Group Writing: Fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way

 

Do you remember the days when we had heroes like Superman, who were strong, powerful, unique, and inspiring? I didn’t read comic books, but I fell in love with Superman/Clark Kent from the first TV show, Adventures of Superman. The dates of the show are in dispute, but the dates 1952-1958 are generally accepted. And since I only remember the black and white shows, I may very well have seen re-runs.

Although I’d love to reminisce more about the show, I am feeling a certain poignancy about the words in the opening introduction: Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Even as a child, something stirred in me hearing these patriotic words said with enthusiasm and pride. I don’t even know if I knew what those words meant, as young as I was, but hearing them planted a seed in my psyche that I can embrace today, yet feel sadness for how their meaning is being lost.

When I think of the abuse of the word Truth, I think of the rhetoric of the Left, which sees little value in speaking the Truth. They’ve determined that their “truth” is the only one that is relevant. They will lie, distort stories, misrepresent information in order to meet their goals. Abusing the truth is acceptable, as long as one is fighting for a higher purpose than truth—however and whenever they determine that higher purpose.

The word Justice has also been co-opted by the political Left. Instead of seeking traditional morality and fairness through a mutually accepted process, the Left has determined that “social justice” is the only goal that matters. Any group that they determine has been mistreated, overlooked, underserved, or unfairly treated according to their standards has been deprived of social justice. And every effort must be made, including the full force of the government, the corporate sector, and the educational institutions to convert our society into a cog in their social justice machine.

And finally, the American Way. What does that term even mean anymore? To me, it describes a life of honoring and respecting the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. It celebrates family, community, the rule of law, and the sacredness of life in all its manifestations. It embraces tradition, without demanding that every person has to practice tradition in the same way. It balances the needs of the individual with the needs of the community and freedom with respectful actions and behaviors.

Once, Truth, Justice, and the American Way were understood, loved, and practiced with integrity and commitment.

My hope is that enough of us have this tenet reverberating in our memories and filling our hearts to help move this country forward in productive and honorable ways.

Published in Culture
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  1. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Well said!

    • #1
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I too loved this show in reruns as a kid. 

    Truth, Justice, and the American Way. 

    • #2
  3. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Hey, I get to talk comics!

    It’s sad because “the American Way” part of Superman isn’t part of his character anymore. A big reason for that is so that DC/Warner Brothers can sell his movies to the Chinese market. Another reason is the overall disdain today’s writers and artists, who almost exclusively lean left, feel for this country.

    Take a look at your average Twitter conversation when the topic of Superman comes up. Leftists will throw strawmans out there because in their mind, the right-wingers that claim Superman as an American are being inconsistent because Superman is an alien and right-wingers don’t want immigrants. Which is not true, we do not want illegal immigration, and it also misses the point. Superman landed in Kansas as an infant, and was raised there until adulthood by a blue-collar, working class American family. He doesn’t remember where he came from, America is all he knows. In many ways it is an immigrant story. He came here, worked hard, and fell in love with American ideals. Truth, justice, and the American way. He loves this country and what it stands for. Despite the fact that he has the power to be a dictator and do whatever he wants, the morality installed in him by his family and American ideals gives him the moral compass to exercise tremendous restraint. The best Superman stories don’t involve him throwing death-robots into the sun, they involve him wrestling with the concepts I outlined above.

    Superman is all about America and it should always be that way.

    And don’t even get me started on what these people just did to Captain America…

    • #3
  4. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    James Salerno (View Comment):
    It’s sad because “the American Way” part of Superman isn’t part of his character anymore. A big reason for that is so that DC/Warner Brothers can sell his movies to the Chinese market.

    Don’t you see?  Big business selling out to the Chinese is the American Way now . . .

    • #4
  5. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Another great post by Susan “Main Feed” Quinn . . .

    • #5
  6. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Stad (View Comment):

    James Salerno (View Comment):
    It’s sad because “the American Way” part of Superman isn’t part of his character anymore. A big reason for that is so that DC/Warner Brothers can sell his movies to the Chinese market.

    Don’t you see? Big business selling out to the Chinese is the American Way now . . .

    China sure does like to have it both ways. The love American pop culture, but they don’t want any mentions of America in it.

    I forget the name, but there was a movie that came out about the moon landing a couple years ago. It was very noticeable that the movie portrayed the landing as a general human achievement and not an American achievement. That’s an odd take because the space race was very much about beating the Soviets.

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    James Salerno (View Comment):
    Superman is all about America and it should always be that way.

    All beautifully said, @jamessalerno, and a wonderful tribute to the ideals that he stood for. Thanks!

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    James Salerno (View Comment):
    I forget the name, but there was a movie that came out about the moon landing a couple years ago. It was very noticeable that the movie portrayed the landing as a general human achievement and not an American achievement. That’s an odd take because the space race was very much about beating the Soviets.

    I can’t remember the name either, but they removed the flag to accommodate the Left. Pathetic.

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    James Salerno (View Comment):
    And don’t even get me started on what these people just did to Captain America…

    What they think they’ve done is proudly display their virtue.

    What they’ve actually done is lead Uncle Percival to distribute manga titles next Christmas.

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Susan, I do like the phrase.

    Sadly, there is a great deal of disagreement about the contents of “the American Way.”  Almost everyone seems to be able to spin a narrative in which their own preferences are “the American Way.”  I am not a neutral observer, so while I think that my view is correct, this may be colored by my point of view.

    My overall impression is that multiculturalism has been a disastrous failure.  What’s done is done, and I don’t see a viable path forward to the restoration of what I would view as the American Way, absent divine intervention.

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    My overall impression is that multiculturalism has been a disastrous failure.  What’s done is done, and I don’t see a viable path forward to the restoration of what I would view as the American Way, absent divine intervention.

    I hope you’re wrong, Jerry. I think at some point there will be a desire, a yearning, to rediscover what that term means. I don’t mean to suggest that the explanation I offered is the only one; in fact, I would like to think that “the American Way” is rich and colorful enough to allow all of us to identify with it in our own way, and yet we could support one another in those understandings, because we share similar values. That may be a  pollyanna view, but so it is.

    • #11
  12. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    “Great Caesars Ghost!”

    An excellent post!!!

    • #12
  13. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    My overall impression is that multiculturalism has been a disastrous failure. What’s done is done, and I don’t see a viable path forward to the restoration of what I would view as the American Way, absent divine intervention.

    I hope you’re wrong, Jerry. I think at some point there will be a desire, a yearning, to rediscover what that term means. I don’t mean to suggest that the explanation I offered is the only one; in fact, I would like to think that “the American Way” is rich and colorful enough to allow all of us to identify with it in our own way, and yet we could support one another in those understandings, because we share similar values. That may be a pollyanna view, but so it is.

    Susan, I’m concerned that your desire to take and inclusive view is precisely the thing that caused us to lose the American Way.  It’s not “The American Ways.”  I’m becoming increasingly skeptical of the idea that it can work in the plural.

    • #13
  14. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    James Salerno (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    James Salerno (View Comment):
    It’s sad because “the American Way” part of Superman isn’t part of his character anymore. A big reason for that is so that DC/Warner Brothers can sell his movies to the Chinese market.

    Don’t you see? Big business selling out to the Chinese is the American Way now . . .

    China sure does like to have it both ways. The love American pop culture, but they don’t want any mentions of America in it.

    I forget the name, but there was a movie that came out about the moon landing a couple years ago. It was very noticeable that the movie portrayed the landing as a general human achievement and not an American achievement. That’s an odd take because the space race was very much about beating the Soviets.

    I think this is a rumor, really. “First Man” was supposedly so anti=American that even the US flag was banned, yada  yada on fifty right wing websites…but it wasn’t. It’s a good movie with an unusual angle: it’s pretty much only what Neil Armstrong could personally observe–no screaming reporters, no Walter Cronkite, no stirring music. It’s not The Right Stuff. It’s not Apollo 13, Both are good movies, but are entirely different in style. 

    • #14
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Susan, I’m concerned that your desire to take and inclusive view is precisely the thing that caused us to lose the American Way.  It’s not “The American Ways.”  I’m becoming increasingly skeptical of the idea that it can work in the plural.

    Jerry, sometimes you are far too literal for your own good. Let’s say that a person says that to be a good American, you have to know about the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Another person says you have to be a believer in freedom and the rule of law. And a third person says you must be schooled in American History, particularly the American Revolution. None of these people say that theirs are the only factors that apply. In fact, most of them overlap or are interrelated. Are you really prepared to have a person or any group of people literally create a description of an “American Way” and be willing to adhere to it?

     

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    I think this is a rumor, really. “First Man” was supposedly so anti=American that even the US flag was banned, yada  yada on fifty right wing websites…but it wasn’t. It’s a good movie with an unusual angle: it’s pretty much only what Neil Armstrong could personally observe–no screaming reporters, no Walter Cronkite, no stirring music. It’s not The Right Stuff. It’s not Apollo 13, Both are good movies, but are entirely different in style. 

    @garymcvey, could you clarify which part was a rumor? Did the flag appear in the movie? ( didn’t see the movie.) I believe it was planted on the moon by Armstrong (which is what Buzz Aldrin claimed). Just curious.

    • #16
  17. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Susan Quinn: Left has determined that “social justice” is the only goal that matters.

    Justice modified is justice denied.

    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under the July 2021 Group Writing Theme: “We Hold These Truths (or Fictions).” Stop by soon, our schedule and sign-up sheet awaits.

    Interested in Group Writing topics that came before? See the handy compendium of monthly themes. Check out links in the Group Writing Group. You can also join the group to get a notification when a new monthly theme is posted.

    • #17
  18. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    I think this is a rumor, really. “First Man” was supposedly so anti=American that even the US flag was banned, yada yada on fifty right wing websites…but it wasn’t. It’s a good movie with an unusual angle: it’s pretty much only what Neil Armstrong could personally observe–no screaming reporters, no Walter Cronkite, no stirring music. It’s not The Right Stuff. It’s not Apollo 13, Both are good movies, but are entirely different in style.

    @ garymcvey, could you clarify which part was a rumor? Did the flag appear in the movie? ( didn’t see the movie.) I believe it was planted on the moon by Armstrong (which is what Buzz Aldrin claimed). Just curious.

    The US flag, including the one on the Moon, is seen wherever it was seen in real life: on flagpoles and on insignia. After seeing the movie, I was annoyed at the obvious lie that it had been excluded. What they were complaining about is there was no scene of the flag-planting, just the aftermath. But there are plenty of big moments of Apollo 11 that weren’t covered, ones we all remember, because they didn’t fit the this-is-you, you-are-there focus of the film. 

    In short, it was a made-up issue. 

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    What they were complaining about is there was no scene of the flag-planting, just the aftermath.

    Got it. Stupid to make an issue of a non-issue. Thanks for clarifying, Gary.

    • #19
  20. Chris Oler Coolidge
    Chris Oler
    @ChrisO

    James Salerno (View Comment):
    Another reason is the overall disdain today’s writers and artists, who almost exclusively lean left, feel for this country.

    The word “lean” here is a severely understated description of the current writers and artists employed in the profession, and they’ve driven the industry right into the ground. Thanks to the Digital Age, however, many independent titles are launching and have seen some success. The market will always have its say.

    Thanks, Susan, for another superb post!

    • #20