The Walking Dead does not dabble in election politics (either directly or metaphorically, although the show has been used by politicians), but with a month until the midterms in America, the series is now taking a decidedly political approach to its ninth season. This isn’t about Democrats and Republicans, however. It’s more fundamental than that: It’s about what form of government The Walking Dead’s “New Beginning” will take.
The Walking Dead is now in the post-war Reconstruction phase, and as the series hinted when Michonne took a long glance at the Civil War infographic in a museum, it will take up issues presented in post Civil War era of America with a sort of twist: It’s not only trying to figure out how to run its government in the aftermath of the All Out War, but it’s officially setting up a government for the first time. It will also have to do so, eventually, without its leader, who we may discover is more Ulysses S. Grant than Abraham Lincoln (Grant led the Union in the Civil War, but soon discovered that running the country is a lot different — and far more difficult — than leading the war efforts), while the United Colonies of Alexandria may also soon find that it needs Negan to help keep things in line.
For now, however, Rick and Michonne have never been happier (Carl’s death, notwithstanding), as they comfortably rule over the colonies: Alexandria, The Kingdom, The Hilltop, Oceanside, and The Sanctuary. They are no longer worried about day-to-day survival, but about larger matters, like how to keep the citizenry content and well-fed. They’re contemplating a charter, or a Constitution. At The Hilltop, leaders are already being Democratically elected. Forming a government, however, comes with its own host of problems, as the old-world’s infrastructure continues to fall. Roads are washing out; bridges are falling; and zombie hordes still present their own set of issues, as a group of people representing all the colonies discovers on a resource run to a museum in the city. The failing roads and bridges make trips between the colonies more challenging, and when a horse cart pilfered from a museum gets stuck on a muddy road, Kent — a young member of The Hilltop colony — is bitten by a zombie and dies.