When Team America: World Police came out in 2004, I was a junior in high school. I knew the bare minimum about what was going on in the world — apart from 9/11 and the U.S. involvement in the Middle East. I recently watched Team America: World Police, and, over fifteen years later, it is sadly still incredibly relevant.
I say sadly because, in all honesty, I thought we were better than this. I used to believe that humanity would turn things around and that Star Trek was our future. Now we get Space Command and the fear that in a couple of decades, the human population will be drastically reduced, due to our insistence on “progress”, anti-science propaganda, and power.
While Team America: World Police is still a humorous film, it has a bit more bite to it now that we’ve gone over a decade and a half without really changing all that much for the better, at least here in the United States. We’ve got a wannabe dictator in the White House who could do an even worse job at the “I’m So Lonely” solo, potential wars with several countries for falsified reasons (again), tariffs affecting business here and abroad, and climate change threatening to put us all in danger.
It might be worth re-watching just to understand how little people in power have done to make citizens’ quality of life improve. It might make you sad, it might make you angry, it might make you feel hopeless. But if you can laugh at it a bit, you may begin to see what needs to be done to curb the power struggle and start actually making a difference.
Part of that is educating yourself and getting involved in world politics. Is it fun? Not really. Is it uplifting? Not usually. But it is necessary. We need to know how to find accurate information about the world in order to see and hear about the events taking place in other parts of the world. Reach out to friends and family and learn about their preferred news networks, do your own research, and educate those who haven’t.
Another part of making better changes is voting. Actively participating in choosing who is in power will help, whether you feel like it does or not. We need to make our voices heard, our opinions known. We do not have to sit back and let things continue on this way. We need prison reform, we need universal healthcare, we need better education, and we need equality. We will not be handed those things. We will have to fight for them, whether vocally or physically.
I am afraid sometimes that it will come down to another revolution or civil war. We live in a young country, and no country has survived without occasionally revolting on itself to create a better future. Our two-party system is broken. There are too many loopholes, too much corruption, to continue on in the way we have been for the last few hundred years. We cannot allow those in power to continue to make decisions for us that will affect our children for generations. We need to take some of that power back.
Am I advocating for a bloodbath? Absolutely not, and I hope it never comes to that. But we do need to face facts and acknowledge that our situation is getting dangerously close to a violent upheaval. If all goes well, we will be able to vote out corrupt politicians and install people with integrity in the next election. However, it doesn’t do to just hope. We need action behind that hope. Without a plan of action, we become powerless. Without hope, we can’t move forward with our plans. We need both, but right now I’m seeing a lot of hope and little action. That needs to change.
Team America: World Police shouldn’t be the way the world sees us. We aren’t Earth’s savior. We are neglecting our own problems in order to create problems elsewhere and distract from the issues we’ve ignored for far too long. It’s time we get dirty, get creative, and work together to create the future we want…before someone else chooses for us.