Where have all the Cowboys Gone?

Where Have all the Cowboys Gone was a popular song by an artist named Paula Cole in 1996.  In the song she makes reference to Where is my John Wayne in the refrain.  Personally, I know very little about the song, I don’t hear it played on radio much anymore and I listen to music mostly on Internet radio such as Pandora anyway, or an IPod I got as a gift from my sister a couple of Christmases ago.  But with Decision 2012 now in the rear-view mirror and the majority speaking out on behalf of the Obama Democrats, I would like to know; where have all the cowboys gone?

I am not referring to John Wayne or Roy Rogers or even Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger.  The cowboys I am referring to are the rugged risk takers who are willing to sacrifice to make a better life for themselves and their families.  The ones that don’t care about entitlements, just want the opportunities to overcome the either the adversities they inherited of the tribulations they encountered while graduating The College of Hard Knocks to become self-made (and self-governing) men and women.  I find the title apropos to a tee.  With Romney vs. Obama, this election was clearly a referendum on conservative vs. liberal.  It was a referendum on freedom and opportunity vs. the surly bonds of entitlements; and the latter won.

What’s done is done.  I am not one to cry over spilt milk.  I pray we never see national bankruptcy and I still believe limited government is the key ingredient to a balanced budget, which in turn is the key ingredient to the rebirth of the American Dream.  Our elected leaders just may reach across the aisle and get something done.  Caution: bipartisan solutions fail too about fifty percent of the time.  Not every piece of legislation that comes out of a bipartisan factory works as advertised—same track record as party partisan solutions.  But to give benefit of the doubt, maybe there will be a Boehner-Obama bill that will dazzle the world with the right mixes of taxes and spending cuts.  I’m not dismissing anything at this point.  But the sad reality is Where have all the cowboys gone?  Less freedom, more entitlements was the choice.

America has always been an immigration Mecca.  I’m not talking about the illegals.  If you are not a red-faced native American we used to call Indians, you are an immigrant or at least of immigrant descent.  In spite of all the negativity America has undergone and is still undergoing with near ten percent unemployment and insurmountable debt, there are still a lot more foreigners that want to come to America than there are Americans that want to leave.  They did not come here to be a lifelong welfare recipient.  They did not come here to be stuck in the servitude of a boss at a minimum wage occupation like mopping floors, flipping burgers, or pumping gas.  Oh, no.  They came here to escape tyranny and oppression, to as Jay Black used to sing, Land of Opportunity; opportunity to pursue a dream that can only be achieved in a free country.  If I were living in a foreign land desiring to come to America, I would be insulted, disappointed, and angry that the natives would prefer to be indentured into government programs and complacent to be average Joes and Janes.

I fully understand the need to elect Barrack Obama in 2008 for the first time.  The first African American president in the history of this country; I get it.  I can compare that with baseball in 1947 when a young man named Jackie Roosevelt Robinson became the first African American ballplayer of the modern era.  I admire Jackie for what he went through to make it happen.  Branch Rickey told him he would take abuse and hear the N-word and white players would do him physical harm, but yet for his first season, he could not fight back—he had to take the punches and roll with them.  As it turns out, Jackie played three other sports in college, football, basketball, and track.  He was a good baseball player, but of the four sports he played, baseball was his weakest.  Alas, I admire Jackie and the way he was honored long after his passing with his uniform number 42 retired unilaterally in MLB. But if you asked Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker (also an African American) if you were managing in the decade of the 1950s and you could have one of the two players Jackie Robinson or Willie Mays on your team, who would it be?  Well, I can’t speak directly for Dusty, but if you look at stats, no contest The Say Hey Kid all the way.

And what about modern day African Americans captivated by Obama’s prowess?  What about nineteenth century African Americans who fought to end slavery and risked their lives; many made ultimate sacrifices and not just in the civil war—some escaped, took advantage of The Underground Railroad, and not all made it north of that Mason-Dixon line alive.  Any African American in this country between 1865 and 1932 (end of the Civil War to the beginning of The New Deal) did not want to be re-enslaved to the federal government.  Even during the civil rights movement, the integration of Central High in Little Rock Arkansas, the March on Washington, and the followers of the preaching of Dr. Martin Luther King wanted equal opportunity, not equal entitlements.

Yeah, I’ll go out on a limb that my preaching of America at the witching hour and that limited government is a Hobson’s choice will be heard on time for the three branches of the federal government to act accordingly and rebuild America to a level close to what people like me envision.  But the way I see it now, that’s not good enough.  The American character has to be rebuilt too if we are to have a chance.  We need a new generation of cowboys, perhaps not 1800s pioneers.  I am not for revoking anyone’s techie gadgets—hey even I admit you can’t stop progress.  But the cowboy mentality needs to be revived.  I love the American Dream, but it is useless and cannot survive even if it is reborn if there are not enough Americans who want it.  And if God forbid America should go bankrupt, the entitlements will be gone forever, but what individual Americans who build a dream acquire and save wisely will always be there for them.

When Mitt Romney was campaigning, one of the catch phrases he used to describe America is The greatest nation God allowed to happen.  God loves all his children unconditionally, but what he loves about the nation of the United States of America is that it is a free nation and therefore it should not have a government interfering with one’s choice to live in The Word.  But when one becomes dependent on government entitlements, though not with intention, government replaces God in our life.  We have to pay higher taxes to support these programs which means we have less to tithe and give to charity.  Deuteronomy 8:18 makes it clear that it no money is our money, it is God’s money for us to use wisely and not forget who bequeathed it unto us and that HE distributes it based on our level of devotion to HIM.  Without realizing it, when we live under entitlements, we make it not our money, not God’s money, but the government’s money.  Our own government becomes the ultimate cult—and one of which we did not sign up.

To partake in [a] land of opportunity requires the education to be self-governing and faith in God.  I would really like to know: Where have all the cowboys gone?

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1 comment
  1. seems i am not the only one, we too miss those bravehearts who dare to risk their own welfare for betterment of others/their famillies.

    the cowboys (i have read dozens of stories by louis l amour) made a very very good effect on me. we too had such zeal in young men (esp) before they got sucked in the quagmire called unemployment and back-breaking toil for almost nothing.

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