And that's key. That's what we were told, but apparently we have been lied to. Here's the gist - in the first issue of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, we see a dual storyline - one where young Steve's mom is tempted into a group that is suspiciously like Hydra (or the Nazis), and one where Captain America kills fellow hero Jack Flag and then says, "Hail Hydra." I have to hand it to writer Nick Spencer, because while I wasn't happy with the story, it was good and I enjoyed it, to the point of wanting to see what happened next. This was accompanied by some great art by Jesus Saiz, not a bad comic, all things considered, and one hell of a cliffhanger.
None of this was in the comic book, mind you, only from his mouth. And that's what drove me crazy, the hype machine, not the comic itself. Now we comic readers know that editors lie, and we know that (hopefully) Captain America would be back to status quo in six months to a year. That's just how comics roll. The problem is, that's not how the non-comic-buying public rolls. They don't know that's how it works.
But the public doesn't differentiate, and the shorthand has become - Captain America is a Nazi. Have you ever been called a Nazi sympathizer in a public place? I have. Twice. In the last month. That was because of my iPhone with the cover of Captain America #100 on the case. After that, I have not even dared to wear any of my Captain America t-shirts. In discussions of the topics, many non-comics folks I chat with just call the character 'Captain Nazi.' Yes, it's that bad.
I have to wonder about all those folks I saw at the premiere showing of Captain America: Civil War wearing Cap shirts, along with Avengers, and a handful of Iron Man as well, are faring at this moment. Do they still wear their Cap shirts? Speaking of movies, that brings up another point about public perception. When you don't follow comics, and only the destructive changing events are publicized, and not the fixing or returning events, your only point of reference is what you know from the news.