Captain America, Iron Man were first popular conservatives

Captain America, Iron Man were first popular conservatives

Ashley Pierce is a political science freshman and Mustang Daily conservative columnist. 

“There’s only one God ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that” a popular Hollywood character actually said.

Well, technically Captain America was created by Marvel, and not the property of Hollywood, which may be why I love him oh so much. Unfortunately for comic enthusiasts, this article is going to focus entirely on the movies and their conservative ideals rather than the comics — I fully apologize for that.

“Captain America” and the “Iron Man” movies have a ridiculous amount of conservative ideals tied into their plots. These ideals are surprising to see in Hollywood box-office hits, yet together the two movie characters complete the full spectrum of conservative ideals.

First, we have Captain America, the 1940s golden boy; a young man whose dream is to fight and defend the freedoms of his country.

Though told again and again that he is too small and weak to join the military during World War II, Steve Rogers (Captain America) tries again and again to enlist — his only care in the world being to defend his nation.

There’s a reason the IRS targeted groups with the word “patriot” in the title. Conservatives, such as Captain America, are proud of our country’s freedoms and most are willing to sacrifice their lives for others to keep said freedoms. The left seems to be constantly apologizing for American ideals, while conservatives stand proud of our country and what it stands for: freedom and liberty. Captain America embodies that patriotism.

Rogers even jumps on a grenade to protect his fellow soldiers. The grenade, of course, turns out to be a test, and Rogers’ selfless heart proves to be the key to a great soldier. After just some tiny body alterations, Rogers becomes a great hero.

This selfless attitude toward others demonstrates how Captain America embodies the social viewpoints of conservatives: by defending the weak and the innocent. While the left might not understand pro-life viewpoints, it comes down to conservatives seeing abortion as murder and standing up for innocent life — something Captain America would definitely do.

Rogers’ traditional dating habits are also socially conservative, with his decision not to “dance” until he finds the “right partner.”

Rogers’ demonstrates old fashioned courting methods this way — arguably much better than the current culture of sleeping with anything that moves (perhaps not a conservative political value, but definitely one most social conservatives would stand by and support). Or maybe it’s just me.

Then we have Iron Man, a.k.a. Robert Downey Jr., carrying conservative fiscal values on his rad iron back.

Tony Stark (Iron Man), essentially, “privatizes world peace” by demonstrating capitalism at work and showing how once the government gets anything in its greedy, bloated hands, it inevitably screws everything up.

The government cannot simply demand something that is the property of citizens. “Iron Man 2″ exemplifies this misuse of government power when a senator demands Stark to hand over his Iron Man technology. Stark, being a businessman, knows his rights and denies.

The U.S. government is also shown as a giant buffoon of incompetence as it attempts to make the Iron Man weapon technology and utterly fail while, in the process, allowing its equipment to be taken over by another entity — which results in some really cool fight scenes between two iron suits. Yay, Hollywood.

While of course the government losing power over its own weapons is an exaggeration for movie purposes, it’s not exactly that big of a stretch. In the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, a super secret stealth helicopter crashed in the process. The helicopter was supposedly destroyed so the technology wouldn’t slip into other country’s hands, but someone forgot to get rid of the tail of that helicopter.

The tail of the super secret stealth helicopter is now in the hands of Pakistan and reports are that China has been given access to it. Granted, these reports have been denied by China and Pakistan, but apparently The New York Times says it got its source from American officials. So, time will tell. I guess all that aid to Pakistan is really paying off though, right?

Then we have “The Avengers,” which brought Iron Man and Captain America together. Ironically enough, they argued the entire movie, but they worked great together, as do these two conservative ideals.

Social conservatives and fiscal conservatives, whether they agree with each other on every issue, must see past their disagreements to stand together against leftist ideas spreading throughout today’s culture. Can we really handle anymore hippies and hipsters? I can’t.

Side note: If Hollywood continues to make these films, and Tony Stark suddenly becomes socialist, or Captain America starts sleeping around in the next film, I will personally be sending a very strongly worded letter. This has been a warning.

Comments

Rogério Moreira Orrutea Filho says:

My congratulations to you. Very good and interesting
article. I really liked to read your way of qualifying Captain America and Iron
Man as the complement of the full spectrum of conservative ideals. This is
absolutely correct, as long as in America the two of greatest representants of
conservative thinking, John Adams and Hamilton, represented those two
conservative aspects: social conservative (Adams) – whose perspective consisted in the conservation of moral principles such as liberty and religious piety – and fiscal conservative (Hamilton) – whose conservative thinking defended above all the economical freedom.

