Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Save a horse

posted Wed, 25 Aug 2004

I saw another reference to George W Bush being a “cowboy” the other day. I don’t remember where – my brain has too many other things to worry about to track sources like that, but I know I saw it.

It took me a while to realize when this whole “cowboy” thing started that it was meant pejoratively.

See, I’m as close to Texan as you can be without having the privilege of being born there. I went to grades 5, 6, 7, and 12 and college and grad school in Texas. The only reason I don’t live in Texas right now is that my paycheck is not delivered to me there.

But Texas holds a dear place in my heart, so it confuses me that something I – and I think most Americans, actually – consider to be such a positive icon can be written and spoken with such venom.

What’s not to like about this guy?

The cowboy is the quintessential image of America – gutsy, independent, self reliant, free. He doesn’t fight unless he has to, but sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, which is to stand up for what’s right.

I think that’s one of the reasons the critics hated the movie “Open Range” – because it so clearly took a position on the existence of good and evil (leftists hate the idea of an objective morality) and because its characters were willing to fight evil.

I take personal offence at the concept of cowboy being used negatively. My uncle is a cowboy. When he was ten years old, he fled his home in advance of the Russian Army and found safety with the American soldiers who took him in and had him care for their horses. He came to this country with less than nothing – in debt for $438 (I think for his passage here). Through hard work and determination, he has built a life here and even has something to leave his children. He has made a huge contribution to this country with his cowboy ethic. Anyone who tries to use “cowboy” as an insult must not know any cowboys. He definitely does not know my uncle.

Perhaps it’s jealously. Those effete east coasters who think they know more than the rest of us and who think of the middle of the country as “flyover.” Ha. They wouldn’t survive for a second on my uncle’s ranch. I think these people who curse “cowboy” are all a bunch of sissies.

Which would YOU rather be called? Cowboy or sissy?

Take pride in being a cowboy, George. I would.


  1. I don't really think George W. Bush was or ever will be a cowboy. Cowboys actually work the range. Something he has never done.

    One can't really generalize these things but when I think of a cowboy I think of a hard working ethical person that cares more for his family and animals then he does about the type of shirt he wears (I'm not trying to slight GWB. In fact, I tried not to think of him at all). I agree that usually those that are using cowboy or librarian or any other group term pejoratively don't really know much about them.

  2. HI Michele and thanks for commenting! No, I don't think GWB has ever worked the range, but I have seen the video of him cutting mesquite at his ranch. :)

    Politics aside, it is very annoying when people use "cowboy" as an insult. Do they not speak English? Or "librarian." I LOVE my library and bake cookies for the librarians because they are so nice.