How To Explain Supervillains To Republicans
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz recently compared environmentalists to the MCU’s Thanos on his podcast — oh yeah, he also hosts a podcast
The cohost of The Verdict with Ted Cruz is conservative pundit Michael Knowles, who is more of a head-bobbing sidekick because the star of this podcast, which recently premiered a brand new season, is the junior Senator from Texas himself whose name is in the title.
It was during the most recent episode that Senator Cruz compared environmentalists to Thanos, the main antagonist in the superhero blockbuster Avengers: Endgame. Ted Cruz looks and talks like a supervillain’s lawyer. You’d think he’d understand a comic book baddie like Thanos better. Here’s the quote:
You know, you talked about inevitable. And I have to say, it brought to mind Avengers: Endgame. And, you know, Kerry doesn’t quite have the massive Thanos hands and fingers, but you could see the inevitable and the finger-snapping. And actually what is interesting in Endgame is curious. Have you noticed in how many movies how often rabid environmentalists are the bad guys? Whether it’s Thanos or go to Watchmen. Where the view of the left is people are a disease. They buy into the Malthusian line that there are too many people in the world, that people are bad and everything would be better if we had fewer people. I mean, Thanos wanted to eliminate 50 percent of the lifeforms of the universe with one finger-snapping.
If you want to watch the entire rambling monologue, here you go:
Allow me to explain, Senator. Thanos is called the Mad Titan for a good reason: He’s a lunatic. He has all of these rationalizations for murdering entire planets but they’re just that, rationalizations. Thanos is a giant purple maniac who talks about balance with the softness of a hippie but it’s bullshit. He’s a genocidal mega-grape from space.
Thanos does claim he watched his home world Titan wither away after the populace exhausted their natural resources. As a consequence, his people starved because there was not enough to go around. Thanos should have used the godlike powers of the Infinity Gauntlet to bring his planet back or go back in time before Titan’s leaders destroyed the environment or, like, he should have snapped his fingers and wished for infinite sandwiches from one corner of existence to the other corner. He doesn’t do any of these things because Thanos is evil and, also, nuts.
Another one of Thanos’ insane reasons for murdering half the lifeforms in the universe is because the universe is overpopulated. It’s a little much for Senator Cruz to compare that character to environmentalists and not to the political party that dismissed the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result of their cynical negligence, indirectly helped depopulate the United States. This country has lost over 400,000 people — real people, mothers and fathers, family members and friends and loved ones — partly because powerful conservatives decided to play politics while a once-in-a-century virus burned the country to the ground.
You can’t compare liberals to Thanos because there is no comparison. I could compare the furious mob that attacked the Capitol to Thanos’ mindless minions but Thanos is not some treehugger or anti-fracking activist. Senator Crus knows this, of course.
Senator Ted Cruz is one of the most powerful people in the world, representing the state of Texas in the U.S. Senate. But that’s just his day job, apparently. What Cruz wants to be when he grows up is a shit-talking podcast host. It mystifies me that a man who has argued before the Supreme Court multiple times dreams of having Joe Rogan’s job.
I imagine being a podcast host is more fun than being a U.S. Senator because the latter is a lot of responsibility. In 2021, conservatives are more interested in making noise than passing laws. Increasingly, politicians like Cruz are calculating that attention is power and owning the libs is still an effective way to distract voters-turned-fans from how ineffective he is as an elected official.
Senator Cruz‘s freestyle rants sound like half-thoughts from his Twitter drafts but he’s fired up and entertaining. And predictable. Before he blathers on about Thanos, Senator Cruz slams “the left” for “virtue signaling” and how liberals want to save the world at the expense of blue-collar citizens, like steelworkers. This is not true but Senator Cruz isn’t interested in the truth. He is interested in telling stories. Liberals are elites, and he’s just a shlubby everyman piping up for the little guy.
Show me a comfortably well-off Republican and I’ll show you a grown man with soft skin who loves to salute soldiers and applaud factory workers from a distance, preferably a balcony or luxury stadium box.
It is disingenuous for a conservative like Senator Cruz to express concern for American workers on his podcast but not work harder to write and pass laws in the U.S. Senate that help American workers. For instance, Senator Cruz should support President Biden’s COVID-19 Relief Bill, and put some more money in the bank accounts of regular people and not Corporate America.
Oh, and I don’t even know why Cruz shouts out Watchmen during his Thanos diatribe. I doubt he read Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons’s 1986 graphic novel or the inspired recent HBO sequel. I’ll bet he watched Zack Snyder’s visually faithful, if misguided, big-budget adaptation. If his only exposure to Watchmen is Snyder’s movie then he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. In Watchmen, the people aren’t a disease. The heroes are the disease. They’re a gang of out-of-control costumed vigilantes who think they’re above the law. The original Watchmen comic book is a savage criticism of right-wing America’s long-term love affair with violence.
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