The only think that makes me sad are the comments. It’s
horrible and revolting to see so many offensive comments, and – what is worst –
from people who say your journalism is “sloopy” or “childish” and that it lacks
arguments and facts, when I didn’t see any critical reader citing Edmund Burke,
John Adams, Russel Kirk and other conservative thinkers. The most criticals showed
a complete lack of sense about conservative theories and politics in general.

ANON says:

Just curious, how do you feel about this image?

Like I'd give my name says:

Just curious, how do you feel about this image?

SumTingWong says:

This is an opinion piece about comic book characters! Awesome. I
love comic book characters (though personally I’ve read more DC than Marvel).
You say Ironman is the embodiment of fiscal conservatism and Captain America
the epitome social conservatism? Wonderful, I think you could definitely argue
this. My problem is that your arguments just don’t make sense.

First off, it seems to me that you imply that Captain America’s
non-Hollywood roots with Marvel may explain why he’s conservative rather than
liberal. Where does this idea come from? Have you ever heard of the X-Men, the
flagship allegory for civil rights in comics? Sure Cap is a patriot, a product
of the WWII era and Jack Kirby and Joe Simon’s deeply anti-Nazi sentiment.
Heck, Kirby even served in the army. But it’s absurd to think that this
inherently makes Cap a conservative. So what, liberals all of a sudden aren’t
against tyranny? Patriotism is solely the domain of conservatives?

You:

“There’s a reason the IRS targeted groups
with the word “patriot” in the title. Conservatives, such as Captain America,
are proud of our country’s freedoms and most are willing to sacrifice their
lives for others to keep said freedoms.”

Me:

This is a fallacy. The only thing that the IRS scandal proves is
that the people who orchestrated the IRS believe that conservative groups tend
use the word patriot more when naming their organizations. That says literally
nothing about whether or not liberals are more or less patriotic than
conservatives.

You:

“The left seems to be constantly apologizing for American ideals, while conservatives stand proud of our country and what it stands for: freedom and liberty. Captain America
embodies that patriotism.”

Me:

First off, this is political rhetoric. Divisive, partisan rhetoric that seems
striking reminiscent of the claim (most notably by GOP candidate Mitt Romney)
that Obama went on an apology tour abroad (decidedly untrue). But I understand,
it’s your opinion, which is fine. But even though it’s fine, the implication that
liberals are not proud of their country and do not stand up for freedom and
liberty, and indeed are not willing to die to protect the freedoms of others
seems down-right insulting: particularly to those who consider themselves
liberals, and who have fought and died and continue to die overseas for our
country. I don’t know if you intended it to be so, but that’s how it seems to
me.

You:

“This selfless attitude toward others demonstrates how Captain America embodies the social viewpoints of conservatives: by defending the weak and the innocent. While the left might not
understand pro-life viewpoints, it comes down to conservatives seeing abortion
as murder and standing up for innocent life — something Captain America would
definitely do.”

Me:

Okay, again you seem to be conflating conservatism with a
patriotism and selflessness, defending the helpless, etc. But you have to
understand, that these values are not exclusively held by conservatives! And
look, apples and oranges aside, I understand what you’re saying when you equate
Captain America taking a grenade for his friends to standing up for unborn
fetuses. You do have a point. The anti pro-choice argument, as far as I
understand it, is largely a religious one. Captain America is a Christian in
the films (a fact never explicitly stated in the comic books). So he might
agree with you on the abortion issue. But I can’t state it enough: being
selfless does not make you morally conservative! Not all Christians are
conservative! (Unrelatedly, I wonder how Cap’s faith copes with meeting legitimate
demigods/gods from the Norse pantheon in The Avengers?)

One more thing: to say that “the left” doesn’t understand
pro-life viewpoints is demeaning and childishly dismissive of those hold the
pro-choice viewpoint.

You:

“Tony Stark (Iron Man), essentially,“privatizes world peace” by demonstrating capitalism at work and showing how once the government gets anything in its greedy, bloated hands, it inevitably screws everything up.”

Me:
Tony Stark eventually realizes that arms dealing is a bad thing.
That his creation of WMD’s has lead to terrible repercussions and that weapons
ought to stay only in hands that he deems safe. He then becomes a vigilante.
I’m not so sure his weapons development is the embodiment of capitalism you
seem to think it is so much as it is an example of Tony Stark’s regretfully
callow and cynical world-view. In the first Ironman, the government has very
little to do with screwing things up. Unless you infer that Stark’s weapons
were distributed to terrorists by the government. In any event, that’s more of
foreign policy thing and the statement here about Stark and the US Government
has little to do with conservative fiscal policy, so far as Ironman 1 is
concerned. The bad guy is ruthless megalomaniac Obadiah who, along with the board of trustees, ousts Stark from his own corporation to pursue greater profits.

