, to see if he disappears.
Every single president of the United States of America since John Fitzgerald Kennedy
JFK is often regarded in the media, especially in alternative news and conspiracy media as the last "true" American president. And every single president after his death was often seen as incompetent or compromising at best, or a corrupt puppet or pawn of either Israel, Big Corporations, the Military-Industrial complex or the Federal Reserve (pick one, or all of them) at worst, with each administrations being seen as merely a continuation of the former (this is Truth in Television as the mistakes of a former administration often dominate the succeeding one, but whether this is due to the incompetence or mistakes of a previous administration combined with a succeeding one or to continue or to advance a malicious corporate agenda while suppressing genuine populism is up for debate). The questions that emerged out of how JFK has been killed, and speculation of what he could have done had he not been killed(end the fed, avoid Vietnam) didn't help things either.
- JFK himself gets this sometimes, especially on his own actions regarding Vietnam, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and racial segregation in the south.
- In fact it can also be said that every single president even before JFK gets some form of backlash by those critical of the American political system. This could be due to possible Values Dissonance on the worldviews of the early presidents on slavery, treatment of Native Americans and their support of Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine. Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Woodrow Wilson have been hit the hardest by this. Only Washington, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt are unanimously considered Unacceptable Targets.
- Though he is still very much an acceptable target among liberals and progressives, as far as conservatives and Tea Party types are concerned, Ronald Reagan is practically an Unacceptable Target.
Richard Milhous Nixon
While all presidents are subjected to partisan ridicule, none have inspired such prolonged, public hatred as Richard Nixon, one of the few American historical figures to become a stock villain. Always a polarizing figure, Nixon's easily-caricatured appearance (immortalized by Herblock's cartoons and, of course, the Nixon Mask), awkward personality, handling of The Vietnam War, involvement in the Watergate scandal and resignation (not to mention his unflattering White House tapes) made him the media's poster child for corrupt politicians everywhere, an image he's maintained long after journalists and historians started offering more nuanced assessments. Decades after his death, Nixon's still evoked as a villain in everything from political dramas to cartoons, graphic novels and superhero movies.
Seen as either having too much fringe worldviews indistinguishable from Communism or Fascism, depending on their political ideology, to be electable by the mainstream political spectrum, or not doing anything to genuinely change the system by the far left or the far-right, and may end up being an Unwitting Pawn to establishment politicians, who will "adapt" some of their ideas but never put them into policy once in power. Some examples:
- The radical and far left in the US, along with democratic socialists, left-wing populists, actual progressivesnote and social democrats whose views are significantly outside the views of the Democratic Party, has accused outsider politicians and candidates within the Democrat Party as preventing the formation of genuine alternatives to the two-party system or a mass activist movement by campaigning on progressive causes seen as fringe within the democratic party, but endorsing the more establishment-oriented candidates when they are defeated. Through within this mindset, it's debatable if these outsider politicians are genuinely in on this and are putting up a façade, or genuinely believe in what they claim, but become unwitting pawns for mainstream members of the Democratic Party by providing political discourse the Democrats could use to farm for votes yet do nothing to act on when in power. This accusation has shown up against the Jesse Jackson, Jerry Brown, Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich, and Bernie Sanders in their campaigns against Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, respectively.
- Bernie Sanders gets further criticism on these lines for his support of controversial aspects of American foreign policy, particularly perceived support of Israel against Palestine and BDS movement, Saudi Arabia as a U.S. ally, and the drone program. And that's all we'll say about this matter.
- Libertarians (Ron and Rand Paul, Gary Johnson) and Greens (Ralph Nader and Jill Stein) have been accused of delivering progressive, centrists votes to the Republican Party through an emphasis on antiwar and isolationist rhetoric while not touching on their own economic or social policies to progressive and centrist audiences.
- Within the Republican Party there are similar beliefs towards outsider candidates, though also directed at the Democratic Party. This was the case during the Donald Trump campaign, which has been accused of deliberately set itself up through far-right positions to push horrified moderate Republican votes to Hillary or to split the party and allow for an easy win for the Democrats in 2016, if not the ultimate destruction of the Republican party. That didn't stop him from winning the election.
- See above how politicians in general are considered to be Acceptable Targets. It's fairly common for a candidate with little to no former political experience to campaign on a platform that distills down to "Throw the Bums Out."
- Trump's victory in the 2016 election was at least partially due to him painting (in the Republican primaries) the other Republican candidates as privileged corrupt Washington insiders, and then doing exactly the same thing to Clinton in the general election.
