Questioning Chris Evans: The Political Avenger

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019


Over the last eight years, as America became more polarized, moviegoers embraced Captain America as the epitome of truth, justice and the American way. As a result, the man who portrayed him was thrust into the national spotlight. As he prepares to step away from his role as Marvel Studios’ “First Avenger,” Chris Evans has taken up the title of “Political Avenger.”

Evans has become a manic tweeter in the age of Donald Trump. He’s made clapping at the President a regular routine. He’s been an outspoken critic of Senator Lindsey Graham, better known to Evans’ 10.7 million followers as “Smithers.” He led the charge against Nick Sandmann during the Covington Catholic controversy, and he’s criticized members of the press for not being aggressive enough in their interviews of Trump administration officials.

In short, Evans isn’t a MAGA supporter which is fine. But, much like the President (and he’d hate this comparison), many of his tweets come off as nothing short of partisan and pretentious.

Evans’ increasingly frequent political commentary was the focus of a recent cover interview for The Hollywood Reporter. The actor discussed his recent project, “A Starting Point,” a political blog he’s co-launching in the hopes of creating “informed, responsible and empathetic citizens.”

Evans’ project is a fantastic idea. And it’s brought him to Capitol Hill, where he’s interviewed everyone from Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw (a very big fan of Captain America) to Democratic Senator Ed Markey. In these efforts, Evans is connecting with both sides of the aisle to gain perspective, and discuss important issues such as civic engagement, veteran’s benefits and climate change. He’s working to establish a starting point; highlighting issues of common concern that Americans can come together and support, and, in doing so, hopefully close the divides of a partisan bitterness crippling the country.

But in The Hollywood Reporter article, he contradicts the entire point of “A Starting Point” when criticizing Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots:

“I really hope he’s not a Trump supporter. I’m just hoping he’s one of those guys that maybe supported him and now regrets it. Maybe he thought it was going to be different — and even that bothers me — but maybe there’s a chance now he just thinks Trump’s an absolute dumb shit, which he is. If he doesn’t, if he’s still on that Trump train, I might have to cut ties. It’s really tough.”

First of all, what ties are there to cut? Are you friends with Tom Brady, Mr. Evans? I don’t think “Cap” and the “G.O.A.T.” have ever even met.

But more importantly, Evans makes it clear in that statement he might be willing to cut ties with anyone in his life (whatever the capacity) who disagrees with him politically. If Evans’ fans followed his lead, it would mean shutting out anyone in their life with a MAGA cap. So, say goodbye to your Fox News consuming grandpa, forget about your auntie with that “Republican Mom” sticker on her SUV and never mind your college roommate who you know voted for Trump. They’re ‘deplorables.’ You’ll have to “cut ties.”

Is that the kind of America the “Political Avenger” wants us to live in? That kind of attitude only deepens our divides, and it leaves one confused: Are we supposed to find “a starting point” with one another, or “cut ties” with our political opposites?

Hopefully Evans didn’t really mean what he told The Hollywood Reporter. Perhaps, it was nothing more than a chance to score some points with the Hollywood elite. Because if he really does believe in cutting ties with anyone on the opposite end of the political spectrum, his words and actions could have serious ramifications.

As the man who’s portrayed Captain America for nearly a decade in Marvel Studios’ worldwide phenomenon, Evans finds himself at the heart of a unique moment in American history. He knows he is recognized as Captain America, and for a country that is deeply divided and perhaps looking for a hero, what he says and does carries serious weight. So, shouldn’t it be fair to question comments like these?

Maybe, but perhaps not. He has the freedom to say and do whatever he pleases and to use his platform however he wants. Besides, nobody really believes he actually is Captain America, right? Well, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige might but hopefully he’s an exception.

By all accounts, Evans is a great person who clearly cares about his country. He’s also been open and honest about his struggle with anxiety in an honorable effort to heighten awareness. He’s committed himself to supporting veterans, and, perhaps most heart-warming of all, he’s suited up and wielded the shield of Captain America to bring smiles to the faces of dozens of sick children across the country.

It’s been said that Evans’ foray into politics has been a direct result of his time in the Star-Spangled suit of Captain America. That wouldn’t be all too surprising– pretty cool in fact. It speaks to how Cap can inspire Americans to stand up for what they believe is right. But what exactly does Evans believe is right?

Hopefully, it’s less like his partisan name calling on Twitter and more like the bipartisan conversations of “A Starting Point” because he has a real chance to do some good and get people on both sides of the aisle talking to one another again– and that includes himself and Tom Brady.

Ken Stratton is a law student and graduate of the Class of 2019 at Western New England University. As an undergraduate, he severed as Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper and held various leadership positions on campus. He's been an active member of his community as well, working with local elected officials and on several campaigns with MassGOP.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Ken Stratton

Western New England University

Ken Stratton is a law student and graduate of the Class of 2019 at Western New England University. As an undergraduate, he severed as Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper and held various leadership positions on campus. He's been an active member of his community as well, working with local elected officials and on several campaigns with MassGOP.

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