Heroes and American Politics

From the time America gained independence, a lot has been discussed about heroes. Politicians may define a hero as someone who supports their political ambitions. They may define them as someone who doesn’t criticize their government. 

A journalist may define a hero as someone who suffers police brutality. A child can define a hero as a provider such as a parent or a teacher. In any typical scenario, the definition of a hero depends on who is defining it. Nevertheless, there is a big divide between how politicians, media, and ordinary citizens describe heroes. 

What qualifies someone to be called a hero or heroine?

In any society, there will always be a hero, but heroes are hard to find. Different researchers have given varying definitions of a hero. Among them are Zimbardo, Franco, and Blau. In their research, they have defined a hero by three main characteristics. 

First, they must recognize and accept the risk of making a sacrifice for the sake of others. Secondly, they must act voluntarily for the sake of others. Thirdly, they must do their actions without expecting any recompense. 

According to the definitions of the trio, no hero works for themselves. Every hero, at one point or another, paid a high price for someone or people. Considering the modern-day description of a hero, these qualities have long been forgotten. The description is worse at the political level. 

Anyone can be a hero if they resolutely focus on working for the good of the community. They must be ready to experience pain and rejection while pursuing a good cause. The political world influences a lot on who is declared a hero or not. There are many essay topics on heroes and heroism you can choose from. The topic you choose is a topic that is easy to research and argue out. You must be inspired by what other people have written. You can read quality hero essay examples on the StudyMoose website. You will get different ideas on the best topics and write quality essays based on the samples. 

Who is a political hero?

The 2008 US presidential campaigns will be remembered in the entire US history. This was the time when all signs were pointing to an Obama win. The major difference from all other presidential campaigns was that America was about to have an African American president. To the entire world and the US, Obama was a hero. Whether he could still be called a hero after 2017 or not was an entirely different story. 

The definition of a political hero today is different from what it was a century ago. The US was undergoing different political challenges. There were civil movements, women’s movements, and the like. Every individual who was pushing for human rights recognition was a political hero. 

The current US president Joe Biden may have his list of unsung heroes. They could be his list of cabinet members or the team of US forces in peacekeeping missions. They could be ordinary Americans who are working hard to contribute to economic growth. 

They could also be the 1.3 million Americans who died during the pandemic. To an American president, a political hero is someone who supports the ruling administration’s policies. Individuals who resisted the government in the previous regime can be termed heroes in the current regime. 

Heroes in the media industry

The media is viewed as the link between the citizens and politics. Journalists investigate politicians and avail information to the masses. They attend political briefings and air the news. Journalists define them in different ways. According to journalists, a kid who dies of cancer is a hero. Someone who survives a wild animal attack is a hero. Another person who gets arrested due to politics is a hero too. The media considers a situation that seems daring, needy, enterprising, or aggressive qualified as heroic. 

Heroes in the eyes of the general public

The public goes through a lot of challenges, and they always need someone to help out. Whoever avails themselves to offer any kind of help makes a difference in their life. A sick person needs a doctor, while a homeless person needs a philanthropic person. If a house catches fire, the homeowner will require a firefighter. Another person requires help from the police when robbers strike at midnight. 

The acts of heroism or their definition look very different in the eyes of the general public. The doctor who comes to the rescue of sick people and the firefighter who helps put off the fire are all heroes. What counts most to the public are the little things someone does to make a difference in someone else’s life. Considering these heroic acts, soldiers and police officers are certainly heroes. It might sound correct to call a professional footballer who strikes most goals a hero. 

Considering the critical things 

Heroes and American politics are complicated subjects. According to the definition given by researchers Zimbardo, Franco, and Blau, definitions by politicians, the media, and the public seem to be biased. A soldier, for example, is in the line of duty because they are receiving a salary. The same case applies to a doctor and a firefighter. 

According to the researchers, a hero should not expect recompense. They should go out of their way and do an action that benefits the public or an individual. An example is the men and women who fought for civil rights. Many more heroes today are fighting against racism and corruption. Considering the critical things, politics influences who is considered a national hero. 


Societies celebrate their heroes in different ways and at different levels. For someone to be considered a hero, there are critical qualities they must fulfill. They must be selfless, society minded, and expect no benefit. No matter how great a hero might look, politics are crucial when determining who the national heroes will be.