I've haven't read the graphic novel, but have been watching the show and yeah, I was thinking the same thing...
Especially the recent episode where (spoiler warning) the group is trying to decide what to do with Randall. Dale is the sole voice of dissent in the group, arguing that just because there's no government or civilization anymore, that doesn't mean that's the end of humanity or the rule of law. And that they have no right to forcefully take someone's life preemptively based on assumptions of what he might do in the future.
Hershel is also an interesting character. He's a principled and devote Christian and has his own farm, grows his own food, and is pretty self sufficient, living there with what's left of his family. He's consistent about his right to control and defend his own property, and pretty adamant in his belief not to kill, even the zombies, right up until the barn scene.
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