You’ve got the touch

I’ve got it! I’ve unlocked the sociopolitical meaning of Transformers.

Cybertron is a metaphor for America — a giant, living machine. Indeed, its own citizens literally transform themselves from humanoids into the very cogs that drive Cybertron. No one Cybertronian can understand his impact on the planet itself, but by doing his job, the entire planet thrives, building and rebuilding itself constantly in the image of its own techno-economy. It’s, like, straight out of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations and stuff.

Okay, so the vision for Cybertron is one of equality, but, over time, there develop two distinct factions of robots: the Autobots and the Decepticons. The Autobots are comprised of the working-class robots, although there are a few free-thinking academics thrown in there too. Meanwhile, the Deception faction consists entirely of established industrial and military leadership who seek only to continue their own dominance. Sure, there are plenty of foot-soldiers, if you will, on the Decepticon side, but they are dumb robots, rallying to the Decepticon banner based on the dogma from their leaders alone.

I think you see where I’m going with this one: Autobots are Democrats and Decepticons are Republicans.

When the two robot armies arrive on Earth the politics of the two factions are made even more clear. After all, whom do the Autobots befriend? Construction workers like Spike and Sparkplug — the common man. Meanwhile the Decepticon’s only human allies are greedy business men. The Autobots are eco-friendly, while the Decepticons want only to clear-cut all of Earth in the name of accumulating precious Energon. On Earth, the Autobots turn into things like cars and trucks; the Deceptions turn into fighter jets and handguns.

The Autobots, of course, are the good guys. Their leader, Optimus Prime, is wise and just and only resorts to violence as a last resort. He wants to find a way for everyone to live together in peace and harmony and says stuff like, “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings!” When he passes on, his successor rises, brash and young, from the frontline of the Autobot ranks, yet painfully aware of the awesome obligation his leadership brings with it. Leadership never changes on the Deception side, even when Megatron is replaced, it’s by himself in a new body: meet the new boss, same as the old boss.