You:

The government cannot simply demand something that is the property of citizens. “Iron Man 2″ exemplifies this misuse of government power when a senator demands Stark to hand over his Iron Man technology. Stark, being a businessman, knows his rights and denies.

Me:
Again this isn’t really a fiscal issue. Fiscal issues have to do
with economic policy and budgetary problems. But if you were talking about
Stark as a conservative in general, sure. The idea of the government seizing
your intellectual property in the name of “national security” certainly seems
abhorrent and unconstitutional. Again, is this purely a conservative point? I’m
not so sure. I’d like to think that liberals also enjoy their copyright
protection (most of all, and rather ironically with regards to your article’s
intro, Hollywood). And as if the dead horse wasn’t beaten enough, capitalists
are also liberals.

You:

The U.S. government is also shown as a
giant buffoon of incompetence as it attempts to make the Iron Man weapon
technology and utterly fail while, in the process, allowing its equipment to be
taken over by another entity — which results in some really cool fight scenes
between two iron suits. Yay, Hollywood.

Me:
Here your argument sort of falls flat. After all, it’s Whiplash
(Vanko) who possesses the knowledge to build Ironman-esque drones independent,
thanks to his father’s work with Howard Stark. It’s evil scientist Whiplash,
together with independent defense contractor Justin Hammer (who wishes to drive
Stark out of business) who builds the faulty drones, not the US government. I
suppose you could fault the US government for not properly inspecting the tech,
but I would argue that they lacked the proper knowledge to do so.

You:

“The tail of the super secret stealth
helicopter is now in the hands of Pakistan and reports are that China has been
given access to it. Granted, these reports have been denied by China and
Pakistan, but apparently The New York Times says it got its source from
American officials. So, time will tell. I guess all that aid to Pakistan is
really paying off though, right?”

Me:
This analogy would only be accurate if the Pakistani and the
Chinese had been contracted to develop the helicopter in the first place.

You:

“Then we have “The Avengers,” which
brought Iron Man and Captain America together. Ironically enough, they argued
the entire movie, but they worked great together, as do these two conservative
ideals.”

Me:
I would like to point out that the Avengers are brought together
and aided/directed by SHIELD, a government initiative. On a probably unrelated yet humorous note, The Avengers was directed by Joss Whedon (a Marvel writer!), who is both an atheist and
anti-capitalist.

You:
“Social conservatives and fiscal conservatives, whether they agree with each other on every issue, must see past their disagreements to stand together against leftist ideas spreading
throughout today’s culture. Can we really handle anymore hippies and hipsters?
I can’t.”
“Side note: If Hollywood continues to make these films, and Tony Stark suddenly
becomes socialist, or Captain America starts sleeping around in the next film,
I will personally be sending a very strongly worded letter. This has been a
warning.”

Me:
As a bit of advice from one Ironman fan to another, I advise
you to read Civil War. It’s a story about Captain America and Ironman and has a
whole lot of stuff to say about their personal views on government and society.
It’s fantastic.

Concerned Cal Poly Student says:

I had a lengthy comment written out, but it got erased. I have homework to do so I’m simply going to state this.

If you want people to take you seriously as a journalist, you need to take your topics seriously. Write something original, comment on our presence in the middle east, comment on a bill being debated, but FOR GOD’S SAKE use facts. You can’t write about political ideas in super hero movies and expect people to take you seriously. With this kind of topic, almost everything to support your case is just an assumption (and poorly assumed). You also need to write more maturely. Phrases like “ridiculous amount” and “buffoon of incompetence” make you sound intellectually immature.

People respect others who support their arguments with facts and write like a professional, even if they don’t necessarily agree with them.

Please take my advice…if you don’t, well, don’t go into politics.

A Nerd says:

I’m afraid, my dear, that your mistake was choosing superheroes and even more specifically, superheroes part of The Avengers.

By definition, are not The Avengers a type of government? Are they not a group of individuals fighting to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights? Do they not believe that everyone should be guaranteed protection? Do they not believe that the role of their organization is to solve the problems that arise under their protection? To me, this sounds an awful lot like a liberal “big” government.

