'Batman v Superman' is an allegory for the GOP's presidential race

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In one weekend alone, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice raised nearly as much money as the GOP has spent so far on its race for the White House.

It isn't all that uncommon for an eagerly-anticipated, big-budget comic book movie to rake in all kinds of money, but Batman v Superman is unique. Not for excellent storytelling or groundbreaking CGI sequences, but rather because it's actually the perfect, none-too-subtle allegory for the fight between Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Batman v Superman is the story of two comic book icons duking it out under the auspices of wanting to save the world. Batman believes in spending huge amounts of cash on his arsenal to protect the citizens of Gotham with his own personal code. Superman believes that he's the chosen son of Krypton tasked with protecting the people of Metropolis using the super-abilities granted to him by the Earth's sun.


In many ways, Trump v Cruz tells a similar story. On one side, there's Trump, an eccentric billionaire who owes much of his wealth to a city he claims to love, yet does little to actually protect.

On the other stands Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz, an idealistic man who, despite technically being a minority, has come to associate himself with (and be symbolized by) all the beneficial trappings of white, American maleness.

Like Batman v Superman, Trump v Cruz isn't just a monumental spectacle, it's a brawl between two ideological juggernauts that the American public has the misfortune of being caught between.


Though money is, in fact, a superpower, both Batman and Trump believe in leveraging fear to maintain their power over those who might challenge them. Trump relies on conjuring up the specter of fictional, immigrant thugs hell bent on terrorizing innocent Americans. Batman casts a bat-shaped shadow across Gotham warning criminals and citizens alike that he's always watching.

Batman may not flat-out kill people himself, but a Bat-brand in prison is as good as a death sentence. Trump may explicitly not call for his supporters to take up arms and use violence against his protestors, but the subtext is all there.


Like Superman, Cruz's vision for the country hearkens back to simpler, less complicated times when leading men didn't have to emote, and non-whites and foreigners knew how to stay in their place. All four men have somewhat reductive, childish ideas about women ranging from your classical, Oedipal, Madonna/whore complex (how many times do you think Clark's called Lois "Martha?") to your garden variety, casual sexism.


How perfect is it, then, that both Batman v Superman and Trump v Cruz's penultimate scenes are upstaged by powerful, hypercompetent women who just want to get shit done? Like Wonder Woman, Hillary Clinton's been more than content to let her political opponents fight one another while the world goes to hell around them.

She knows that she'll have to swoop in and shut them down eventually, yes, but she also knows that the world of man is fundamentally flawed in a way that even she can't correct.


Like Hillary Clinton, Wonder Woman's a long-lived power player who moves with patience and purpose. Anyone can erect a building shine a light in the sky with their name logo on it, but it takes a real fighter to effectively go toe to toe with a foe like Doomsday…or, you know, criminal justice reform.


Ultimately, though, Batman v Superman and Trump v Cruz aren't about their female peers who are more capable and interesting than they are. They're pissing contests we're all meant to learn something from.

The moral at the center of Batman v Superman? Use your words. Most if not all of the movie's death and destruction could have easily been avoided if Bruce, Clark, and Diana had just sat down, had a conversation, and talked things over like adults.


Trump v Cruz's moral? The less you try to engage with your opponents thoughtfully, the more successful a Republican presidential campaign you can run.