Saturday, June 8, 2013

American Exceptionalism in the Movies

What has happened to the movies?  In 1979, when people had enough of the liberal cynicism of All In The Family and Carter malaise, Superman flashed his red and blues in the name of "Truth, Justice, and the American Way."  According to Obama now, there only thing special about America is that we just happen to live here, just like Brits happen to live in the UK and Iraqis happen to live in Iraq.  That's it.   Like most Progressives, he's ashamed of America and thinks that Founding Fathers were a bunch of rich, white jerks whose ideas are obsolete, if they were ever useful.  (Until the election of her husband, Mrs. Obama hadn't discovered any reason to be proud of America.)

If there was anything more special about America, there would be an American Way worth fighting for, uniquely American ideas that allowed for extraordinary growth of this nation as an economic and political power capable of bringing at least two major totalitarian threats to their knees, checking the expansion of Chinese communism and Islamofascism as well.  The Obama brand of liberal "anti-imperialism" faults America with deriving its economic power mainly from greed, in the uniquely liberal-Marxist zero sum logic.

But in 1979, while the Meatheads were living off the conservative Archies till they got their degree to teach liberalism to the next generation, Superman was still championing The American Way as a transcendent force of liberty.  A far cry from the Progressive disarmament advocacy of the wrong-in-so-many-ways Superman IV in 1989.

Cut forward to 2012.  Captain America brings back an echo of American exceptionalism, anti-cynicism, pro-God, pro-country, pro-military but not so pro-military that he blindly trusts our government.  In The Avengers, Nick Fury tells the Captain that America could "use a little 'old-fashioned'."  The Avengers brings together Captain America's virtues of American virtue with Tony Stark's American pioneering individualism and spirit of entrepreneurship.   A rich man that isn't villainized for being unapologetically rich.  There are other ways, of course, to read the subtext, but some of this seems promising.  Maybe the Zeitgeist is changing again.

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