After walking out of “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” I couldn’t help but think I had just discovered what being robbed feels like. As with any good mugging, I probably shouldn’t have gone into that theatre after hearing just how bad the movie was, but I traipsed in anyway thinking I’d be okay. Next thing I know, I’m $8 shorter, and standing alone on a sidewalk asking “Why?” The only good part of the movie was my popcorn and large Sprite—for $10.
Then I came across something priceless. That anyone would want to think about this movie outside of the actual movie would be self-inflicted torture, but Charles Pulliam-Moore of Fusion.net did so. Oh, but he didn’t just write about the movie. He decided to make it an analogy for 2016’s political candidates. I’ve been desperate to find anything to write about to make deadlines before, too, but really?
Not the Same Batman or Same Bat Channel
Moore’s approach is to compare the two film’s heroes, Batman and Superman, to the two current Republican candidates that matter, Trump and Cruz respectively. Sorry not sorry, Kasich.
In many ways, Trump v Cruz tells a similar story. On one side, there’s Trump, an eccentric billionaire who owes much of his wealth to a city he claims to love, yet does little to actually protect.
On the other stands Rafael Edward ‘Ted’ Cruz, an idealistic man who, despite technically being a minority, has come to associate himself with (and be symbolized by) all the beneficial trappings of white, American maleness.
Props to Moore for injecting, by my count, three progressive talking points in just two paragraphs. That said, are we even talking about the same heroes?
Since when has Batman done little to protect Gotham? He only dresses up in a bat suit every night, and spends millions of dollars of his own money on high-tech equipment he designed himself, in order to help the police capture some of the most dangerous criminals the world has ever seen. Yes, he utilizes fear to control criminals, but only criminals. The peace-loving people of Gotham love him. Batman is smart, clever, and able to use logic and wisdom for valuable insight and foresight.
None of that sounds like Trump. Trump spends millions donating to political parties and candidates, such as Hillary Clinton. I don’t see Batman funding the Joker’s crime sprees. (Apologies to the Joker for that comparison.) Logic and wisdom? While he does have a “very good brain,” and has said “a lot of things,” the man can’t even decide his own policy positions from day to day, and sometimes from minute to minute.
He wants federal government to take control of education, but then doesn’t. He thinks women should be punished for abortions, but then doesn’t, and so on, and so on. Batman has grappling hooks, a batarangs, and whatever high-tech piece of equipment he needs to serve all his deus-ex-machina needs at the time. Trump had Trump Steaks, and Trump Water, and Fox News.
The comparison is horrid. You’d be better off comparing Trump to another figure from film, like the Frenchman on the wall from Monty Python’s “Quest for the Holy Grail.” Both spend time hurling insults and taunts on a high stage, while bragging about all the cool things they have, including the thing you really want. You know they’re both lying, but their followers are flinging so much garbage at you that eventually you have no choice but to walk away.
Hillary Clinton, the Wonder Woman of Crime
Moore attempts to make comparisons with Superman and Cruz, and settles on racial talk about both being aliens who get caught up in whiteness. He writes that Cruz is “technically a minority,” but says he benefits from “white, American maleness.” My only question to Moore on that regard is: Can you define a Cuban for me? If they don’t act like Desi Arnaz, but speak like a man from Texas, does that make him not Cuban enough? If Moore reads this, then by all means, please contact me and let me know what it means to be Cuban.
Moore goes full on social justice and describes how all four males in this scenario are sexist. I can really only make that argument for one of them, but really it was just a lazy segue into talking about who he thinks is the real hero in this story—Hillary Clinton.
How perfect is it, then, that both Batman v Superman and Trump v Cruz’s penultimate scenes are upstaged by powerful, hypercompetent women who just want to get shit done? Like Wonder Woman, Hillary Clinton’s been more than content to let her political opponents fight one another while the world goes to hell around them.
She knows that she’ll have to swoop in and shut them down eventually, yes, but she also knows that the world of man is fundamentally flawed in a way that even she can’t correct.
You have to work very hard to make comparisons to Hillary Clinton and Wonder Woman, and Moore just doesn’t. The only analogies he has to link the two are essentially “has vagina” and something about letting her enemies fight it out, and something about going toe to toe with the doomsday that is criminal justice reform.
First off, it’s the primaries. The real Left versus Right fight hasn’t even begun yet. More than that, Hillary Clinton has her own fight with Bernie Sanders going on—or, if I may make my own analogy, Grandpa from the Simpsons.
Secondly, Hillary Clinton’s record on criminal justice reforming isn’t exactly stellar. A lot of the overpopulation problems prisons face right now stems from legislation she championed that was cooked up and passed by her husband. Many of the non-violent offenders she wails are serving underserved time were put there with her help. Now policies that she blasted as weak are suddenly her thing? Clinton, if compared to anyone, could be compared to Donald Trump. Both tend to reverse their positions based on what will get them votes. I’ll trust Clinton on criminal justice reform about as far as Daredevil can see.
Clinton is no hero. All her talk on criminal justice reform seems cheap, since she herself is very likely a criminal. I remind you that Hillary Clinton is currently under investigation by the FBI because she used unsecure servers to send and receive national-security-damaging State Department emails, and lied about it. It’s hard to compare Clinton with Wonder Woman when Clinton spends a good chunk of her time dodging truth lassos.
Well done, Moore. You managed to make an analogy that was worse than the movie you used to make it. The only proper comparison is that both the movie and the campaign are equally horrid train wrecks.