The-president-as-superhero myth promises all the democracy with none of the work. As such it teaches citizens to admire rule by strong individuals and to abjure the messy workings—disagreement, slow debates, compromise, bargaining—of actual democracy. This training works against our own abilities to navigate and wield democratic sovereignty. Subscribing to the search for a nationally redemptive hero every four years makes citizens feel less, and not more, powerful, and therefore all the more in need of a superhero presidential rescue.
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