dexeron: (ultima)
[personal profile] dexeron
I think it will be important to remember this scene from an old comic book in the years ahead.

There was a scene in the original Civil War comics where Peter Parker (Spider-man) speaks with Steve Rogers (Captain America) about the burden of going against the popular sentiment of the nation. As background, Captain America had positioned himself against Iron Man in the debate over the Superhero Registration Act (which enjoyed considerable public support.) Captain America believed that the Act was a violation of fundamental rights, and even when his refusal to comply branded him as a traitor in the eyes of the public, he still refused to change his mind (and continued to lead the Secret Avengers: other heroes who refused to comply.)

Peter Parker had been, initially, on the pro-registration side, but changed his mind after learning that heroes who had refused to register and got arrested were going to be detained indefinitely. Parker went from a national sensation and rising star to a "Benedict Arnold" in the eyes of the American public almost overnight, and he asked Captain America how someone can deal with that kind of a weight on their shoulders.

Captain America smiled, and Parker realized he had a story to tell. Parker demanded of Rogers: "When the whole country is against you... when it's all bearing down on you like some kind of ten-ton weight, and you don't know your own heart anymore sometimes -- how does someone like you deal with it? I mean, you practically are the country. How does the man who is the country react when the country goes a different way?"

Captain America answered:

"I remember the first time I really understood what it was to be an American...What it was to be a patriot.

I was just a kid...A million years ago, it seems sometimes. Maybe twelve. I was reading Mark Twain. And he wrote something that struck me right down to my core...something so powerful, so true, that it changed my life. I memorized it so I could repeat it to myself, over and over across the years. He wrote --"

"In a republic, who is 'the country?'

Is it the government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the government is merely a temporary servant: it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

Who, then is 'the country?' Is it the newspaper? Is it the pulpit? Why, these are mere parts of the country, not the whole of it: they have not command. They have only their little share in the command.

In a monarchy, the king and his family are the country: In a republic it is the common voice of the people. Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak.

It is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catchphrases of politicians.

Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man.

To decide it against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may.

If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country. Hold up your head. You have nothing to be ashamed of."


"Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right.

This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world--

--No,you move."
From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

Profile

dexeron: (Default)
Daniel Lustig

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345 6 78
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 02:03 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios