Blue Collar Muse

I've been visiting a blog Media Lizzy turned me on to. It's called 'Obamacans 2008 Unite!'. It's for Republicans who support Barack Obama to testify as to why they do. My involvement there has been to opine that self-styled Republicans now supporting Obama couldn't have been much of a Republican to begin with.

An Obamacan commenter wondered if my presence in their forum meant I might not be quite comfortable with my values and was shopping or that I was worried about the shrinking ranks of the GOP. She meant well, I'm sure, but obviously doesn't know me even slightly. Still, her lack of original values or her abandonment of whatever values she had previously to throw her lot in with Obama reminded me of the need for people to have a sound foundation when it comes to principles.

This being Nashville, the Country Music Capitol of the World, the first thing I wondered was, “Is there a country tune that can make my point for me?” Sure enough, there is - Tom T. Hall's “Faster Horses (The Cowboy and the Poet)”

The song tells of a young, idealistic Poet seeking wisdom from an experienced, practical Cowboy. The Cowboy informs him the answer to the mysteries of life are “faster horses, younger women, older whiskey and more money!” The Poet bristles with indignation and informs the Cowboy he's a writer, a poet; he cares nothing for horses, women, whiskey or loot – he's looking for truth! The Cowboy calmly tells him he's a liar and repeats his premise that it's “faster horses, younger women, older whiskey and more money!” Incensed, the Poet grabs the Cowboy by the lapels and hauls him out of his seat only to find the Cowboy's pistol muzzle lightly resting at his temple. Exactly here, the Poet experiences a change of heart.

The song closes with these words spoken by the Poet:

Well my poet days`re over and I'm back to bein` me

As I enjoy the peace and comfort of reality

If my boy ever asks me what it is that I have learned

I think that I will readily affirm

Son, it's faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, more money!

“Faster Horses (The Poet and the Cowboy)” is just a song. But it has a great deal in common with real life. We're seeing that commonality played out on a national stage in the political arena this year starring Barack Obama as the Poet.

Man, o' man, can that feller talk purty! On the stump, he proclaims his vision of America. He's seeking Truth! He's not one to sully his hands with horses, women, whiskey or loot. He spins beautiful emotional tales of a nation with no crime, no poverty, no struggle and no pain. If we all work together we can eliminate these things from our experience! The old Cowboy ways are jaded, selfish, brutish and outmoded. The Poet points to utopia, urging us to join our hearts and hands with his to make it happen.

But Obama's poetry is simply that – poetry – mere words. Eventually he'll have to address how it will all be made real. He'll have to explain how his utopia will be financed and built. He'll have to leave the idealistic world of the Poet and enter the real world of the Cowboy. He'll have to challenge the Cowboy's lessons learned over years sitting in the saddle facing reality. He'll have to grab the Cowboy by the lapels, haul him to his feet and try to demonstrate how inferior the Cowboy's philosophy is.

As in the song, the demise of the Poet's utopia awaits him here. Reality is accustomed to being ignored. It happens all the time and Reality is fine with that. However, Reality is unwilling to actually be slapped around by every Johny-come-lately utopia that comes down the pike. So it's not until Idealism turns to face Reality that the battle is truly joined. And unrealistic Idealism loses that struggle every time. Reality's Cowboy has been telling the idealistic Poets of our country the truth about the mysteries life for years. The Cowboy has even shown the scars and told the stories around countless campfires out on the range. Idealists, stuck back in town, simply denied or ignored the very Truth they claimed to be seeking. You can do that for a while. Perhaps even a long while. Sooner or later, though, you're going to have to square off with the Cowboy.

For all the idealistic glorification of government as benevolent father; of burdensome taxation as the citizen's provision; of hand holding and 'Kumbaya' as foreign policy; and, of denying the individual his dream in order to build a Socialist nightmare – at the end of the day, the Cowboy whips the Poet when challenged. Not because he's tougher or meaner or quicker on the draw. But because in the end, the Cowboy is right. And the nation's Poets will be singing ...

Well my poet days are over and I'm back to bein` me

As I enjoy the peace and comfort of reality

If my boy ever asks me what it is that I have learned

I think that I will readily affirm

Son, it's Smaller Government, Lower Taxes, Stronger Defense and More Liberty!

That's the reality which raised America to the high place from which Poets try to topple it. That's what I believe in based on a life lived dealing with reality. That's why I'm unafraid to mingle with those who believe differently from me. I'm secure in the truth. And that's what you can expect to find here each time you visit. I won't even try to stop you from grabbing me by the lapels. The entire point is to get you to do exactly that – to face reality and see how badly your Poet's vision ends and to see how gloriously dealing with the tedious day-to-day reality turns out IN the end.

Let's enjoy the peace and comfort of reality together, shall we?

Smaller Government, Lower Taxes, Stronger Defense and More Liberty!

Blue Collar Muse

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