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My Heroes are Cowboys By: Damon Wheeler
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, May 05, 2003

When I was a kid, cowboys were my heroes.   I loved the cowboys of the movies, I mean the ones in the white hats, not the black hats, who were the bad guys.  Early on, I loved Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassiday, Red Ryder, Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry.  When I was twelve years old, I had a bit
part in a Gene Autry movie made in Pioneer Town, California.  If you remember Gene Autry you recall how he always got the girl with a song. Then later there was James Arness as Marshall Matt Dillon, Gary Cooper, Charlton Heston, Glenn Ford, Jimmy Stewart, and of course, my favorite,
John Wayne. 

What were common character traits of these legendary cowboys?  Here are some that I recall:

1. They were never looking for trouble, but when it came, they faced it with courage.

2. Their word was their bond.  It meant something. 

3. They were always on the side of right.

4. They defended good people against bad people and were not afraid of them.]

5. They had high morals.

6. They had good manners.

7. They were honest.  Lying didn't get it.

8. They spoke their minds and they spoke the truth, regardless of what people thought or "political correctness," which no one had ever heard of back then anyway.

9. Their reputation was important and their friends trusted them.  They were beacons of integrity in tough, wild time of the old West.

10. They were respected. When they walked into a saloon, the place became quiet, and the bad guys kept their distance.  They could drink their sarsaparilla, milk, or spirits in peace.

11. If in a gunfight, they could outdraw anyone. If in a fist fight, they could take it on the chin and still get the best of the big, bad guy.

12. They always won. They always got their man. In victory, they rode off into the sunset with their white hats intact.

These cowboys played out stories of the days when there was such a thing as right and wrong, something blurred in our modern world, and denied by many.  Those were the days when women were respected and treated as ladies, because they acted like ladies.

Now as a senior citizen, I still like cowboys. They represent something good-- something pure that America has been missing lately.

Ronald Reagan was a cowboy.  I liked Ronald Reagan, he was brave, positive, and gave us hope through strength.    He wore a white hat. To the consternation of his liberal critics, he had the courage to call a spade a spade when he called the former Soviet Union what it was -- the "evil empire".  Liberals hated the likes of Ronald Reagan.  They prefer the style of the Ted Kennedy or Bill Clinton types, somehow able to shrug off little lapses of courage and character as "their personal life", such as leaving the scene of a drunken accident and allowing a girl to drown at Chappaquiddick and debauchery in the oval office and lying about it while sanctimoniously looking squarely into the camera lens in front of millions.  No, they sure aren't cowboys, and their character lapses sure don't square with my idea of heroes.

Now look who is calling our current President a "cowboy."  It used to tick me off when the America haters in the Middle East, or the socialist detractors in Europe, Hollywood and other cesspools of America called my President "a cowboy", but the more I think about it, the more glad I am that he is.  They hate President Bush because, like Reagan, he distinguishes between good and evil   He called a spade a spade after 9-11 when he called terrorism and those that do it or support it "evil," without mincing any words.  And more than just talking about it, he set a course of action to do something about it.  He called out the regimes that harbored and supported terrorism and told them to pack their bags and get out of Dodge or be in the middle of the street wearing their iron at high noon.

And I like the cowboy talk too.  "Bin Laden Wanted Dead or Alive".  Our President also told the French to "put their cards on the table" (old West talk), which they did, exposing their cowardice and greed.

Remember in the cowboy movies how the heroes always had to overcome the cowardice of the town to rid it of the bad guys.  Gary Cooper got no help at high noon.  When our President told the Taliban and Saddam that the game was over, this shocked the liberal establishment and those so-called "allies" who have been profiteering with the evil regimes.

Doom was forecast by all the pundits and liberal media first for our President's resolve to rid Afghanistan of the Taliban and to destroy the bases for training al Qaeda; then it was doom and catastrophe for his plan to rid Iraq of Saddam and his weapons.  Righteous speeches were made at the UN touting peace as the only civilized course while the companies of the countries making these speeches lined their pockets dealing in weapons and goods that would ultimately target Americans. Sadly, even in our own country many well meaning, peace loving folks could not gather the resolve to support our President in preserving the ultimate safety of themselves and their fellow Americans. They chose instead to fill the streets with marchers who lacked the spine to stand up for the right of Israel to exist and for Americans to be safe in their homes, at work, when traveling here or abroad. And this made the bad guys licked their chops.  They bet that Americans didn't have the courage to stand up to them.  They determined to stone wall, deceive, and deride our President as "the cowboy" or "Little Bush".  Well, now Saddam has played cowboys and Iraqis.

One thing you never saw in the old western movies was anybody holed up in the church for a shoot out, but occasionally you did find some bad guys masquerading as men of God.  The Muslims are wrong.  Our President poses no threat to their religion, but he has had the courage to call out those in their midst that are hiding behind their religion and making God out to be a murderer.  In the old westerns the masqueraders always got exposed for what they are, and let's hope the Muslims that profess to be good Muslims discover who are the phonies.  If our President hadn't been willing to say, "It's not going to be your way.", our whole country would have become hostage to the bad guys, the ruthless and the radical Muslims. In the old West, right was right. Cowboys in white hats were always on the side of right, and that was their might and right prevailed.

I am also thankful my President is a man who prays and who publicly is appreciative of those holding him up in prayer.  Cowboys were close to the earth and to God.  You better be close to God when you have such awesome responsibilities.  And you better give God the credit when your prayers are answered.  I've heard our President do that.  So, I am glad my President is a cowboy and a man close to God.  Watch out Bin Ladens and Saddam Hussein's of the world.  He will get his man.  Cowboys always do, you know.

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