Sunday, November 25, 2007

Four-Color Politics

I've been thinking about writing this post for a very long time now, but my last post got me thinking, so now I've finally gotten around to it. It's weird, I know, but I enjoy trying to extrapolate political views from different fictional characters, and comics are no exception. Yeah, I have too much free time on my hands, wanna make something of it?

So without any ado...

Superman: Clark Kent votes Democrat, no question. His core guiding principle is that ordinary people can't defend themselves against certain things, be it alien invaders or poverty, and that it's his duty to help them. He's also a journalist, which is a traditionally liberal occupation. Given that he's a farmboy from Kansas, he's probably a Christian and part of the Religious Left, like Jimmy Carter or the late Martin Luther King: He believes his faith compels him to help the needy, but not to try and convert others or sign what he believes to be right on a spiritual level into law.

Batman: The (city) government is Batman's enemy: Like a criminal organization, it's got its fingers in everything; it's hopelessly corrupt, serving only its own ends. Batman believes he knows what's good for people better than they do. People need to be protected, but they don't need to know they're being watched. Plus he's a wealthy industrialist. Bruce Wayne is definitely a Republican.

Wonder Woman: Since she holds a title of royalty in another country, Wonder Woman can't be an American citizen and vote in our elections. She's not a monarchist, since she turned her duties as the Amazons' sovereign (back when her mother, the queen, was out of commission) over to an elected chancellor. She's strongly feminist and environmentalist, is a vegan, and has pagan religious beliefs. Diana can't vote for them, but I'd say she's probably an advocate of the Green Party.

The Flash: I can't say much about Barry Allen because he died long before I started reading comics, but it's been established in-continuity that he was a moderate Republican in the mold of Dwight Eisenhower, and it fits. He came from a small town in Illinois, was pro-capital punishment, and was socially conservative.

Green Lantern: Green Lantern was often paired with the far-left Green Arrow as a staunch moderate who never really questioned the status quo. I'd guess Hal Jordan is a swing voter; given his philosophy of rugged individualism, he probably leans toward Republican.

Aquaman: Atlantean monarchist. ;) I don't know much about Arthur's history, but he seems to rule Atlantis as a benevolent dictator.

Martian Manhunter: Thoroughly non-political. Though he's been on Earth since the '50s, J'onn J'onzz lived for much longer on an alien planet with a communal, telepathic social system that just doesn't map to anything we humans have come up with. If you reaaaaally stretch it you could call him an anarcho-communist.

Green Arrow: As mentioned above, Green Arrow is very far-left. He's the kind of pinko liberal your parents warned you about. In fact I'd say Oliver Queen is a "stealth" Socialist who votes Democrat in the same way Ron Paul is a Libertarian in Republican's clothing.

Hawkman: Very far-right. He believes in strict social rules, that the poor need only pick themselves up by the bootstraps to get ahead, and is intensely hawkish (groan) in his views on foreign policy. Carter Hall is undoubtedly a Nixon Republican. I'd bet he listens to Rush Limbaugh every day. In fact, scratch that: He probably has Rush Limbaugh on his speed-dial.

The Question: I doubt any of my non-comics-reading friends have ever even heard of him, but I can't leave him out. It's no secret that the late Vic Sage was a radical objectivist conspiracy theorist with an acute distrust of anything vaguely resembling government. Not a Libertarian -- even further than that. "Ayn Rand? Ayn Rand didn't go far enough!"

Captain America: As the "ultimate American" I think it's dangerous to tie Cap down to any one political ideology. That said, I think it's been established that Steve Rogers was a WWII-era New Deal Democrat, and that makes a certain amount of sense to me, given that he was a young lower-class New Yorker. He'd be more militarily inclined than modern Democrats and believe in the use of force, but still believe in social programs to help the poor.

Iron Man: Tony Stark is a billionaire weapons manufacturer, so there's no way he's anything but Republican. Possibly leaning towards Libertarian since he's not the type to push his ideals on others, but since he's all about his own power base he'd throw in with the GOP for the greater support they can give him.

Thor: Being a physical god, he's pretty much above human politics, much like the Martian. I don't know enough about his former alter ego, Donald Blake, to gauge his politics.

Spider-Man: Peter Parker is a middle-class high school teacher from New York, so he's probably a Democrat. That fits with his role as the protector of the little guy.

The Hulk: Hulk hate federal government. Hulk just want to be left alone. Hulk vote Libertarian.

No comments: