A common theme in American folklore is that of the lonely man of principal willing to do what is necessary in confronting and defeating those who would prey on the innocent with no reward other than being able to look himself in the mirror in the morning. In films such as “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter, and particularly Gary Cooper’s performance as Marshall Will Kane in High Noon, the flawed hero confronts what the timid and fearful townfolk are unwilling or unable to confront on their own. When high noon comes ’round, he alone faces the bad guys for no other reason than that his honor demands it. In the end, after having killed or driven the predators from his community, he finds himself unwelcome among the very people he has shielded from harm.
I have nothing left but to be mildly disgusted watching our two major political parties spin, obfuscate, and lie in attempting to fool the so called middle, the independant voter, the uninformed with no set political or life philosophy who decide our elections into believing that they represent anything other than raw political power. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have evolved under our current post modern culture into left and right rails on the same track leading to an all encompassing federal nanny state that seeks to relieve us of the responsibilities of citizenship. Whether progressive leftism or compassionate conservatism, they are both philosophies that seek to control the people by fooling us into trading freedom for comfort and security. Always for our own good of course.
It should be obvious to nearly everyone by this point in history that the classically liberal philosophy of the enlightenment which reached its zenith in our founding documents, a philosophy whose overriding concern was in limiting a government’s power over its citizens, is most conducive to human happiness and success. There is empirical evidence for this anywhere that the philosophy has been put to practice in the real world. Unfortunately however there seems to be a bug in the human nature hardrive that is causing us, the desendents of a people who were able to author such paradigm shifting documents as the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution and then use it to reach heights unimagined, to revert to our medieval default mode of feudal collectivism. Our incumbent representatives safe in gerrymandered districts filling the role of titled royalty, taxing the peasants in ever increasing amounts while tossing back a scrap every now and then while we fight over it for their ammusement.
As I grow older, seasoned with the broken and bent promises of politicians of every stripe, I have come to believe that the libertarian ideal of individual responsibility and making ones way in life with a minimum of interferance, while the best system yet devised for the advancement of humankind, can only really thrive in a frontier environment. Before the civilizers and do-gooders take over. Anyone who tells you different is reaching for your wallet. A cold look at history and human nature will tell you that once a people become prosperous they will trade away anything to try and maintain that prosperity, including and especially the very means of it.
Men and women of real action and consequence are a rare commodity and as such tend to remind the “good people” in society of their own deficiencies. Once having served their purpose of making that society possible they are driven from the temples of polite company to wonder the wilderness alone.
Until as it inevitably does, high noon comes ’round again.