Pat Caddell, who was Carter’s pollster, sent this tidbit and considers it to be a meaningful indicator:
Superman may be a comic book character, but he is very much an iconic cultural figure to Americans, particularly the Baby Boom generation.
As reported by Laura Hudson in Comics Alliance:
The key scene takes place in “The Incident,” a short story in Action Comics #900 written by David S. Goyer with art by Miguel Sepulveda. In it, Superman consults with the President’s national security advisor, who is incensed that Superman appeared in Tehran to non-violently support the protesters demonstrating against the Iranian regime, no doubt an analogue for the recent real-life protests in the Middle East. However, since Superman is viewed as an American icon in the DC Universe as well as our own, the Iranian government has construed his actions as the will of the American President, and indeed, an act of war.
Superman replies that it was foolish to think that his actions would not reflect politically on the American government, and that he therefore plans to renounce his American citizenship at the United Nations the next day — and to continue working as a superhero from a more global than national perspective. From a “realistic” standpoint it makes sense; it would indeed be impossible for a nigh-omnipotent being ideologically aligned with America to intercede against injustice beyond American borders without creating enormous political fallout for the U.S. government.
While this wouldn’t be this first time a profoundly American comic book icon disassociated himself from his national identity — remember when Captain America became Nomad? — this could be a very significant turning point for Superman if its implications carry over into other storylines. Indeed, simply saying that “truth, justice and the American way [is] not enough anymore” is a pretty startling statement from the one man who has always represented those values the most.
This, as befits a comic book story line, is an upbeat reason for Superman deciding to become a citoyen du monde. Reader gs_runsthiscountry gave a darker take yesterday:
One of the most tragic things I have heard the last 18 months, is sitting in the student union talking to younger students and have them tell me they want to move to Canada. Seriously, I have heard this more than once and have to believe this has traction in the 18-28 yr gen. Seeing students so disgusted with our politicians at such a young age, it is eye opening to say the least. It is incomprehensible to me a students frustrations are so high they have shifted their studies to health sciences, in the hopes they may get a work visa in Canada if all else fails.
Then there is the story of a former beer league softball teammate. I was asked to be a sub, they know I don’t play anymore, but I ask why? Well, he is gone and didn’t know that, because he signed up for the National Guard. I was floored – this person has a degree in business and a Law degree and is also tri-lingual. At the age of 29, having not found work, and faced with loan default, he felt joining the NG was his only option. WHOA!
What is there to tie people to a country if they are at odds with its values and lack mercenary reasons to stay? The prized idea of neoclassical economists and libertarians, that people are isolated actors in markets and social organizations don’t matter, is now being played out on a large scale and the results don’t look too pretty.