But what do we do when Captain America does too?
The Washington Times reported on Friday that, just in time for Independence Day, Marvel Comics released the first issue of the new “The United States of Captain America” comic book, and Steve Rogers, the superhero’s alter ego, is lamenting that the American dream was “never” real.
In the book, Rogers says, “I’m loyal to nothing. Except the dream. Here’s the thing about a dream, though. A dream isn’t real.”
“I’m starting to think America actually has two dreams,” he adds. “And one lie. The first American dream is the one that isn’t real. It’s one some people expect to just be handed to them. And then they get angry when it disappears. When the truth is, it never really existed in the first place.”
Rogers also claims about the “white picket fence fallacy,” which, “if we’re not careful, becomes nationalism and jingoism.”
Imagine: Captain America complaining about “nationalism.”
But, “that dream isn’t real,” Rogers says. “It never was.” He goes on, “Because that dream doesn’t get along nicely with reality. Other cultures, immigrants, the poor, the suffering people easily come to be seen as ‘different’ or ‘un-American.’”
“The white picket fence becomes a gate to keep others out.”
“We’re at our best when we keep no one out,” Rogers says at another point, the Times reports.
“A good dream is shared. Shared radically. Shared with everyone. When something isn’t shared, it can become the American lie.”
We’ve come a long way in the 80 years since Captain America first appeared.
In the very first edition, in March 1941, the cover features Captain America punching Adolf Hitler.
Encyclopedia.com notes, “Perhaps no other costumed hero has stood as a bolder symbol of patriotic American ideals and values. Indeed, the history of Captain America cannot be understood without attention to the history of America itself.” The website describes Steve Rogers as “a fiercely patriotic young American,” who spends the war years fighting enemy spies and saboteurs.
The series stopped in 1949, but was brought back in 1954 with Captain America as the “commie smasher” who waged a “crusade to purge America of Reds and traitors.”
Now, however, in the contemporary Marvel universe, Captain America may join them.
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