The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight

Over the weekend, my wife and I went to see the new Batman movie — “The Dark Knight.”

It is interesting that when we watch a movie with a hero like this that 99 percent or more of the people watching will cheer for him on, Yet, if a leader in real life uses the same tactics, then he will be demonized by the media, politicians, Hollywood, conspiracy buffs, and even little old ladies.

Batman, Spiderman and other superheroes all have a similar problem as they battle the terrorists of their time. They find out that no good deed goes unpunished — that much of the world sees them as the problem rather than the solution. Many people would rather live with evil rather than upset the bad guys for fear they will create even more havoc. Then when the good guy fights the evil and the evil guy kills more people, the deaths are blamed on the hero.

But when we watch this in the movie, we instinctively know that the hero must fight on no matter what. We know that the temporary turbulence will be worth the lasting peace after the terror is subdued.

But in real life where there is real danger, people “wimp-out,” and seek to appease the terrorists rather than make them mad by fighting against them.

I heard someone the other day compare George W. Bush to Batman and found this amusing, visualizing how the Bush haters would be gnashing their teeth over such a comparison.

But the comparison is not so far-fetched as most would think. Let us look at some:

Both are fighting terrorists that want to destroy us.

Both achieve a degree of success in this but the success does not seem to help their popularity numbers.

Both have a minority of the people who support them and cheer them on in the fight against evil.

Both are demonized by the majority who think the war is doing more harm than good.

Both roughed up their enemies to get information, though I may add that waterboarding is playing nice compared to Batman’s torture of The Joker. Our servicemen volunteer to be waterboarded to see what it is like, but I don’t think they would volunteer to be beaten up by Batman.

Both eavesdropped on their enemies to get information to save lives though there is a major difference in degree. Bush eavesdrops in a few international phone calls, and Batman listened in on thirty million phone calls simultaneously.

Both had setbacks that made them look bad. Bush didn’t find his WMDs, and The Joker killed many people and blamed the deaths on Batman. Many did blamed Batman even though The Joker did the killing.

Some normally good people, who were supporters in the beginning, turned bad and wound up being problematic.

After an extended fight against terror both suffered so much in reputation that even supporters joined in with the critics when danger surfaced. Instead of sending the Batman signal they decided to hunt him with the dogs. This would signal to him that he needed to take action.

Even so, Bush is also hunted with dogs as many seek to prosecute and impeach him for using Batman-like tactics in fighting evil.

It’s kind of sad how we reward those who diligently do their best to fight the evils of the world. Look at Churchill. After being the major player in winning World War Two he was voted out of office. Look at Lincoln. After winning the Civil War and freeing the slaves he was shot. Washington’s supporters during the Revolutionary War were about the same percentage as Bush’s today. Themistocles, the other hero of the battle against Xerxes, (of the movie “300” fame) saved Greece from destruction, yet shortly thereafter was driven out of the state for spending too much money on defense. Then we know what they did to Jesus, the greatest warrior of all against evil.

Isaiah said that in his day that the people could not discern between good and evil and this has ever been the case when evil is at the door.

May we one day herald the day when those who fight against true evil receive the support they deserve.

“Because he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now…and so we’ll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he’s not a hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector…a dark knight.” — Lt. James Gordon in “The Dark Knight”

July 28, 2008

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