Written by Dylan Deppe. Media by John Freeman.
Donald Trump is definitely a polarizing figure and it seems he never stops coming up with comically-facetious, cynical, strange, confounded, and creative ways to get attention and/or divide people. But there is a chance that he may have outdone himself on his first day on the job.
For those of you not in the know, a certain portion of President Trump’s inauguration speech happened to end the exact same way a certain comic-book supervillain ended one of his famous speeches. The quote is by Batman villain, Bane, from Christopher Nolan’s trilogy-ender, The Dark Knight Rises. The specific quote the both of them said being, “Giving [sic.] it [the power] back to you, the people.” While that may all sound fine and dandy, it bears noting that this isn’t the first time Trump has been compared to various super-villains. Even Mark Hamill (yes, that Mark Hamill) has frequented reading the now president’s Twitter rants in his awesome Joker voice.
Although those in the media have taken an interest in this fascinating little moment have mostly gone out of their way to say Trump quoted Bane in the sense that he admires and perhaps looks up to the character, we don’t, and probably won’t, ever know that for sure. But he has vocally shown his appreciation of the movie, so maybe, if you like conspiracy theories.
What we do know is many members of the alternative right movement have been particularly fond of Bane, and many of his behaviors, ideas, and quotes have become the inspiration for radical language, supporting and implying racial bias and violence. The alternative right is a movement in the Republican party that likes to focus on racism and quasi-fascism; Neo-Nazism isn’t really too far from the mark. Some notable examples include white supremacists brandishing a gun at a Black Lives Matter quasi-counter-protest (they said they wanted to watch “the fire rise”; that might sound familiar), and alternative right websites quoting Bane for “motivational purposes.”
Furthermore, people who think and act like this make up a fairly significant part of the President’s supporters. So, having Trump say the exact same words as an alt-right idol who happens to murder people, isn’t exactly helpful in mending the issue of potentially violent extremism and divisiveness.
It should also bear noting one can view Nolan’s version of Bane as having parallels of both Joseph Stalin and leaders of the French Revolution. This is interesting, and also quite comical, considering how pro-American Trump commonly says he is and that the French Revolution began from radical liberalism. Don’t believe Nolan’s Bane could be Joseph Stalin? He’s the poster child of a powerful group of people, he forces the world to stay away from Gotham (he didn’t have to use any physical walls though), and he’s an ideologue. Also, how should the Trump-loving alternative right feel if they are ever told that comic-book Bane is an illegal immigrant from Central or South America, whose main hobbies include destroying symbols of corruption (which he views most of the USA as) and murdering people?
It’s bad enough many of the president’s supporters have radical ideas and violent interests, it’s even worse he doesn’t seem to care, and it’s almost unimaginable there’s almost an Illuminati type of circumstance involving a connection and/or obsession with a fictional character, but choosing one that can be compared to Stalin? Maybe it’s too forgiving for thinking the alternative right could have done better.
During a time of great divisiveness such as our current time, having radically prone people subconsciously looking up to a fictional super-villain who gets his way by killing people, and trying to talk his way into moralizing it, isn’t exactly a great thing. It also isn’t a great thing when the president says things that can stir them up in a dangerous mood, or that he isn’t exactly discouraging of them. And not to make things sound worse for the concerned, but if Trump becomes a real super-villain, we probably won’t have a real Batman or Superman to come and save us.