Four years ago I wrote a piece titled, “Captain America and the Defense of the American Dream.” I posted it on Inauguration Day and it considered how we, as a nation, should respond to Trump’s election, using Captain America as the frame for analysis. It examined Captain America as a character, his history, and what lessons he could offer when the world we thought we knew was turned so completely upside down. Now, four years later, Joe Biden is about to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States alongside Kamala Harris – the first woman, first Woman of Color, first Indian America, and the first Asian American to hold the office of Vice President. I find myself looking to Captain America once again, to the brilliant narrative Ta-Nehisi Coates’ has been telling in Captain America since July 2018, as I try to process the last four years and consider my roll in the future.
What do we make of today? With the inauguration of our 45th president we, the American people, are facing an unprecedented age. It was a difficult, divisive election to be sure. We looked deeply into our own darkness, leaving many wounds in need of healing. Hostile foreign powers played with our politics and we, by and large, let them. Republicans didn’t care because it helped them claim the power they so desperately coveted. Democrats didn’t say much either, afraid that they’d appear to be using foreign affairs to play dirty partisan politics like their rivals. Now we have a carnival huckster, a reality TV showman ascending to the highest elected office in our land – a man who seems to know little of, and care even less for, our Constitution. It all feels unreal, like a dystopian novel. What will the presidency of Donald Trump herald? I have no idea. What do we do? For that, I have a clearer picture. For that, we have Captain America to guide us. Continue reading