ROOSTER COGBURN AT THE BORDER
My nominee for head of the Department of Homeland Security: Rooster Cogburn.
He couldn’t keep track of the people he shot. He couldn’t even keep an accurate count of the men he had killed. But we rooted for him anyway. We love Rooster Cogburn because he is a man of the law. He killed only to protect the innocent or punish the guilty. Rooster Cogburn is an iconic American personage, wedded to justice and having mercy only for the helpless or the young. The quick and sure redress of the American frontier afforded little mercy, and the apparently harsh judicature of Rooster Cogburn, and those like him, was necessary in a time when life and survival were always a hair’s breadth from sudden death.
Though fictional, he represents the remorseless determination that defines the history of the American West. His gritty resolve, an eye single to the cause of justice, is, at present, in grievously short supply. Charles Portis carved Rooster Cogburn out of a number of historical lawmen, and lawless men, who populated the hinterlands of the old West. Cogburn was a flawed man and rash, but always a man who, when he erred, erred on the side of justice.
Authentic fairness is a dispassionate proposition. Aloofness is critical to real justice. One of the precepts that has fouled up the cultural and political landscape of America is mercy bestowed on the undeserving. Illegal immigrants and their children are one of the most coddled and canonized of populations. But the gratuitous exemptions extended to them when they break the law, fill job positions that should be reserved for entry-level Americans and legal immigrants, and suck dry social programs meant for impoverished citizens, are deeply unfair, and therefore unjust. It is a form on national insanity when criminals and parasites are lavished with blessings and accommodations that the law-abiding can only dream of.
As we cross the political threshold into the 2012 primary season, Ronald Reagan was, has become more popular now that he ever was during his life. We hunger for men like Reagan. Most of still have clear memories of Ronald Reagan and so he is not such an abstract notion. Barak Obama is a President who has a distaste for the truth and an even greater distaste for America, her history, greatness and power. Obama is weak of character, with little resolve except to “transform” the United States into another socialist sinkhole. In contrast, Reagan was a man we could trust and a man who unquestionably loved America and embraced her greatness and righteous power. Barak Obama seems to disdain the principles that forged this country; the self-determination and rugged individualism, and Americans’ tenacious clutch on the Constitution and the limits it places upon government. Obama stands in opposition to the substance of men who had true grit, the tough justice that won the freedom of people on the American continent as well as distant shores and many lands.
If Rooster Cogburn stands for tough justice, then the contemporary Left stands for a decrepit style of convenient mercy. Obama and the Left offer political correctness as a counterfeit of real mercy, not as an opportunity for redemption, but as an excuse for the reprobate. Mercy is a holy principle made possible only through the atoning blood of the Savior Jesus Christ and offered as a second chance to the repentant soul. The politically correct form of mercy excludes any Judeo-Christian notion of correction and renewal, and seeks only to justify the actions of the offenders; those who offend God through sin and blasphemy, and those who offend man through destructive and unjust acts.
America is now faced with many enemies cloaked in the robes of mercy, but these enemies mock the mercy of God, and deride the merciful as weak, easy targets. America’s enemies; infiltration by illegal aliens, domestic and foreign Islamic jihadists, communism, “one worldism”, statism, progressivism, the destruction of families, sexual perversions, and wanton disregard for all standards of decency and civility, would do away with the concept of genuine justice, thereby withholding punishment from the true criminal, and exerting punishment only upon those who think the wrong thoughts and hinder the way of progressive ideology.
This is at the core of the Left’s perverse reasoning. Good is called bad and must be punished, and bad is called good and must be rewarded. This is the essence of political correctness. Barak Obama has erred on the side of mercy in a perverse, politically correct attempt to look reasonable. America has been cheated for decades by a form of fake mercy that has lead to a general acceptance of degenerate behavior and slack standards.
I believe this is one of the reasons that we love Rooster Cogburn and miss Ronald Reagan. We feel safer and more free when tough justice is exerted unflinchingly against the unambiguously evil, without a presumption of innocence. Rooster Cogburn was a man of tough justice and hard truth. And he enforced the truth in a hard way. A nation cannot remain free if its social structure is built on a scaffold of falsehoods and equivocation. Cogburn’s style of tough justice gave preference to the truth over perceptions of good intentions. The prevailing politics and pop-culture in America have become like the permissive parent, lacking standards and accountability for its citizens. The effective and involved parent uses “tough love” to guide and discipline the wayward child. Tough justice is the tough love of the body politic. Americans are hungry for the truth, and hard truth and tough justice are often partners, and sorely needed in a world where wickedness is too often given a pass.