The one individual who personified the American spirit was John Wayne. The Congressional Gold Medal given posthumously reads simply, “John Wayne, American”. John Wayne, as a young actor on the back lots of Republic Pictures was a protégé of Tom Mix and a man named John Ford. He studied a tall, ram-rod straight, elderly man who would visit with Ford and Mix. He was a man with white hair, and a shocking white mustache, who had a weakness for movies, poker, and a love of The Almighty. He had a voice like a fog-horn, enunciated every syllable he spoke, and when he laughed, which was rare, it was so booming, it filled the room. He was a patriotic man who put his love of Country and Duty ahead of personal security and safety. He was a man who loved his country, and served as an example for the young actor. He was a life-long Republican.
I MUST APOLOGIZE
I don’t mind admitting I spent much of the evening in tears. I still choke up when I write this. Our very great President, George W. Bush, is entering his final year in office. I think we should probably treasure every moment because we are witness to a historic Presidency.
I must also, with great wretchedness of heart admit that I must shoulder some of the blame for the way President Bush has been treated by the liberals. We’ve spent the past eight years paying for the way conservatives treated the Clintons. I have a Democrat friend who says, “Payback’s hell.” George W. Bush has been put through eight years of payback hell from the Democrats.
It has taken awhile for me to realize and admit that I must take part of the blame for this. I participated in the irrational, often factually impaired hysteria. I am ashamed of my behavior. The worst of it, there was enough factual information to concentrate on, without dealing with all the glamorous fiction.
What if conservatives had been just a little more forgiving? Would George W. Bush have been treated better by the Democrats? I can’t help but think things would have been different. Liberals like to attack President Bush for being so divisive, but when he first went to Washington, he openly expressed a desire to work with the Democrats. It was an idea that was ridiculed not only by the left, but by the right.
MORE CONSERVATIVE THAN REAGAN
Perhaps one of the greatest problems faced by President Bush is the fact that, in an era of “great tightening” demanding litmus tests for conservative purity, George W. Bush has governed far more conservative than Ronald Reagan ever did. Ronald Reagan was liberal enough to win Massachusetts and Oregon, both remarkably liberal states. He was liberal enough to appeal to conservative Democrats, hauling them in, hook, line, and sinker. The rather strange aspect of all of this is the fact that conservatives today look at Reagan’s Presidency with halcyon, rose-colored lenses giving him attributes that he did not possess. The beautiful irony about all of this is the fact that George W. Bush is probably the perfect heir to Reagan. The problem is not that the liberals dislike him, but conservatives turned on him.
If conservatives had not turned on Bush, I think we would have been able to maintain his majority in the House and in the Senate. Conservatives have become so bitter and so increasingly withdrawn, but have also become progressively more and more vocal in their dislike of George W. Bush and many of his policies. If conservatives had not become more and more ideological in their approach and more restrictive in who constitutes a Republican and just who constitutes a traitor I think President Bush would now be working with a majority in at least the Senate.
WYATT EARP, REPUBLICAN
My regular readers know I always end up back with Wyatt Earp. I have this very bad habit of comparing everyone with him. Wyatt Earp is the archetype American, his speech, voice, and mannerisms copied by John Wayne (American) as his persona.
There is an irony that we now think of it as a “cowboy” persona. Back in Wyatt Earp’s day, ‘cowboy’ was an unflattering epitaph (a little Tombstone humor here). The Cowboys were ‘the bad guys’. Today, the term “cowboy” is an All-American, John Wayne connotation. He is the strong silent type, flawed, but walks a straight line in his cowboy boots, head, always clad in a hat, held high. He stands up for what is right, honorable and moral. He isn’t afraid to buck the system, make waves.
He stands alone on the dusty street, the wind whipping his long coat in the breeze, a stray tumbleweed bouncing down the street. We hear the tinny sound of a piano coming out of a saloon. A dog barks down the street. He starts walking down the street. You can hear the jinglebobs on his spurs. His eyes are cold, blue steel as he takes a final puff on his cigar and tosses it into the dirt. The wood of the sidewalks echo with the sound of people rushing to get indoors to safety.
He stands alone.
The only thing protecting him is a strong faith in himself, his mission, his actions, and his God. A bright and shining star flashes in the sun as the wind blows his long coat. The shotgun in his left hand is loaded as he walks, without hesitation, towards the adversary, never flinching as those who swore to stand with him, stumble over themselves to get away from him, betraying their pledges of support.
Alone he triumphs.
This is how I view George W. Bush, American, cowboy, Texan, and an honorable successor to the character and legacy of Wyatt Earp, Tombstone, the OK Corral, and his Vendetta Posse. It is the legacy of Wyatt Earp, Republican. It is a legacy of honor, betrayal, disaster, heart-ache, and faith in God. Wyatt Earp is the persona of America. Wyatt Earp defined the persona of America at 2:30PM on October 26, 1881 at the OK Corral on Fremont Street, in Tombstone, Arizona.
There is nothing more conservative or more “American” than Wyatt Earp, Republican. There is no President of the United States of American who personifies Wyatt Earp better than George W. Bush, Republican.