Calvin Freiburger

“Archie” Brings Obama and Palin Together, Does More Uniting Than the Real Uniter We Elected

Posted on January 12 2011 8:00 am
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.
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Considering how often left-wing propaganda infiltrates our popular culture, it’s only fair that we acknowledge entertainment media that opts to remain above the fray. You may have heard about one such example: the current Archie story arc in which the comic-book world’s most beloved teenagers cross paths with Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. ComicsAlliance has a new preview of the latest issue’s first five pages, which cast the political powerhouses in some of the least partisan light they’ve ever been under.

The story so far: Archie and Reggie are competing for student council, and their respective supporters decide some star power is in order to boost their chances. Veronica arranges for Archie to be photographed with the visiting President of the United States, while Trula gets a snapshot of Reggie with the former Governor of Alaska. Unfortunately, neither politician knows he/she’s being used as an endorsement…

It’s possible that the final issue might contain subtle jabs at their guest stars, but the previewed pages suggest we’re in for a lighthearted tale that genuinely portrays Obama and Palin as spirited, good-natured patriots. Indeed, this playful imagery seems to be about as confrontational as things get:

I’m all for substantive, healthy philosophical messages in entertainment, but at the same time, I don’t want the wholesale political weaponization of America’s beloved characters and pop culture icons. I like the idea that there remain some corners of our culture where the offices of our government are still consistently respected, where both sides’ are treated with equal warmth and dignity, where the only political values being advanced are love of country, support for our system of open debate and free elections, and respect for differing good-faith views.

Entertainment and literature aren’t entirely about deeper messages and intellectual sparring; there should also be a place for innocent escapism from the stress and ugliness of the real world. Do people read comic books for tirades about real-world people and events, or teen hijinks and heroes socking villains? Man cannot live on politics alone, nor should he try.

Besides, we conservatives should have enough confidence in our own dedication and rhetorical abilities to make the case against Barack Obama on our own; do we really need to draft Archie, Jughead and friends to fight our battles for us?

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