Are you looking around at the conflict in our country and wondering, ‘Golly Gee! How can I know who’s telling the truth? I wish it was as easy to figure out who the bad guy is as it is in my favorite Disney movie. It would be so much easier if they had ominous music playing in the background to let me know who isn’t to be trusted.”? Fear not! I have a handy guide for you in these troubling times.
- A Villain is concerned with power. You can easily recognize a villain by their desire to do whatever it takes to acquire power and influence, whether by whatever means necessary. Do not be distracted by the common use of magic by Disney villains, that is no the only way villains can reveal themselves. Think of Uncle Scar bringing in the hyenas to force the pride to do his bidding in “The Lion King”. Or perhaps the grasshoppers in “A Bug’s Life” using the threat of physical violence to keep the ants in line. Whatever method is used a villain can always be recognized by their quest for personal power.
- A Villain manipulates facts to get people to do what they want them to do.Villains are not hampered by the need to tell the truth. They will prey upon people’s deepest fears and manipulate them in order to get what they want. No not be confused into thinking that all villains give direct orders to harm others, some of them are much more subtle. They convince the crowd that they actually want to do something horrible for the greater good (as illustrated by Gaston, above).
- A Villain is self centered.Villains believe that they are the heroes of the piece. They believe that they deserve the power/wealth/attention that is being denied them. If people cannot realize by themselves how deserving the villain is of their adoration, the people must be forced into the correct behavior. A villain’s world revolves around their own needs to place themselves at the center of the narrative. No matter what the issue may be, it ultimately must become about serving the villain’s need for power, control, and (most importantly) adoration.
- A Villain finds groups of people to blame for the things that are going wrong.If a villain is in power, there must be a reason people are unhappy. Since the villain cannot be at fault (See #3 above), someone else must be to blame. The villain pushed the idea that if certain groups can be removed or eliminated, all will be well. People’s discontent can be shifted to a different target by the dual application of emotional manipulation and power (See #1 & #2). This allows the villain to further consolidate his or her power as well as weakening any further resistance.
- A Villain refuses to listen to any view but his or her own.Villains do not take advice. They do not see reason. They do not believe any fact that is at odds with the world view they have created. They must be right in all things big or small. They do not allow for the fact that they might be wrong and surround themselves with people who are happy to agree with them no matter what. How many of our favorite movies might have ended differently if the villain simply stopped and said, “Maybe we can just work this out.” Compromise is considered a loss and cannot be allowed.
And there you have it, readers. An easy way to recognize the bad guys in our current political climate. When you hear people speaking, pull out this guide and use it to determine who the villains are.
A little too much to remember? There is an even easier way to evaluate those in power.See if they follow this:
Matthew 22:36-40 Common English Bible
36 “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being,[a] and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
*Cover art by mattesworks-d6ijeyn on DeviantArt