We Need a Hero

Some of the greatest stories told by humanity have featured corrupt rulers defeated by simple, humble, and righteous people. We've made heroes of figures who speak truth to power. We crave those tales where good triumphs - especially when the odds are never in their favor. When the abusive nature of despots thrives in the real world, we long for reminders that evil's reign is only temporary.

True stories of moral victors find a treasured place in history, like the band of rebels who rejected the tyranny of King George and the British Empire. Names like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton are American icons, the honorable heroes who won the war against corrupt foreign rulers.

Biblical tradition speaks of Moses, who delivered the nation of Israel from the corruption of Pharaoh’s Egypt. Queen Esther outwitted the corrupt Grand Vizier Haman. Jesus often spoke against the depravity and hypocrisy found among the religious elites, legal scholars, and government officials of first century Palestine. When it came to corruption, chasing people with whips and flipping tables were acceptable options for Jesus.

El Greco's 'Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple

In Greek mythology, Nemesis was the goddess of retribution, the avenger of crime whose wrath focused on those guilty of hubris. She, along with Aidos the goddess of modesty and respect were the final good spirits on earth before the corruption of the age of mankind.

Legends of King Arthur tell of the king overcoming Morganna, a powerful sorceress corrupted by evil. Elsewhere in English folklore, Robin Hood is the hero who subverted the illegitimate king, Prince John, and his henchman the Sheriff of Nottingham. And Shakespeare wrote a play about a Danish prince seeking revenge against his uncle the king for murdering his father.

The advent of cinema continued this tradition. Dorothy saved the land of Oz from the corrupt Wicked Witch. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the Empire was controlled by the corrupted Emperor Palpatine and his enforcer, Darth Vader until they were defeated by a farm boy, an old wizard, a princess, a smuggler, a Wookie, and a pair of quirky robots. Every Mission: Impossible movie finds Ethan Hunt exposing the corrupt government that betrayed him. A young LAPD officer survived a day with the corrupting influence of a dirty cop named Alonzo Harris in Training Day. And Captain America stood his ground after discovering S.H.I.E.L.D. had been corrupted by sleeper agents of Hydra.

image courtesy of Marvel Studios

When storytellers, novelists, and filmmakers need a villain, they mirror the lives of politicians, law enforcement officers, corporate CEOs, and religious leaders whose lust for power, wealth, and control have led them down darkened paths. Art imitates life.

We long for these heroes. We idolize them. Lionize them. Honor and respect them. And we desperately need them again. We need people who will stand in humility and do the right thing. We need righteous people who will rise and fight against modern tyranny. And you can be that hero.

Election Day approaches. The current president is the most corrupt president to occupy the White House during my lifetime. He has defiled the office. He has abandoned every concept of decency and the decorum expected of a world leader. He is vulgar, reprehensible, dishonest, impetuous, and morally bankrupt. His arrogance is limitless. He is a fear-mongering con-artist. He is adored by white supremacists. And he has somehow wooed the evangelical community while acting completely adversarial to the basic tenets of their faith.

I won't tell you that November 6th might be the last free and fair election or that we're about to witness the death of democracy. I don't believe those statements are true, and those who espouse them have sunk to the same level of scare tactics the president employs. I’m not clairvoyant so can't tell you what will happen after the election. However, I can tell you what is happening right here, right now. We have a president that is using the office to enrich his family. We have a president that is alienating American allies while befriending cruel, murderous, and inhumane dictators. We have a president that is fully indifferent to the rule of law, who blatantly lies, whose disregard for facts only grows more brazen the longer he is in office. We have a president who gathered the most incompetent set of fools to serve on his cabinet, who have in turn indulged in their own corruptions. Finally, we have a Congress who refuses to do a damn thing about it.

This is where you come in. This is your bitten by a radioactive spider moment. This is when you become the hero America deserves. Your vote is your superpower. We have the opportunity to get rid of the gutless Congress and replace them with civil servants who will stand up against the corruption of the Trump administration. When you fill out the ballot, vote for the candidate Trump doesn't want to win. Vote for the candidate most likely to inspire a Trumpian Twitter meltdown. Vote for the candidate with a spine. Vote for the candidate who believes in human dignity. Maybe then, we can actually make America great.

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