And are not superheros, by definition, taking it upon themselves to protect others? Are they not, in fact, doing the very opposite of giving power to the people? Tony Stark’s decision to not relinquish the suit was in part, as you say, to prevent the government to gain access to it. But a large part of his decision was driven by his ego – he’d be damned if would relinquish that power; he believed he had the true means and mind set to control the power that comes with the suit (and, if you ask me, he really is the only one I’d trust in the suit). Does that not sound liberal?

Were Iron Man and The Avengers conservative, they would value strong national defense (“America, you’re having some visitors to New York…just an fyi…might want to scramble something”), believe that their duty was to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals (“All you scientists want to study this blue box of wonder and discover the secrets of the universe? That’s cool! Here’s The Tesseract – just don’t drop it”) and emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems (“It’s only a portal into another dimension, I’m sure you can figure out how to close it. We’ll be over here, eating Shawarma.”)

If that were the case, I’m afraid we would all be Chitauri food, because hell if I know how to kill an flying-chariot-driving-alien.

heyroyer says:

I’m honestly praying that this article is some meta-level satire on conservative columnists. We used to have conservative writers that, while I didn’t agree sometimes, backed up their opinion and didn’t write with such a smug attitude. I hope next year the mustang daily doesn’t give the column to someone who is writing like she is still in high school.

CP Student says:

“Conservatives, such as Captain America, are proud of our country’s freedoms and most are willing to sacrifice their lives for others to keep said freedoms”

First of all, how do you know that Captain America is a conservative? This is not stated in the movie, and you provided no evidence. Also, are you asserting that liberals are not willing to die for their countries?
—————————————————————————————————————
“This selfless attitude toward others demonstrates how Captain America embodies the social viewpoints of conservatives: by defending the weak and the innocent.”

Defending the weak and innocent? Sounds good to me! Lets use conservative ideals and provide health care to all, because even the weak and innocent deserve to get treated.
—————————————————————————————————————
“Rogers’ demonstrates old fashioned courting methods this way — arguably much better than the current culture of sleeping with anything that moves…”

So, Rogers is a conservative because of his old fashioned court methods. Doesn’t that mean Tony Stark shouldn’t be a conservative because he’s a playboy, right?
————————————————————————————————————–
“showing how once the government gets anything in its greedy, bloated hands, it inevitably screws everything up.”

Really…? Really…? Do I even need to point out what’s wrong with this assertion?
————————————————————————————————————–
“The U.S. government is also shown as a giant buffoon of incompetence as it attempts to make the Iron Man weapon technology and utterly fail while, in the process, allowing its equipment to be taken over by another entity… While of course the government losing power over its own weapons is an exaggeration for movie purposes, it’s not exactly that big of a stretch…

I’ll be honest here. Yes, the situation with the helicopter is unfortunate. But, people make mistakes. They tried to blow it up, and some of it survived. You make it sound like as if the US government left the blueprints at their front door. Do you really think everything the conservatives has done has gone completely as planned.
————————————————————————————————————–
“Side note: If Hollywood continues to make these films, and Tony Stark suddenly becomes socialist, or Captain America starts sleeping around in the next film, I will personally be sending a very strongly worded letter. This has been a warning.”

Uhh… what?

Ashley Pierce says:

My original draft to the Daily didn’t say “such as Captain America” it said “Like Captain America” as in “Captain America is proud of his country. So are conservatives.”

2) Sure. Write an article about it then. That’s the beauty of America! If you personally think that Captain America or Iron Man is a Democrat, than go for it! Write as much as you want on the subject.

3) I made clear through the article that I think Captain America embodies social conservative ideals, while Iron Man embodies fiscal conservative ideals and that together they represent the full spectrum of conservatives. I said no where that Iron Man was a social conservative.

4) The assertion was that the government is inefficient. Show me otherwise.

5) No I don’t think conservatives have everything go as planned. Nor did I say so.

6) In response to that and actually everyone else as well, my last response shall be this:

Concerned Cal Poly Student says:

Once again, no facts to support your comment

Michaelc4 says:

I think you’ll find more liberals than conservatives in agreement with you once they think for a moment about superheroes—or let someone else do that for them and read this article instead.
http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-5-ugly-lessons-hiding-in-every-superhero-movie/

On a separate note, can anyone become a columnist for the Mustang Daily without having their work go through an editor.

Ian says:

Naw, Tony Stark is a liberal. He ultimately decides the defense industry is immoral, and refocuses his company on Green Energy.

Look, I can cherry pick facts too!

