Guest Post by David Bloch
Caution! I would like to preface this article by saying that if you have not seen the movie, The Dark Knight Rises, but are planning to do so, then you probably do not want to read this article; because, in this article I examine the plot of the movie.
I saw The Dark Knight Rises a few weeks ago and I think it is a very entertaining and thought provoking movie. It has the basic theme of previous Batman movies: Gotham City is threatened by an evil terrorist menace intent on destroying the city. Efforts by Gotham City citizens to save themselves are too little and too late. The city and its citizens face certain annihilation – unless a superhero can come forth to defeat the evil menace and save them. Reluctantly, Batman dons his cape and using his superpowers and super machines he defeats the evil menace and saves Gotham City – again.
In The Dark Knight Rises, the terrorist menace this time is disguised as a non-profit organization whose purported purpose is to supply the planet with environmentally friendly renewable “green” energy for all of mankind. To accomplish this, the organization secures the patent rights to a newly invented technology that not coincidently involves a nuclear reactor. But, the non-profit organization, led by a sweet angelic young woman, promises to use the new technology only for the betterment of mankind. Naively, all of Gotham City believes her. Of course, at the first opportunity she betrays the city and attempts to destroy it by using the new technology as a nuclear bomb. Batman foils the evil doer’s attempts and saves Gotham City.
I would like to propose an analogy using the U.S.A. as Gotham City, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as the expected superhero, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, as the nuclear bomb. However, in my analogy, unlike Batman who reluctantly accepts his role as superhero, Chief Justice Roberts refuses his.
Chief Justice Roberts stated on page 12 of his opinion, which allowed the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to proceed, that, “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” In that single sentence Chief Justice Roberts was both very wrong yet very wise at the same time! Justice Roberts’ job as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is precisely to save citizens from their terrible political choices, if those choices result in a transgression against the Constitution. Occasionally there will be times when voters will be excellently deceived, ill informed, and apathetic. If the result of this anomaly is the enactment of a law violating the Constitution, it is the responsibility and duty of the third branch of government, the Supreme Court, to protect the people from their serious error so that future generations are not punished by a terrible mistake made by a previous generation. Chief Justice Roberts did not fulfill that responsibility and duty. Instead, Chief Justice Roberts declared that he will not be a superhero; he will not be Batman for the U.S.A.
The wisdom in Justice Roberts’s statement is that there are no superheroes in real life, and if a people truly want to maintain their freedom and security, then they must earn it by staying vigilant. Every individual has the responsibility and duty to work diligently in exercising their powers of reason to avoid being deceived and also to make informed and intelligent choices concerning the people they elect to govern. Only in this sense, and not reliance on a superhero, can a people hope to remain free and secure. For this reason, Chief Justice John Roberts is the anti-superhero.
David E. Bloch is the author of The Elite Idolaters. His book won Honorable Mention in Readers Views 2012 book awards program in the Societal Issues category.
For more information about the author and his books please visit his website at: http://www.davidebloch.com/.