A Good Country With Good People In It

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“This is a good country, with good people in it.” – John Wayne

In today’s world algorithms push information upon us that polarizes opinions and minimize other viewpoints. This can make us judgmental and angry and feel that we are right without considering the viewpoint of others. We forget this is good with good people in it. All of whom make mistakes.

Starting in the middle of the 20th Century it became “popular” for people to show how smart they were by denigrating leaders and historical figures and pointing out all of their faults. Simple people and hypocrites decieded that was evidence that we should dismiss what they said and did. Honest, thoughtful people with wisdom understand that everyone has faults but the amazing thing is not that great men had faults but that they accomplished great things despite their faults. That should give hope to all of us.

There is an old saying that:

Anytime you point your finger at someone there are three times as many fingers pointing at you.

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This points out the truth that when we point our finger at someone it commonly means that the three fingers beneath the index finger are curled back in our direction. It is a caution to have humility when judging others. But that humility is gone today. People attack complete strangers because of a hat, a T-shirt, a careless word, a Fakebook post, a sign in their yard, or for their skin color all without knowing anything about the individual they are talking to. They force assumptions upon them without knowing their history or circumstances in the most judgmental of ways and then judge them for the very assumptions they are making about them. Further, history is dismissed and statues are torn down by people who are utterly ignorant of the history they are protesting. Some are so prideful in their stupidity that they have torn down statues of abolitionists who opposed slavery in their misplaced and ignorant zeal against the historical fact of slavery that was practiced in every continent and every age. Starting before history and continuing to the present day slavery has cursed our world. I have had contempt for these people who would attack helpless statues while doing absolutely nothing to free the helpless slaves that exist today.

This is the height of arrogance, foolishness, and pettiness. It utterly lacks the wisdom of caution that the above saying urges us to consider.

All in all people on both sides of each argument seem to be forgetting a basic truth. They are allowing themselves to harshly judge people who are uneducated as well as those who are educated in ignorance, those who are uniformed as well as those who are misinformed. They have spuriously forgotten the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. that one day we “would be judged by the content of our character rather than by the color of our skin.” But people of many communities seem to have decided that he didn’t mean them when he clearly meant everyone. To judge people who are biologically the same because of a millimeter of flesh that they are incased in is the height of arrogance, foolishness, and pettiness. It utterly lacks wisdom.

I wear crossed sabers with an 8 over it on my “cowboy” hat. I wear it with the right side folded up to not interfere with siting in my rifle and I have a feather in it. I do that because I served in the 8th Regiment of the US Cavalry and it is a cavalry tradition. I had a woman make a very shallow judgment that I was a rascist. Her reasoning, she told friends, was “the crossed sabers. They used sabers back in the days of slavery.” They ate food back in the days of slavery too. Are we going to ban that? Such shallow and petty judgments and bias are normal fare for today and it is easy to respond in anger to such foolishness and lack of wisdom.

But we would all do well to listen to the words of my boyhood hero John Wayne:

“This is a good country, with good people in it.”

That is why unscrupulous people can manipulate America and the people of the West for their power and profit by making them feel guilty. Based upon the moral foundations of the West they realize some of their own and their nation’s actions were wrong. Yet, though we have made mistakes, they tend to be the same mistakes that people all over the world have been making for thousands of years. Before we point our fingers and pass judgment we should remember the quote and be aware of the three fingers pointing back at us.

I think a good example of this attitude is in the John Wayne movie The Horse Soldiers. In it, he faces enemies without hate but with the resolute purpose and truth that marked his actual character as well as his on-screen character. If you are unfamiliar with John Wayne try this movie for free on PlutoTV (if you like it there are many more that I sat and watched with my sons):

Horse Soldiers with John Wayne a Classic Movie about a trying time (See link below to watch for free)


Although my oldest son really loved not only the story but the humor in this one:


A scene from the Alamo. Mexico had invited white Americans to settle this area and initially welcomed them. Then the government changed and insisted that all people in the area had to become Catholic. Texas rebelled and refused to accept this religious decree by the Mexican government. The United States encouraged their rebellion but didn’t send help in time to prevent this battle. If you don’t understand the phrase “Remember the Alamo.” You should watch this movie.

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