Captain America and the American Ideal:Thoughts on a post election America.

 

So, as anyone who’s alive knows, the American Presidential race is now over and done with, and America has chosen Donald Trump to be it’s next President.  A lot of us are happy about this fact, and even more of us are shocked, hurt, betrayed and scared by this country that we either love, or at the very least live in.  (Yes, it’s entirely possible to live in this country, and still hate it).

Being a patriot isn’t about blindly loving the country, love should never be blind, especially to one’s country.  Just like any relationship, if  the other does something messed up, you are totally within your right, and you should, call them out on it, to try to better themselves and the relationship itself.   Now, what does this have to do with being a geek, one might wonder?   This is supposed to be a geek site, not a political commentary.

Well, you see, it got me thinking, ever since I was a kid, you ask me who my favorite superhero is, I’d say it’s Spider-Man.  Because I can relate to being the awkward kid who can also be a wisecracking smart ass when the time is right.  But, lately, as I’m getting older, I have to say it’s Captain America, Steve Rogers.

Why?  Because I share that idealism that he has, even in the face of the stark reality that the country has failed us, that he refuses to give up.  Which is much easier done when you’re a fictional character written as such that you’ll get out of most any scrap that you’re in.  But reality is messier, and, as we’ve seen last night, sometimes the bad guys win.  But, much like Steve Rogers, we can get back up and keep fighting for what we believe in, if we choose to.

Now, I’m a white guy, so this hopefulness is viewed through the prism of white privilege, not in the sense that I get anything handed to me in life because of my skin, but I also don’t have to fear for my life because of it either, which is just appalling to me, but this is the world we live in unfortunately.    But even still, there’s just something in my very soul that refuses to see the world as a dark, evil, place, or worse, some type of cosmic joke, a mistake that needs correcting.  I believe that good does win in the end, even if that end takes years, and things aren’t wrapped up in a nice neat bow in 20 pages of a comic book or two hours of a movie.

But we can’t allow fear and hate to win, to beat us.  We can take that Captain America example, and fight for the American ideal.  Not alleigence to a political party, either party, but to that ideal that the country was intended to be about, that we’re all created equally, and that we all have the same rights as humans, that this is the land of opportunity.  It’s not always, but if we fight for it, we can make it that.    To paraphrase our soon to be President’s campaign motto, we can make this country great again, but not in the way that he set it out to be, but in the way that it should be.     Putting aside our hate and joining as one country.  Not forgetting the atrocities of the past but learning from those mistakes and moving forward to make this country actually be what the hype is about this place.  To make the American reality something that it actually could be and should be.

I don’t know the age range of the group reading this, but it doesn’t matter because whoever is reading this, we are the future, and the future is starting right now.  Whether or not it’s a bright one is up to us.  Either with our leaders, or in spite of them, we can turn things around.    That much I believe in.   No matter our age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, it doesn’t matter.  That is all superficial, what we are is Americans, and we will not go quietly into that good night.     Not without a fight, and what we need to do is stop fighting each other, and fighting together to make this place what that paper that Thomas Jefferson, a messed up man with a few ideas of greatness, had written to be for this country those couple hundred years ago.

I leave you with one of my favorite Cap speeches, from the Civil War story-line.  Let’s hope that Civil War II can stay a comic book story and not a reality.

steverogers

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