Two large thugs enter a store. With guns waving, they yell out their demands.
A feeble elderly woman cries out in fear as the criminals point their weapons at her shaking body.
No phones to use to call the police. No surveillance system to identify the intruders.
It seems like all hope is lost for the theft victims.
That is until the disturbance reaches mild-mannered Clark Kent.
At the precise moment, Kent disappears into a telephone booth only to reappear as the famous blue and red clad Superman.
His appearance is perfectly timed to save the day and take down the bad guys. Once again, Superman’s efforts have created a better world in which those without his level of powers can safely reside.
Thus we learn that good overcomes evil. It’s in every fairy tale and kids’ movie. The good guy always wins. He’s always right. And that’s what we’ve been told, so that’s what we believe.
Maybe it’s a continuation of childhood myths or maybe it’s just the long history of being a top dog superpower, but the U.S. seems to be attempting a rebirth of the glory days by trying to recapture this iconic superhero status. In other words, America has a Superman complex.
Just take a look at the “military operations” our country has been involved in with the past 15 years. Libya, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Liberia, Sierra Leon, Kuwait, Somalia, Pakistan, Georgia and Lebanon just to name a few. (Seriously, check out a military operation timeline if you don’t believe me.)
While the level of involvement varies from operation to operation, each conflict involved the United States extending some for of military aid.
Sometimes the aid went to preventing terrorism, others to helping the government in power to crush rebellions.
By providing aid, the United States is effectively collecting a group of like-minded governments, bent on providing a clearer stance against the dark side or at least, collectively hashing out trading standards.
Both NATO and United Nations could be called the Justice League for the real-world counterpart of the superhero ideal.
My curiosity over the public’s feelings towards the United States’ increasing foreign involvement led me to the pages of a history discussion panel. Besides wading through blatant errors in both writing and historic facts, the number of good will opinions toward the subject was exactly what I had been expecting.
Moral obligations and “America’s position as a world leader” were two of the leading points mentioned in probably 85 percent of the posts.
Go back to childhood myths and remember playtime. Everyone wanted to be the good guy; it was a sign of dislike or punishment if you were forced to be the villain. This has become a defining trait in numerous social interactions for the not so-young crowd.
Our personal connection to being a part of the United States skews our thinking. As citizens of the United States, the previously mentioned debaters are merely demonstrating a societal need to be in the right, to be the hero in every circumstance.
And what better way to do it than through timely rescues and a display of “Boy Scout” morals; after all, who doesn’t want to be Superman?
Autumn Allison, Vision managing editor, is a sophomore journalism major.