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THOR For President

At the end of the most recent Thor movie, The Dark World, Thor’s father informs the title character that the people of the Nine Realms are so impressed with Thor’s bravery and selflessness in battle that they want him to be their next leader.

Thor’s aging father can finally step aside and hand the reigns to his son.

But Thor will have none that.

He tells his dad that he’s not leadership material, and passes on the opportunity to be the next king.

So in other words, Thor has enough wisdom to know that he wouldn’t make a good leader — his handiness with a hammer doesn’t qualify him to deal with unemployment or health care. But, he’s ok with preserving his family’s feudal grip on the Realm.

He doesn’t say to his dad, “Not only am I not fit to be a leader, but it’s about time we had free and fair elections to let the people decide who their next ruler should be.”

Or maybe, “let’s have a constitutional convention to form a new system of government.”

Despite our democratic ideals, when it comes to film, we seem to be ok with feudalism.

Or more simply, we really want to believe that honorable heroes can be trusted with absolute power.

Consider all of the various movie versions of Robin Hood. The Sheriff of Nottingham is the case and point why leaders need to be democratically elected. Because he’s not accountable to anybody, he’s free to be as ruthless as he wants.

Robin Hood, of course, is the polar opposite. Despite his royal heritage, he has empathy for the poor and initiates a welfare system. But he never goes as far as to challenge the current form of government. He marries Maid Marion, with the return of King Richard will have his royal rights and privileges restored, and will not doubt eventually take his place as an absolute ruler. But that’s ok because he’s genuinely compassionate.

Who wouldn’t want to have Robin Hood as a their leader?

Now I know that Robin Hood is set in the Middle Ages, and it took hundreds of years for democracy in England to develop, but Robin Hood is still fiction. I mean, when you consider how silly (but entertaining) the Kevin Costner version of Robin Hood is, it wouldn’t really have been too far out of step with the movie’s tone if it ended with Costner implementing an a system of elections, or granting the people of Sherwood Forrest home rule.

The point is, the story’s moral is not that everything which went wrong in Nottingham was the result of their system of government allowing a single person to have absolute power, but that the wrong person was given that power.

Robin Hood may in fact go on to be a very good ruler, but the guy who rules after him could be another depraved psychopath, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it but revolt.

Now if you’re hung up on the fact that the reason nobody would call for free and fair elections is because these movies are set in 1000 AD, or a universe where there are still kings and queens, consider films that deal with contemporary monarchs.

Movies about the current British monarchy love to keep making the point that there is still a place for them today.

Consider The King’s Speech.

The movie could have just been a story about an unlikely person having a speech problems and the even more unlikely friendship that results from it, but it ends with the message that thanks to the King being able to do his kingly duty of giving speeches, England was able to defeat the Nazis, with Winston Churchill kissing his ass over his brilliant orations. If King George hadn’t learned to speak, the British people would have had no one to draw inspiration from and we’d all be speaking Nazi today.

Maybe I’m overstating things, but the movie is again all about the benefits of the right person being king (with the wrong person being his glib brother), living in denial about the consequences of when the wrong person is in charge and there is no easy way to eject them.

What I really want to see, is a movie with enough chutzpah that the prince actually earns the right to being a leader with a mandate from the people rather than birthrate and being a badass in battle.

So in Thor 3, he has to run for president against some farmer, and Loki runs the largest super PAC in the Nine Realms.

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