An editorial on the Fox Nation website takes on the profound question of what sort of hats our presidents should wear. But this isn’t an allegory for the duties assumed while governing the world’s greatest superpower (i.e. economist’s hat, general’s hat, etc.). No, it is far more shallow and childish than that. The headline alludes to the “Musings Of An Average Joe: We Need A Cowboy, Not A Community Organizer.” Accompanying this simplistic nonsense is a collage of some American presidents including Ronald Reagan and George Bush wearing cowboy hats, while Obama sports a safety helmet for bicycling.
There is so much wrong with this before even getting to the substance of the article. First of all, Ronald Reagan was born in Illinois and spent the whole of his adult life in big cities, primarily Hollywood. His association with cowboys is mostly due to having played them in movies. What could be more artificial? Well, perhaps the notion of Bush, a Connecticut native, Yale/Harvard grad (barely), as a western hero. And finally, it isn’t difficult to find photos of these same presidents in different hats, if all Fox is interested in is playing dress-up.
The article is an homage to uncontrolled rage. The premise revolves around the opinion of Fox’s alleged “average” Joe Billelo that Obama did not go sufficiently bonkers upon learning about the death of Kayla Mueller at the hands of ISIL terrorists. He wondered…
“Why didn’t Obama address the nation and the world that very day with genuine anger and rage? A rage that can’t be expressed with a teleprompter. Why didn’t he assure the American people that this brutality will not stand on his watch?”
In other words. why didn’t Obama rip out his hair and run around the room screaming banshee-style while throwing lamps at his aides and ordering the Pentagon bomb something – anything. Essentially, Joe wants to know why the President didn’t react in precisely the manner that the terrorists hope when they commit their murderous acts. It’s called “terror” -ism because it’s the intention of the perpetrators to instill the fear that terror produces into the hearts of their enemies. And every time anyone capitulates to that tactic they are advancing the goals of the terrorist.
President Obama is absolutely right to respond in a calm but assertive manner by issuing strong condemnations and promising justice. The notion that Obama has not given assurances that he will not tolerate such brutality is only plausible to the most vacant, tea-soaked brains. While professional Obama-haters like this Average Joe call for pointless, physical manifestations of drooling fury, Obama has efficiently disposed of more than 6,000 actual terrorist fighters, including more than half of their top commanders. While rightist pundits and politicians whine impotently about symbolic trivialities like the President not appending the word “Islamic” to every mention of terror, Obama forges alliances with the true representatives of the Muslim world who are offended by those who would allow terrorists to falsely appropriate the mantle of their faith.
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In light of the ludicrous arguments made in this editorial, it isn’t surprising that it would use the image of a cowboy to make a point about international diplomacy. Calling someone a cowboy generally means that they are dangerously impulsive and untrustworthy. They are the sort that shoots first and asks questions later. They are, therefore, exactly what the images of Reagan and Bush project. They are phonies who mistake movie bravado for real-world courage and wisdom. And they believe that slapping a cowboy hat on an urban faker makes him a gunslinging champion of freedom. That’s how superficial and dimwitted these cretins are. And what’s even worse, they appear to be proud of it.