This, right here, is why the iconic comic lines are dying. Captain America, and Superman, are at their best when they are demonstrating the best ideals that we, as Americans, can aspire to. Those ideas include standing up for liberty, dedication to family, discipline and hard work, and a basic “can do” world view pared with a cultural orneriness that drives one to individual achievement and self-sufficiency.
The current crop of comics writers simply can’t imagine this. They cannot imagine anything good or inspiring in America, projecting their own failures and insecurities and insufficiencies on the culture as a whole, without realizing that they should have been among those propping up such icons.
The largest icon, of course, in this trope is Jesus. They can’t imagine him either.
I’m not a Christian. But you have to be daft not to credit Christianity’s influence on Western culture and (frankly) dominance in the world.
But they can’t imagine that. Reason number two is because of their self-imposed lifting of hypocrisy as the “ultimate” sin. It is better to not have a code at all than to have one and fail to live up to it. This is reflected in the method by which they try and tear down icons – hell, they even said it in Spider-Man 1 (Toby MacGuire), “the thing people like best is to see a hero fall.” (Paraphrased). They cannot fathom that the (a) the purpose of a code, even an unreachable one, is to set a goal for all people to strive to achieve, and (b) that you can’t live up to it all the time is because we are flawed, fallen, and human. However, (c) that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop trying.
As a people, a country, and a world, we’ve stopped trying.