To a large degree. Virtually every type of government has been presented as the villain at least once; some that come in for a larger share are autocracies, corrupt democracies (democratic in appearance, but really plutocratic or dynastic), empires and monarchies.
- Stellaris goes one step further than just pretending. Every type of government can be villainous in this setting, even true democracies, since there can in fact be species that have a perfectly working democracy and do consistently vote on things such as exterminating aliens, genetic deviants or race traitors with o remorse.
Usually treated as lazy, greedy and exploitative people who take advantage of their people. The luxury of their facilities doesn't help that much, also. Note that this has been more or less a Dead Horse Trope for the past half century, but before that it was deadly serious.
- Still very much a reality for modern day Monarchists who live in countries that were Monarchies a century ago or less who are sometimes viewed negatively in media in their nations and VERY negatively for monarchists who actively support a restoration.
- Goes double for Germany, Monarchists are compared to Fascists and Neo Nazis. This is mostly the neonazis' fault for using monarchical flags since the swastika is banned, but its also because the Patriotism among monarchist supporters is viewed as dangerous. Again, because of the neonazis.
The guy is infamous for a few things. He owns 80% of all Italian television and only has won the election due to the fact that those Italians get brainwashed by what they see on TV and they only voted for him due to that. It should also be noted that the only reason that he wanted to become the president of Italy is to not get persecuted for raping children.
- De Kiekeboes : The album Heil Bod has lots of jabs at his regime. The country in which the event takes place is "Berlusconië" and the president there is a fascist dictator that puts people in prison for few reasons and uses TV stations to manipulate people into believing that they are real criminals. Not helped is that at the end it is revealed that he gets a lot of fans because he shows porn at the watershed while flashing propaganda imagery in between it.
- Hitman 2016: The target of the bonus mission "Landslide" is based on him.
Responsible for a lot of moral guarding and employing of Media Watchdogs during her career, Ms Thatcher was generally seen as an unpleasant person both in and out of office. She is (indirectly) responsible for the Video Nasties debacle which painted her as a Control Freak. Gallows Humor set in among the British when she died in 2013, who promoted the song "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" in their national charts; it reached second place and stayed there for a while. She even has her own page for this, Margaret Thatcher In Fiction.
- While the Harry Potter books NEVER portrayed politicians in a positive light, Margaret Thatcher is a frequent target of J.K. Rowling's scorn, as both Aunt Marge and Umbridge are obvious caricatures of her.
American political culture is full of stereotypes, and failure to fit a stereotype can open someone up to mockery just as much as adhering to it too closely. Wealthy individuals who vote progressively and poor individuals who vote conservatively are clueless and have no idea where their own interests lie. Men who vote liberal are sensitive wimps or naive hippies, and women who vote conservative are prudish shrews or submissive doormats. And everyone apparently knows that African-Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities are fools to vote conservatively, regardless of their personal beliefs; whites, on the other hand, always vote for whichever party is popularly perceived as more racist.
Some common complaints about PETA's policies can be refuted by a simple examination of their webpage. However, it's also worth noting that when it comes to PETA and certain other animal rights campaigners, the Animal Wrongs Group trope isn't entirely make-believe. Interestingly, PETA is widely disliked by many people and groups who agree with the fundamentals of their position, as many environmentalists believe that PETA makes it impossible for them to be taken seriously.
- In "Psychic Octopus & Oil Spills" by Matthew Santoro, Matthew insultingly calls PETA "nutjobs that do just about anything to get their name out there".
People who vote for major parties
Characterized as broken down or unable to think for themselves. Obviously, these people are brainwashed, there's no other reason they wouldn't vote for the right party.
- South Park episode Douche and Turd have people who keep voting two major parties (even they are clearly broken in reality) as portrayed either Ax-Crazynote or paranoiac/religiously political fantastic to one either major partynote when come try getting apolitical voters like Stan to vote Douche or Turd for supposedly "Democracy".
Characterized as stupid, naive or college students who only do it because they want to be different, and who often are considered to have wasted their vote, if not threw the election to the greater of two evils. Frequently overlaps with Communist, Green and Libertarian stereotypes.
Let's face it, trying to get media censored, often for sometimes trivial reasons, won't ever endear anyone to you. Especially nowadays, when any media that succumbs under the pressure of them and changes its format is considered cowardly at best and criminal at worst.