Ashley Pierce says:

I hardly think i cherry picked facts. In the “Iron Man” movies, Tony Stark is a hard core capitalist throughout. I said nothing about his social views or his green energy initiatives. I simply said that he embodies fiscally conservative values. But think what you like, what I say will not change it anyways.

Randy Fowler says:

“I hardly think i cherry picked facts.” “I said nothing about his social views or his green energy initiatives.” Using only part of the whole picture to support a viewpoint seems a little cherry picky to me.

Patrick Hayes says:

I’m late to the party here Ashley but you do realize that Capitalism is not a political system but an economic one right?

Gil Bates says:

Don’t forget to save a copy of your comments, sometimes, they disappear…

http://mustangdaily.net/one-nation-but-not-under-god/

MDjjjenkins says:

Hi Gil,

We switched our commenting system when we updated our website theme and it wasn’t able to transfer comments from our old platform. These comments are definitely here to stay. Sorry for the inconvenience.

J.J. Jenkins, sports editor

Gil Bates says:

Great Thanks!

A Concerned Student says:

I may be a year younger and not going to be studying this field, but at least I understand that to make an argument valid one must address the opposite viewpoint. OR MAYBE THAT’S JUST ME. Seriously though, the fact that Tony Stark embodies the conservatives who know their rights is ridiculous. Alternatively, he embodies that of a conservative who has the power to do almost anything he wants and does not know how to control it. An idealistic conservative may be defending the poor and the weak (or at least believing he/she is) but what they lack to understand is that corporate America does not look at defending the weak and the poor, they do their best (respectively, as a businessman would) to maximize profits. We see evidence of this in the outsourcing of jobs. As for your point of the abortion debate, not everyone sees eye to eye, but the fact that it is included in this article is somewhat of a dull point, as the argument comes down to only opinion and has very valid counterarguments for each side(yes, I do understand this is the opinion section of the MD). And as our government here in America is “By the people, and for the people” you are insinuating that Americans have “greedy, bloated hands” I just can’t fathom the hypocrisy of both conservatives and liberals alike. I think one of the best examples is one of my teachers. He LOVES jazz music (he is a music teacher) and explains his love for it’s forward thinking ideals about music. He also endorses the fact that jazz helped America overcome is hatred of the colored races, at least to the extent of realizing their rights. Yet, when it comes to the forward thinking music of today such as pop, hip-hop, dance, trance, rap, and all other genres, his loathing is almost tangible. The hypocrisy of society is much the same. I for one, believe that forward thinking with technology at hand is not a threat to society is a government controls it and is ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE, not lawyers who think they are better than everyone else. I am neither Republican nor Democrat in this post, only a simple bystander that sees Fox, and MSNBC (and Dana Rohrbacher) spewing incorrect ideas and contextualized thoughts to invoke a hatred upon a once united nation.

Focus Dave says:

This is hilariously juvenile. Is this really your conservative columnist, MD?

anon says:

This… is pathetic.

Paul Woodring says:

“The tail of the super secret stealth helicopter is now in the hands of Pakistan and reports are that China has been given access to it. Granted, these reports have been denied by China and Pakistan, but apparently The New York Times says it got its source from American officials.”

The wreckage of that helicopter was returned in 2011. It is not in the hands of Pakistan.

Are you suggesting that only conservatives would save the lives of their comrades in battle? “Rogers even jumps on a grenade to protect his fellow soldiers… This selfless attitude toward others demonstrates how Captain America embodies the social viewpoints of conservatives: by defending the weak and the innocent.” Such parochial arrogant nonsense does not deserve to see the printed page.

Every single paragraph is filled with either incorrect data, wild extrapolations, or juvenile smugness. This doesn’t represent a conservative point of view as much as a regurgitation of someone else’s poorly informed opinions. Sloppy and childish journalism of this type is an insult to the Mustang Daily.

Ashley Pierce says:

Paul, I’m sorry that you feel this way. I was not suggesting that only conservatives would save their lives in combat. I was suggesting that Roger’s traditional character seems very rare in today’s society.

Also, I don’t think it’s fair to attack the Mustang Daily. This is an opinion column. It doesn’t represent their views and is not a report or considered news. This article was meant to be fun and light towards the end of the year. I see now, that obviously wasn’t possible.

CP Student says:

Like it or not, it is published in the Mustang Daily, and thus representative of the Mustang Daily.

Somebody read this and decided that it was worthy of the Mustang Daily.

Fun and light? Really? Is “once the government gets anything in its greedy, bloated hands, it inevitably screws everything up” your understanding of “fun and light”? I think you need to go look those words up.