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The Hater: Rednecks, Zod, and the need for Supermen

I was recently watching Man of Steel with my sixteen-year old son and came to an interesting realization.  The key to understanding the rednecks and their affection for Trump can be found in no less than the character of General Zod. You'll remember that General Zod is first and foremost a military figure: Krypton's answer to George Patton. He's a fanatic with contempt for government and politicians. He's a fascist who is only too happy to kill all the members of Krypton's ruling council and replace them with himself and his associates who are blind in their loyalty to him. One half expects him to say to Jor-El: "I just want to make Krypton great again!" 

 

But it gets better. Much later in the movie Clark Kent/Superman learns the secret of his origins and must choose between Earth and Krypton. He has to decide which heritage to embrace and that decision will define who he'll become and the rest of his life. This decision, more than any other, becomes the measure of his character.  And he makes the right decision.  
"If you destroy this ship... YOU DESTROY KRYPTON," General Zod says to which Superman replies, "Krypton had its chance!"
Superman lets go of the past and strikes the killing blow to Zod's ambitions and dreams. He saves the human race by making the most human choice, thus affirming his own humanity and ours.

What happens next is that Zod, denied both purpose and goal decides to embrace nihilism. This is no different than republicans who have in effect decided that if they can't get a world where minorities are oppressed and woman can't be forced into second class citizenship than they'd rather have no world at all. The fact that Walmart doesn't carry confederate flags anymore and gay couples can get married in rural Alabama drives these people insane. The brutal battle between Superman and General Zod that left huge hunks of Metropolis destroyed is a perfect metaphor for our current political climate with both sides trying to crush the other with extreme prejudice. One hopes that liberals will be able to break the neck of right wing ambitions between now and the 2018 midterms. 

 

Our enemies are not at the gates, they are inside the walls. More than ever Republicans represent the past which they are trying with all their might to resurrect...  And we can't allow that.
The Confederacy is dead.
Slavery is dead.
The days of minorities and woman having no rights are gone.
The 20th Century was marked by the most painful growing pains the human race ever endured, and we who believe in progress will never return to that. 

 

"We know what we are, but we know not what we may be."
~ William Shakespeare (from HAMLET)

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