The Character Assassin: Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde

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Yes, friends, Adam and I have committed, after a very busy summer, to begin focusing on our poor neglected website once again. And is there a better way for me to begin posting again, than with the return of my ever-popular Character Assassin segment?

No. There isn’t.

I wanted to kick things back off with a bang, so I visited classical literature to dig out this installment’s victim. We’re going to examine the Canadian political leanings of a man who can’t even agree with himself on most issues.

Dr. Henry Jekyll

DID poster boy

Star of: Classical literature
First Appearance: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (novella)
Likes: Science, philanthropy
Dislikes: Himself
Bio: A morally conflicted chemist with a mean-streak so strong it kills him.

1. Science

At his core, Dr. Jekyll is a man of science, a man of vision. He is a brilliant man, trying to drive society forward with innovation.

I wouldn’t even go so far as to call Henry a “mad” scientist. He was very rational in his desire to make people better with his invention. It was the unexpected fallout of that good intention that ultimately led to regret.

Dr. Jekyll would be very much in favour of support for science, research and innovation in any capacity, with an eye toward the altruistic. However, he’d also want few government restrictions, and little oversight – he might be a idealistic scientician, but he’s also not going to let little things like “safety” or “ethics” stop him.

For Science!

You can’t make delicious Eggs Benedict without breaking a few laws.

2. Social Security

Dr. Jekyll is a man who struggles with his own morals and ethics, yes – but ultimately he tries to rise above his demons. One of those ways is through philanthropy – he donates to worthy causes and helps to uplift the downtrodden.

But, there’s another side to this. While Henry is committed to donating his own time and money to worthy causes, he does it by his own choice. It’s fairly plain that he wouldn’t feel right forcing that choice on others. Certainly, he’d encourage them to give to charity – but he would be opposed to making them do it.

Jekyll is also a man who values hard work, with a “do it yourself” attitude.

He’d be against charities that don’t aim to help the needy get back on their feet.

3. Traditional Values

Notwithstanding the fact that Dr. Jekyll is a Victorian gentleman – and thus living in a heavily repressed society – he’s clearly a man who prefers a more “conservative” approach to life.

Henry would be appalled at many aspects of our modern society, from our mode of dress to the cavalier use of crude language.

He'd be especially horrified by this guy.

I honestly don’t think Jekyll would even consider it an imposition to pass laws that would reign in some of what he would consider society’s excesses.

Verdict:

Dr. Henry Jekyll is a gentleman, a scholar, and a voter who’d side with the Tories. He’d be a fan of smaller government, so that his research could continue without much federal meddling, and a supporter of calls to return of traditional family values, for the betterment of civilization.

But we aren’t exactly through, are we? Dr. Jekyll isn’t the only person in here with an opinion on politics.

So we turn things over to…

Mr. Edward Hyde

Sinister alter-ego

Star of: Classical literature
First Appearance: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (novella)
Likes: Fine canes, freedom, the ladies
Dislikes: Dr. Jekyll
Bio: A free spirit living without moral conflict, who prowls the night looking for love. Also murder.

1. Crime and Punishment

Mr. Hyde is a criminal in the most literal possible sense. He wantonly engages in extortion (of himself, admittedly), identity theft (again, of himself), and murder. And yes, he arguably even manages to do that last one to himself.

A libertarian without a moral compass, Hyde is a man who lives in the margins of society, so he’d want to keep those margins as wide as possible. He’d be in support of any efforts to curtail law enforcement in the name of expanded personal freedoms.

He can appreciate the occasional caning, though.

2. Social Security

A hedonist, Mr. Hyde isn’t exactly filled with a desire to do hard work for a living. In fact, he fully intended to live off of Dr. Jekyll’s fortune – probably subsidized by the proceeds of his criminal adventures – which he extorted from the good doctor.

So government handouts would be something right up his alley.

On the other hand, Hyde wouldn’t exactly be a fan of paying taxes – he’s greedy, not generous, and his libertarian side would be loathe to give anything to big government without the promise of something in return.

Overall, it’s pretty safe to say that Mr. Hyde would happily be a welfare leech, if he figured he could get away with it.

3. Traditional Values

Many of the sinister activities “Edward” engages in during his existence are only hinted at… and suffer from serious values dissonance. Some of the actions Victorians would consider deplorable are not only tolerated in modern society, but welcome.

Speaking with a woman? Dressed like that? Alone!? MONSTER!

Actually, Mr. Hyde would probably love the modern world and the relative freedom it allows. Again, a man with a strong libertarian streak without a pesky moral compass to reign in his excess, he’d be very progressive in a social regard – the fewer laws reigning him in the better.

But whereas drugs, alcohol and sex are all getting acceptance, Mr. Hyde would probably have to curtail that whole “murder” hobby of his to be truly accepted by society.

Verdict:

I honestly don’t think Hyde would care enough about the environment to check a Green candidate, but he’d be very pleased with a party that’s pro-social freedom and pro-government handouts. The NDP might not be his ideal party, but he’d rather them than big government Liberals or hard-assed Conservatives – that’s for damned sure.

If you have an idea for a fictional victim for The Character Assassin, e-mail Scott, or send him a tweet with your suggestion.

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2 Responses to “The Character Assassin: Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde”

  1. Adam
    September 21, 2010 at 5:03 am #

    I wonder what Mr Hyde’s views on the marijuana party would be?

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