Goodbye Superman, Hello Plastic Man

By | March 24, 2016 | 0 Comments


Plastic Man © DC Comics

As “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” opens in movie theaters, we take a moment to reflect on what Superman represented, and what (if anything) he represents now.
In 2011, in the 900th issue of the comic strip created in 1938, Superman renounced his American citizenship. Superman declared, “I intend to speak before the United Nations tomorrow and inform them that I am renouncing my U.S. citizenship…I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy.” If his actions were misunderstood, why didn’t he explain himself, rather than pouting? That doesn’t sound like the Man of Steel. It sounds more like the Man of Plastic − softer and more susceptible to pressure.
As if this weren’t enough, Superman adds, “Truth, justice, and the American way − it’s not enough anymore.” Really? Enough for what? A U.N. that knows only how to shuffle papers and appoint bloodthirsty tyrannies like Syria to the “Human Rights” Council? Enough for whom? Globalists who owe allegiance to nothing but their own wealth and power? A president who sees nothing exceptional about the nation that thought it saw something exceptional in him?
Apparently what Superman objects to is the American way, and not truth or justice. But these qualities are closely related. If we substitute leftism for the American way, truth and justice are also in jeopardy.
For truth, leftists substitute politically correct speech. We can’t even mention the fact that most terrorism today is committed by extremist Muslims. To hear the leftist media tell it, we should be equally concerned with Orthodox Jews with beards and black hats, and with Evangelicals coming from Bible-study classes. Leftists value their agenda over truth. Or rather, they believe that truth is whatever furthers their agenda.
And for justice, leftists substitute “social justice,” meaning redistribution of wealth. That’s what Marx taught. On the contrary, the Bible teaches that we should favor neither the poor nor the rich. It all depends on whose teaching we accept.

Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.
Leviticus 19:15, NIV

● Superman may have x-ray vision, but he seems to have trouble seeing the obvious. Superman seems to believe that the American way means being American, or falling under American domination. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our founders drew on political philosophers of the past, including Greeks, French, and especially British. Out of this raw material, using their own genius, they created the American way.
But anyone, anywhere can make use of the American way. There is no patent or copyright on it. It includes a government of limited powers, enumerated in a written Constitution. It includes a government constrained by separation of powers between the three branches of the federal government, and between the federal and state governments. This plan can be used as well by a citizen of the Congo, or Syria, or Myanmar as by an American. The object is to make the government conducive to the greatest possible amount of individual freedom.
That this plan is not emulated more often by people in other nations is evidence of the power of leftist propaganda, not evidence that the plan is useful only by Americans. Superman fought for the American way, not for Americans or America.
● Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet, but he’s a bit slow on the uptake. He doesn’t understand that the American way is a way to be free, not a way to be American. He sees it as nationalistic and restricting, rather than universal and liberating. How sad. Perhaps Superman spent too much time listening to leftist professors and watching leftist media. Leftism has infiltrated our schools, universities, media, and even our churches and synagogues − perhaps it influenced the Man of Steel as well.
Superman himself is evidence of the universality of the American way. Superman was born on the planet Krypton, and came to Earth in a spaceship as an infant. He landed on the Kansas farm of the Kents, who raised him as their own. But they could not have adopted him legally. What would they have told the authorities about the child’s biological parents or birthplace? Imagine the consternation of medical personnel if they attempted to determine the child’s DNA profile and tried to draw a blood specimen, only to see the needle bend double?
To be adopted, or to prove citizenship, one needs a birth certificate. Where is Superman’s? If Barack Obama had questions raised about his birth certificate, imagine the trouble Superman would have. He was born on another planet, and neither of his parents was a human being, much less an American. Now that’s a problem. Superman cannot renounce his citizenship if he never had it in the first place. He is an alien alien – an alien squared.
It was no accident that the Superman comic strip was created in 1938, when Nazism was on the march, and free people everywhere feared that they would end up under the boots of Hitler’s “supermen.” The Man of Steel was created to counterbalance the myth of the “Aryan master race” with a comic-strip character who used superhuman powers to fight for truth, justice, and the American way.
But now we need Superman as much as we did in 1938. Again free people everywhere fear that they may fall under the domination of fanatics who believe that they and their beliefs are superior to all others − and that they are destined to conquer and rule all others. Again young people need an iconic character dedicated to fighting evil.
Children know that there are monsters in the world. They need to know that there are also those who fight monsters. That gives them a feeling of safety, as well as the idea that when they grow up, they too can fight monsters. Children looked up to the Man of Steel, but the Man of Plastic isn’t much of a role model. He may speak glibly at the U.N., but fighting monsters just isn’t his thing. He’s a bit too soft and pliable for such exertions. “Leading from behind” is more his style. Appeasing enemies and abandoning friends is more to his liking. Bowing to the strong and bullying the weak is more to his taste. Posing under a mural of Ché Guevara, communist enforcer and murderer of thousands, is more suitable to his delicate sensibilities.
After the terrorist attacks on Madrid, London, and Paris, one might have hoped that Europeans would rouse themselves from their peaceful stupor. They didn’t, and now they have Brussels. After the terrorist attacks on New York, Fort Hood, Boston, and San Bernardino, one might hope that we Americans would rouse ourselves. Whether or not we will remains to be seen. Many continue to doze, foolishly relying on their good intentions to keep them safe – and waiting for the next attack while doing nothing.
Since we can no longer rely on the mythical Man of Steel, perhaps it is time to seek a real person with a bit of iron in his spine.

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