Law and Korra, Part II
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Law and Korra, Part II

Is President Raiko really a dictator?

Law and Korra, Part II

In the television show, The Legend of Korra, Korra spends her final season fighting off Kuviera, a dictator who seeks to conquer the United Republic. Though she succeeds in defeating Kuviera, is it possible the nation was still not saved from dictatorship?

President Raiko leads the United Republic from the beginning of season 2 through the end of the final season, spanning between 3 and 4 years. It is peculiar to say the least that at no point do we see other people running for Presidential office, or Raiko ever being concerned about reelection. Perhaps a term for a United Republic president is simply far longer than 4 years? But then again, why do we never see any other politicians in the United Republic. Does Raiko run all aspects of government, with no system of checks and balances? If that’s the case, he really isn’t that different from a dictator. But then again, where is the evidence? Let’s start by reviewing the actions Raiko took while in office.

We first see Raiko at the outbreak of the Water Tribe civil war, when Avatar Korra seeks his help. Korra wants him to send United Republic troops to aide the Southern Water tribe, which Korra informs Raiko was invaded by the northern tribe for conquest. Despite Korra being an eyewitness and the Avatar, a Messiah-figure regarded as the protector of the world, Raiko is quick to dismiss Korra’s concerns and say it is none of his business. He doesn’t spend more than a minute speaking with her, showing a complete lack of patience or concern for the world outside his nation.

Later on, Korra comes to Raiko again, telling him that he must intervene or else there will be a literal apocalypse. At this point, it is clear the events of the war absolutely affect his nation, but he still chooses immediately not to send any support. He believes if there is an apocalypse coming, he needs all his troops in Republic City to protect it. Even at the urging of Bolin, who only five minutes ago saved his life, Raiko refuses to send any support. Since Raiko does nothing to solve the problem before it can get worse, the apocalypse does reach republic city, and his troops are powerless to stop it. Raiko’s lack of foresight nearly doomed the planet, and it was only by the efforts of Korra that the world was saved.

So from all of this, it’s pretty clear Raiko has made mistakes as President, but how does that point to him being a dictator? It all has to do with his approval ratings. After his failures, the people of the United Republic were utterly disenchanted with him. According to one poll, his approval ratings were at about 8%! Keep in mind this was before he banished Korra from the city, who weeks ago saved the world. So how is it possible that a President can be so disliked, have so much power, and have no political opposition? The answer may very well be because no opposition is allowed. Raiko acts as a dictator, and while his actions may not be as devastating as Kuviera’s, his lack of foresight has prevented the United Republic from being a safe place to live in.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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