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Which Character in the book Watchmen best captures 21st century American politics Why - Essay Example

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Summary
American democracy today is characterized by the politics of compromise which can be seen in the various burning issues of the day, such as health care, immigration policy, war against terror, climate change and carbon emission caps, foreign diplomacy, national defense, and so many other domestic and international issues…
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Which Character in the book Watchmen best captures 21st century American politics Why
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Which Character in the book Watchmen best captures 21st century American politics Why

Download file to see previous pages... America today is in a very unique kind of position because it found itself to be the sole remaining superpower of the world, and due to this unprecedented position, America exerts a big influence in world affairs. Paradoxically, America is also somehow limited on how much it can do because it is operating under some constraints by global forces outside its immediate control. An example is the spread of liberal ideology helped spread globalisation of trade and finance, which had in turn disseminated the American ideals of real representative democracy and the benefits of free market capitalism (that “a rising tide lifts all boats,” as famously stated by former President John F. Kennedy). However, America is now also under increasing scrutiny by other nations in the way it exercises this great power; it is a hegemonic kind of power and comes with it the great type of responsibility to exercise such power in a prudent and equitable manner. This may not be the case always or in all instances and other countries which also aspire to global greatness try to challenge American power in many ways other than a direct confrontational war. The burden is on America to exercise its great power in a fair manner to give justice to all world citizens but conversely, as the adage goes, absolute power can corrupt absolutely. This brief paper is a discussion of current American politics with a moral or philosophical underpinning in relation to a wonderful graphic novel by author Alan Moore entitled Watchmen. Discussion The Watchmen is a good example of a new literary genre called as the graphic novel. It is a new category of books recently considered as a legitimate art form in itself due to its growing popularity, with previous novels like A Contract with God (by author Eisner), Maus (by Spiegelman), followed by Watchmen (by Moore and Gibbons) and then also The Dark Knight Returns (by Miller). A graphic novel follows the conventions of a traditional novel but the story is told through a series of comic-strip illustrations, hence the name graphic. It is told through dialogue and the subject matter can be either fiction or non-fiction as well. Watchmen is a graphic novel that tells a compelling story of power that is highly relevant today. Watchmen has many interesting characters in it like Dr. Manhattan, Rorschach, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, the Comedian, and Ozymandias. However, it is Dr. Manhattan which best exemplifies the nature of American politics in the twenty-first century. The great power of Dr. Manhattan is very similar to the great powers of the United States of America as sole super power in a unipolar world. America as sole superpower has a lot of options available to it that is not available to lesser nations, and this power can be exercised either for good or bad, in a certain sense, with impunity if allowed. This makes America a terrifying country to oppose. It exercises its great powers according to its own logic and moral standards which is shown by its preference or predilection for preventive wars (some political analysts termed it as pre-emptive wars). This was shown by the last Iraq war to topple Saddam Hussein for supposedly possessing the dreaded weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and executed him after a flawed trial for war crimes against humanity (Tucker 174).1 America is like Dr. Manhattan; it operates under its own rules and even worse, operates under a double-standard of morality when it comes to its conduct of international relations (Robichaud 14).2 Clearly, as stated earlier elsewhere, the big question centers on the political morality that America should be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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