Nice to see the idea come to fruition! I would still suggest the original idea of comparing Bush with Plato, at least as an alternative. Why? Because the contrast is very much contained within the framework of two types of Meritocracy. Bush exemplifies the modern, and negative type of false Meritocracy, which actually has nothing to do with character. He’s the who you know, as opposed to the what you know. He is also a poster boy for anti-intellectualism, whereas the comparison with King I find to be potentially nebulous, and possibly divisive. Plato represents an accurate, positive, and ancient archetype of Meritocracy (in which he himself advocated) which is enhanced by his assured status as an altruistic intellectual. In all manners, the truest contrast of +/-.
I think that Star Trek one works very well. I don’t know who Cooper and Underwood are, so I can’t comment, but I know that most other people will know.
In my mind, the criteria of creating powerful contrasts should contain two objectives:
The clearest conception of an archetype wishing to be demonstrated should be decided on and applied to each subject in a contrasting set. If a subject is not clearly associated with the archetype being represented, or the archetype varies from subject to subject in a set, the ideas potentially risk misinterpretations, and being reduced in potency.
The two contrasting elements in a set should have the maximal space on the +/- spectrum possible in relation to the clear archetype which they personify.