In tonight’s episode of “The Bachelor,” we will watch Ben Higgins narrow the three remaining hopeful women down to two. Tomorrow, we will watch Americans choose among the three front-running candidates in what is expected to be record voter turnout on Super Tuesday.
These two events might seem unrelated, but in an election year unlike any other, this season of The Bachelor actually explains 2016 better than any talking head out there.
1. Ben Is Obviously America
A total heartthrob from small-town, middle America (Winona Lake, Indiana), Ben captures who the voters are, and how they see themselves. Just a baseball-lovin’, church-goin’, sensitive guy who is looking for someone to spend the rest of his life with. Just as we all started with more candidates than we really had time to get to know, Ben started this season with 28 women whom he quickly whittled down to three in just a matter of weeks.
2. This is JoJo’s and Bernie’s 15 Minutes of Fame
Everyone loves her, but she’s not going to win. Bernie Sanders supporters LOVE Bernie, but he’s not going to win, either. JoJo seems like a great idea–a beautiful, well-adjusted adult–but her ghosts of boyfriends past are a red flag. She admitted to ending 1.5-year relationship just five months before coming on the show, and we saw this boyfriend’s interference last week on her hometown date with Ben. Bernie has some great ideas, like free college and political revolutions, but they all sound too good to be true–nothing but red flags.
3. Lauren B is Just Like Marco Rubio
They are both young and bright-eyed, but have yet to convince the audience that they have what it takes to win. Lauren puts on a really good face and there isn’t anything not to love; it just seems like there is still so much we don’t know about her. In the same way, Rubio has so many of the qualities GOPers are looking for. He just came across as distant and, well, robotic for too long. Now that we are down to the final three, their personalities have more room to come out, for better or worse.
4. Caila Is Cute but Pretty Much Clueless
It’s as if she doesn’t really know how “The Bachelor” works, and neither does Ben Carson. She hasn’t really even had much of a relationship with any of the other girls, which is an equally important part of the show. She’s been wishy-washy on opening up to the bachelor, and would totally be the one to miss a rose ceremony because she had to go back to Florida for a change of clothes.
5. Principles Are Out the Window
We all thought Becca’s conservative values and commitment to abstinence as a 26-year-old virgin would be a huge plus. And it was at the beginning, scoring her a one-on-one date with Ben to a wedding chapel. But just as Jeb! Bush learned in this election, your track record and your commitment to principles don’t guarantee you a rose.
6. Ben, and Americans, Have Commitment Issues
Amanda got sent home this week, and there’s an elephant in the room as to why: her two kids from a previous marriage. After Ben met her kids and was confronted by her parents on the sacrifices that come with fatherhood, he quickly realized he just wasn’t ready for that level of commitment. Ted Cruz hasn’t been sent home yet, but the similarities remain. Aside from their annoying voices, Ted and Amanda are both good people who would make great wives (er, presidents). There just aren’t enough Americans who really want the crazy-talk-abolish-the-IRS-carpet-bomb-everyone level of commitment Cruz is offering.
7. Hillary Clinton Has Been Around for a Long Time.
Too long. So has Chris Harrison. For 20 seasons, Harrison has played the nearly unnecessary role of host. He’s been around longer than anyone, so he thinks he has the trust of the audience at home, right? No–we all know that he’s in the pockets of the producers, pushing the bachelor to hang on to the girls who keep up the ratings.
Harrison is also the perfect metaphor for Hillary’s blatantly obvious and really unnecessary identity politics. The only comments that come out of his mouth are a waste of oxygen like, “This is the final rose.” Yes, Chris. We are watching. We know. Yes, Hillary. We know you’re a woman. You’ve made it loud and clear you have a vagina that can get things done.
8. The Two Biggest Mouths
It’s no coincidence that the most-memed and -GIFed contestant from this season, Olivia, is also the best Donald Trump equivalent. The Internet attention her mouth alone has received is the best pop culture parallel for Trump, but her approach to winning the game and forgetting she was there for love are what truly did her in. She stayed on longer than anyone thought she should because of the media attention. She jumped out of a stripper cake–what more do you need?
Some will argue that Olivia has already been eliminated and Trump is still obviously still in it. But maybe “The Bachelor” is our last sign of hope that, if Ben came to his senses, America can, too.