If any of these people turn up, odds are good they'll be shown as Cloud Cuckoo Landers in tinfoil hats who believe absurd Urban Legends that anyone with a few facts and critical thinking skills can debunk in minutes. Considering that many prominent real-life conspiracy theorists are very easily disproved—for example, there are still some who follow the "birther movement" despite Barack Obama's genuine U.S. birth certificate being published long since—you can see why they come in for some ridicule. They do get a pass if it's a thriller a la The X-Files in which The Cloud Cuckoo Lander Was Right and there actually is a Government Conspiracy. Even then, though, they'll likely be depicted as rather loony and unhinged.
- The general attitude is "screw them, they gave up all right to be a part of society"...and in many cases it doesn't matter what they're in prison for.
- Scarier still is what certain people state they would do to the worst criminals. People you would never believe capable of wishing such a fate on another human being. But still, it's mostly in words only... and one only has to talk about how horrible some of the absolute worst prisons in the world are in order to make people have pity with the criminals sent to jail and make them feel horrible for their own actions.
- In the US, a sex offender has few to no life prospects left after conviction (whether (s)he serves prison time or not). Many end up homeless and jobless with few opportunities. Those who express concern over these matters are often treated with suspicion and sometimes accused of being closet sympathizers. Worse, careless mass media can and has destroyed the prospects of people who were deemed innocent by the law via stocking Witch Hunts.
- In The Dark Knight, there's a scene where two barges have been told they're laced with explosives. One is full of normal citizens, and the other with prisoners. Both barges have been told that unless they trigger a remote that will blow up the other barge, both will explode. The stance of most of the people on the non-prisoner barge is that they have more right to live because "those people made their choice, and they chose to break the law." No one on the barge points out that the barge also contains innocent guards and crew members.
Despite its slogan being "fair and balanced", its reporting on political events is often accused of leaning in favor of the Republicans and conservatives and it often gets hit hard with examples of the Strawman News Media, which is why it is frequently subject to the Ban on Politics. Other reasons, both concerning political coverage and otherwise, involve its rather sloppy journalistic practices, and quite a few people have noted that many of the stories presented are often seen as facepalm-invoking or a Tear Jerker. Of course in fairness news organizations in general are also subjected to this in that pretty much every news organization (and for that matter, every news journalist) has often have issues showing their biases and preferences when it comes to presenting the news. The sayings that "No News...is Good News" and "If it bleeds, it leads" pretty much sums it up.
- The film Network is all about satirizing these organizations.
- Fox News Channel's political leanings are at a complete disjoint to its sister entertainment network. For example, an episode of House in 2010 heavily criticizes the health insurance industry that Fox News is advocating to leave alone.
- Much of the political satire and lampooning that both Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart do in The Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart respectively tends to be around this.
- The Onion is pretty much a satire of news in general.
- The Simpsons mocked Fox News about their political leanings a few times which was so acrimonious that Fox nearly sued itself over it.
- For example, Not racist, but #1 with racists.
- We're unbalanced and it's unfair!
- Family Guy had an entire episode mocking Fox News.
- RT news has been accused as a Russian propaganda machine, as it tends to air anti-western articles even that from conspiracy theorists. However, because it tends to report on arguably concerning issues in the West(the NDAA controversy comes to mind) that are often overlooked, it has a large following among those online and those in America that do not trust the government. The Iranian Press TV has a similar following among people with anti-American sentiments. Al-Jazeera is widely considered to be a propaganda machine for Islamists.
- When the votes were coming out in the wake of the 2008 election, Megyn Kelly called out Karl Rove for engaging in "math Republicans use to make themselves feel better", as he was trying to spin the factors any way he could to say that Romney was on the verge of victory in Ohio.
- Once Fox News co-founder Roger Ailes died, Speak Ill of the Dead seemed to be the rule - Rolling Stone even published an article named "Roger Ailes Was One of the Worst Americans Ever". That being said, most conservatives (and even several left-wingers like Al Sharpton) still came to his defense.
Anything political in general
You name it, you can always find a way/reason to hate/bash it.
- The Elder Scrolls: The dark elf House Telvanni, In-Universe. The In-Game Novel The Horror of Castle Xyr contains the following exchange between Clavides, an Imperial soldier, and Anara, a servant to a Telvanni nobleman.
Anara: Please, serjo, go wherever you want. We got nothing to hide. We're loyal Imperial subjects.
Clavides: As, I hear, are all Telvanni.
(Note from the playwright: this line should be delivered without sarcasm. Trust the audience to laugh — it never fails, regardless of the politics of the locals.)