Change hats, change character. Roy Rogers first played a villain in a bit part in a Gene Autry movie. When Gene marched off to war, ol' Roy donned the fringe and glitter and the white hat and climbed up on Trigger as the King of the Cowboys.
Eddie Graham tired of making a fortune as a bad guy in the ring. He came home to Tampa and reinvented himself as the ultimate rasslin' hero. When the vile nazis and commies and assorted wrongdoers slashed his forehead beneath those golden locks we all bled.
Somehow the United Stated has worn the crown of the good guy with most of the rest of the world from the get go. That is in spite of slavery and genocide. We got off to a good start as the underdog and, let's face it, the world loves an underdog. To help in the contest we kept winning wars. Let's face it again, the only thing we love more than an underdog is a winner. That means that we wrote the history books, therefor, God was on our side.
Along the way we gave the world jazz, Levis, rock'n'roll, the i phone.
In the meantime we stopped winning wars. You might suppose that losing for a couple of generations might cause us to reconsider that game. Nope. The military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us of makes a fortune from the arms industry, win or lose.
Finally we arrive at a point where the rest of the world doesn't even laugh at us. It shudders. We elect a black president and for a brief, beautiful moment it appears that we have begun a new march forward. This after killing the Kennedys, Dr. King and Malcolm X. Almost immediately the ignorant push forward an evil cartoon character turtle who announces proudly that a minority representing the wealthiest few in this country will prevent the new hero from governing.
In the meantime, science is denied. Infant mortality goes up. The economy collapses. We continue to lose wars but we somehow find new ones to fight in the name of God and democracy. Our infrastructure decays and our education system declines. Health care becomes affordable to the rulers and the few that they truly represent. The environment goes into a tailspin that scientists fret may be irreversible.
Rock'n'roll is usurped by the television networks and presented as melodramatic contests. Sex becomes nothing more than an advertising tool. It's not dirty anymore. Dang!
Without mentioning any names, I don't have to, this political season has clinched the deal. The rest of the world is nostalgic for the day when they could laugh at us. Now, with their heads in their hands they listen to the news every evening of border walls promised and new cold wars. They watch as mobs pummel protesters while orange faced lunatics and pasty faced demigods threaten to carpet bomb the middle east.
In the meantime we wait for the next television evangelist to be brought down by scandal, the next legislator to be undone by a sexual embarrassment. It seems hypocritical that sex is still dirty for them, doesn't it?
I'm considering starting a cult. Who's in?