I sure like what this girl has to say......
So what's wrong with being a cowboy? by Susie Freeman, Rockdale Reporter (Rockdale, Texas)
One of the accusations aimed at President Bush by his detractors is to call him a "cowboy," as if this is some mark of shame, implying something sinister or simple-minded. I keep wondering why. Have you ever watched a rodeo?
They've started interviewing the contestants after they compete, giving the audience a little glimpse into the character of these athletes, something like the ones conducted preceding title fights and following basketball and football games.
They go something like this;
"Cody, you made a spectacular ride, which moves you into first place. How do you feel about your position as the number one bull-rider in the country?"
"Well, ma'am, (notice the use of a term of respect, a vanishing social custom among most Americans under the age of 30), I've been real lucky. I've drawn some good bulls and everything has fallen into place for me this year. Some of my competitors have had some injuries and bad luck. I just hope I can stay healthy."
Before his closest competitor comes out of the chute, this cowboy then climbs up on the fence and helps him tie on his rigging. He gives that same guy a high five at the side of the arena when he's beaten by two points on the ride he helped him prepare for.
How many times have you seen an arena full of rodeo fans take to the streets following a competition and set fire to cars or hold an impromptu riot because they felt dissatisfied with the final outcome, as Michigan State students recently did?
There is no booing of officials when scores are announced. I've never heard of a contested call by any competitor, even when it meant the difference between winning and losing.... Cowboys don't whine.
Cowboys regularly loan each other equipment and even horses, frequently valued at $50,000 to $100,000 per animals, when a fellow competitor's ride didn't arrive in time for tonight's roping or bulldogging or whatever.
When 'The Star Spangled Banner' is played, to a man and woman they rise to their feet and put their hats over their hearts in respect.
They don't wear T-shirts bearing offensive sexual messages. When a cowboy (or cowgirl) is injured, the rest hold fund-raisers and donate time and money to help him or her and their families through a rough financial time.
A lifetime achievement is the day when a contestant reaches $1 million in earnings. To reach that goal, he or she has spent about 15 years practicing and suffering dozens of injuries, traveled hundreds of thousands of miles from rodeo to rodeo, frequently with their toughest competition, who also happens to be their best friend.
Headlines never seem to carry news of a world-champion bull rider or calf roper beating up his wife or being arrested for molesting under-age girls.
And they, too, have their groupies and some even have failed marriages, sad victims of the vagabond lifestyle necessary to follow the rodeo circuit.
They seem to know who their fathers are and most often seem to be married to the mothers of their children. They thank their families for their successes.
So, I have to ask: What's wrong with being described as a "cowboy?"
It seems to me to be high praise in a world full of folks with questionable moral standards, technicolor hair, bodies adorned with rings and tattoos in startling locations and no respect for anything of value or worth.
It seems our "cowboy" president is in some pretty good company.
Sure beats being a Frenchman.