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What Would Captain America Do?

Lessons From a True Patriot

Each of you, for himself or herself, by himself or herself, and on his or her own responsibility, must speak. It is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or politician. Each must decide for himself or herself alone what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic, and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide it against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor. It is traitorous both against yourself and your country. Let men label you as they may, if you alone of all the nation decide one way, and that way be the right way by your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country, hold up your head for you have nothing to be ashamed of.   It doesn’t matter what the press says. It doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. It doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. Republics are founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe in. no matter the odds or consequences.   When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move. Your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth and tell the whole world: “No, you move."

In times of strife and sadness, we often look for guidance. Today’s world is no different. We have social and racial inequality in America. There is homelessness, lack of education, and a general hatred towards others. When I need guidance on these things, I often go to the star spangled man with a plan, Captain America (Steve Rogers). He has a special place in my heart—so much that I have him tattooed on my upper arm. He arrived on the scene around the time of World War 2, even though he himself didn’t fight Hitler until much later on. My great grandfather fought in World War II and helped liberate Luxembourg, which is part of my natural attraction to the captain.

Of course, this isn’t the only reason for me admiring Captain America. There are quite a few other reasons that I will touch on as I go. I love the fact that, while he has the super soldier serum, his most powerful weapons are his morals and convictions. He believes in standing up for the people and what is right, not the government. He believes that is what America and patriotism is all about. He refuses to back down, and is willing to lay his life on the line for the justice and safety of the people. He refuses to be a government lackey, as it goes against everything he stands for. This led to him retiring from being a superhero at one point.

I do often wonder what words of encouragement he would have today. He’s fought Nazis, white supremacists, and those who wish to do us harm in general. We sit idly by while people of color and different races are being killed in the streets. We bury our head in the sand when the rich get richer, while the rest of us eat shit and die. There are homeless people, people who are sexually and physically abused, yet we don’t want to know about it, because it makes us uncomfortable.

I believe that we can do and be better as human beings overall. We don’t need capes and serums. We need a better attitude, willingness to help, and an overall sense of compassion and empathy. Instead of “there’s nothing I can do,” we should have a mentality of "what can we do, individually and collectively?" If you give your best, there is nothing else to give. While you might not change everyone’s world, you can change the world of the people involved, including yourself.

He can’t stand bullies. When he was asked if he wanted to kill Nazis in the military, he replied that he didn’t want to kill anyone, but he hated bullies, no matter where they come from. He only killed when necessary, and the same applies with weapons. He mainly relied on his shield and hand to hand combat.

What would Captain America do? I think he would do better and be better. I think he would encourage us do to do the same to improve the world for all of us.

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What Would Captain America Do?
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