Wednesday, April 11, 2018

In Praise of Trump and Billy the Kid

April 11, 2018
   It's a known fact Americans love underdogs and outlaws, but it's been my personal experience country folk have an even deeper abide for outlaw underdogs.

   My favorite saying about this is: "A typical Westerner will punch you in the face if you call his father a crook, but he'll puff up more than a little when he starts spinning tales about his grandfather's outlaw exploits."

   By way of example, my Kingman cowboy cousins are mighty fond of Trump. They forgive his sexual peccadillos ("JFK and Clinton did worse") and they minimize his lying and buffoonery. ("We need a junkyard dog in Washington right now.") This reminds me of another mythic character who was both loved and reviled in his day:

"Halo Billy, The Outlaw Saint of New Mexico"

   As for the junkyard dog metaphor, I am also related to someone who likens Trump to an oversized poodle dry-humping America's leg. Somehow, all the above kin are still talking to each other. We are Americans, after all. We violently disagree on so many things it's a wonder it all hangs together, but it does. Personally, I am in awe of the contradictions we all live with. Plus, history has taught me a few things.

   Based on my lifelong studies of the Kid I predict we will someday look back on the Trump presidency with a wistful fondness for a simpler time. 

   One request: don't punch the messenger in the face.

"His crimes are minimized or forgotten, a halo has been placed about his scapegrace brow."

—Walter Noble Burns, on Billy the Kid


  1. Bravo, BBB. The mind with History in it understands.

  2. I'm headed to Texas in a couple of weeks to visit half siblings that were born and raised in Texas and I was like wise in Minnesota. Our politics are as opposite as you can get. Pray for me.


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