Some Republicans in America have challenged the legitimacy of the Biden election as President at the expense of their hero. In doing so, they turned their concept of the hero up-side-down because it is the hero that is supposed to save them, not the other way around.This may be because he is not a hero at all. Rather, he is the opposite of that, the anti-hero.
There are times in life when communities find themselves in extreme danger including its very existence. It is in these times that out of its ranks rises a leader that possesses the gifts and talents to find success for the people in overcoming the existential threat.
The classical hero is an idealist “admired for his/her courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities.” his/her motivations are “pure” and a reflection of conventional moral values.
The abilities and talents are used to do the “right” thing. Success in achieving the goal of saving the community is a lesson about the power of humanity and the notion of selecting “good” over “evil.”
The anti-hero is the opposite as he/she rebels against the norms, “stands up to authority, no matter if it is well-intentioned.” This being “will try to get around conflict, try sneaky strategy often driven by basic dark urges, has his own idiosyncratic moral compass, is often the criminal, thief or manipulates the law (the end justifies the means) and is driven by self interest or self preservation.”
The anti-hero is unchanged by the lessons of life and therefore lacks the special learned qualities that come from those lessons. The character is in some sense, “mysterious, unfathomable and unpredictable.”
The time of the anti-hero is what we have been living the last four years. This character reached the highest office in the land in the 2016 election for President.
Like the hero, the anti-hero is also a product of our community. In a classical sense, “an anti-hero is used to show true human nature.
Real people are flawed and sometimes have trouble making moral decisions. Anti-heroes also help illustrate areas of confusing ethical reasoning in society.”
The use of the anti-hero has been a prominent part of our creative arts, poetry, novels and film. Alienation stories, action movies and rogue narratives offer a way to see our personal and social condition in authentic and dramatic ways. It is a fictional way to tell the truth about our shortcomings so that we have an opportunity to correct them. It is a way of revealing the negative characteristics in our nature without the torment of living the experience.
The last four years however, has seen the country actually live the story. It was no longer a fictional lesson but a living reality grinding away at the very core of our beliefs in our democratic experiment and the freedom it provides.
Lies and alternative realities have been so dominant in our divided society that true believers on one side or another have accepted them. Worse, one third of the country has hailed the anti-hero as a hero and seeks to keep him on the throne.
A major American historical characteristic has been to take what we have developed in concepts, policies, rules and laws and work to refine and improve them. That is in keeping, for example, with Lincoln’s stated aspiration of seeking a more perfect union.
The challenge today is to take our democratic infrastructure and finds ways to repair the damage. For that, we need a true leader.