Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Is America Ready -- for a Teenage President?


Today brings the second issue of Final Crisis, a DC Comics series partly about DC’s many parallel universes. But does one of the universes in their multiverse (as currently depicted) contain the Earth on which their early-70s comic book Prez took place? That was the all-too-plausible series about the then-new development of eighteen-year-olds being able to vote leading to a further change in the law that made possible America’s first teenage president, who pursued a hip, reformist agenda.

Speaking of which: I don’t think Americans are paying much attention to policy details, even extremely important ones (as I’ll discuss in my July Book Selection entry in eight days, examining the journal Critical Review), mostly just the tone and personality of major political candidates. That means politicians adept at sounding like all things to all people — as Bill Clinton was and Hillary Clinton was not — flourish.

And thus Obama is probably wise to stay both optimistic-sounding and vague — he is, after all, trying to get elected by a populace stupid enough to read horoscopes. Right now, I’d say America’s horoscope sounds a little like this:

You are a country that wants to feel optimistic again — you know you can accomplish great things but feel you’ll have to make some tough choices and some hard changes in order to get there. Someone you’ve just met may give you the boost you need


Ali Kokmen said...

Y’know, I want to read something into the fact that Prez was created by Joe Simon, who also co-created Captain America, but I don’t know what that something should be…

Todd Seavey said...

Bucky Barnes for Secretary of Defense?

Kevin Walsh said...

The 1968 AIP film Wild In The Streets deals with the same topic; its teenage prez, Max Frost (played by Christopher Jones) had a wide megalomanical streak. The film’s a trip, though.

I wasn’t aware of Prez till Neil Gaiman used it in a story arc in his Sandman series.