After completing many Netflix series this summer, I was in a slump. What does a girl watch next? Such a conflict. The West Wing kept popping up on my suggestions, so finally in the beginning of August, I gave it a chance. I was hooked from the beginning; it didn’t matter that President Bartlet was a liberal and that he fundamentally opposed almost every one of my values. This drama was a network version of House of Cards and I felt like I was friends with all of the characters. It wasn’t until Sam, the Deputy Communications Director, had to go on Capital Beat that he met my personal favorite character, Ainsley Hayes. At first glance, she just seems like a proper, pretty, Republican. I am not saying she wasn’t, but the second she opened her mouth she had instantly showed up Sam. She was intelligent, quick on her feet, and witty: everything I aspire to be.

After being offered a job at the White House by the President’s request and getting pranked and teased by other employees, she stays and ends up being a huge asset to the administration. She was the conservative voice that the administration often needed.

Season 2 Episode 18 is when I lowkey became obsessed with her. Sam is looking for assistance in writing the President’s speech for The White House Correspondents Dinner. Ainsley reveals she is leaving to go to her alma mater, Smith College, to sit on a panel about resurrecting the ERA (the Equal Rights Amendment). Sam starts ranting about how could a woman be against the ERA. She clarifies that with the 14th Amendment, what more could she need? It establishes that ALL people, no matter your race or gender, are equal, making the ERA redundant. When Sam wouldn’t stop nagging her on why she did not support the ERA, she finally snaps. She says, “The ERA is humiliating, I am mortified to discover I wasn’t equal before. I do not have to have my rights handed down to me by a bunch of old, white men.” She is right. If you want to talk about equal rights, why are we allowing a bunch of “old, white men” to decide what is equal?

“I believe that every time the federal government hands down a new law, it leaves for the rest of us a little less freedom.” No, that is not one of the former 2016 GOP presidential candidates who said that. It is Ainsley reminding us the core value of our party.

So, next time you are browsing Netflix, maybe give The West Wing a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised, no matter your party affiliation.

Victoria F
FFL Contributor
Victoria is a North Eastern girl with a southern heart, style, morals and the hair to match it. She loves movies with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, pre-ordering her drinks at Starbucks, and obviously America the beautiful.

Read more articles