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Captain American Exceptionalism: New at Reason

Is the Captain America of Captain America: Civil War a libertarian?

Franklin Harris writes:

Cap’s big libertarian moment comes not in Civil War, but in the franchise’s previous installment, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It happens early on, when he confronts SHIELD Director Nick Fury about Project Insight, which combines the worst of ubiquitous surveillance and the worst of drone warfare. And that happens when Cap still thinks of SHIELD as the good guys—before he and the audience find out the organization is shot through with villainous HYDRA agents.

If there’s a lesson here for a democracy, it’s that you can’t give Barack Obama unlimited surveillance and assassination power without giving the next Republican that power, too, and that next Republican might be Donald Trump.

But [Salon‘s Amanda] Marcotte characterizes this as Cap being a good liberal and being concerned with privacy and oversight by democratic institutions, as if those institutions are not just as much in question. But Cap’s disagreement with Fury goes well beyond that.

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Robber Barons

Want to elect a legislator who is devoted to the free market? Don’t elect someone wealthy. Each year the Competitive Enterprise Institute rates members of Congress on their commitment to free enterprise as reflected in votes on federal taxes, spending, and regulation. REASON looked at the scores of the 10 richest members of the House of Representatives, as estimated by Roll Call, and found that their scores were noticeably lower than those of their less affluent brethren. The average House score was 38, but the average for the 10 richest legislators was 24.

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