Our culture is in our movies and TV shows—especially our endless parade of superhero flicks.

The good guys aren’t good guys. Often, they’re anti-heroes. They’re dark and snarky because being sincere is a sign of weakness. Doing the right thing just because it’s the right thing is addle-brained. Our anti-heroes break the rules as much as the bad guys, but we root for them because of who their enemies are.

Because our heroes aren’t good, the bad guys must be worse. They must be pure evil. So much so that they’re not even human. This is so we can revel in their torture, pain, and destruction in the final battle. The more torturous their end, the more we enjoy it. Their minions must be faceless non-humans. That way, we can kill hundreds or thousands of them without concern.

This is all reflected in our politics, which is the foam of our culture. We don’t care if our “heroes” are lawless because we’re on their side, and being on one side is all that matters. The enemy is not human; we must wipe them out, eradicate them, murder them, torture them, and erase them. And we must do it without a second thought. There must be no allowance for compromise or cooperation because that is weak. Being weak is being dead. There is no middle ground.