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Choose Your Heroes Wisely

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When I was a child, I had heroes. Roy Rogers was one of them. He could sing, ride horses, and shoot. We could always tell right from wrong, and he always stood for the right. Another of my heroes was the Rifleman. He could take care of a son, a ranch, and rid the town of bad guys all in a day's work. The principles these characters espoused were admirable, and they deserved to be our heroes.

Then along came Bush, and we lost our faith in heroes. He used our faith in the cowboy hero to hijack our ideals. He portrayed himself as the good guy. He was the rugged cowboy hero who would protect his town and get rid of the bad guys. We saw pictures of cowboy-Bush chopping wood and riding in a fighter jet – his metal horse. He claimed to be the leader who would make America safe and secure. He claimed spiritual guidance from the Almighty. He offered redemption from terror. He lied. He rode into town with his gang and kidnapped our faith, holding it hostage while raping the country and laughing all the way to the bank. Instead of fighting against terror, he brought terror to our homes. He made it personal.

He took our naivety and turned it cynical. He took our trust and trampled it underfoot like dust. He took our GI Joes and broke them in two like a spoiled playground bully. He looked at New Orleans when it flooded, then looked away as it fell. He treats anything other than his war games as unimportant and not worth the effort or expense. Meanwhile people suffer and die. Instead of ridding the town of bad guys, he instills fear in the town's folk by threats of terror and mayhem, while gleefully planning his next move. He hides behind words like Patriotism without knowing what it means. He throws our GI Joes around like they are expendable because he knows that he can just buy more. It's a rich man's game, and he plays it well.

I only have one thing to say to you, Bushwacker; The jig is up. We are now aware. We are aware that not all cowboys are good guys, and that evil can wear a hero's mask. We know that you have nothing but contempt for the people you are supposed to serve. We've seen you play in your sandbox called America and use your playmates like chattel.

The hero's mask is peeled away to reveal your true character. You are not a hero, Bushwacker. You are the enemy. You are being exposed for the fraud that you are with every word of truth that is spoken.

Remember this: The truth will always win. Your house of lies will crumble, and the truth will rise triumphant out of the ashes. We are adults now, and have chosen our heroes wisely. Those heroes are truth, honor, and justice for all.

Copyright 2007, Barbara H. Peterson

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Barbara H. Peterson is retired from the California Department of Corrections, where she worked as a Correctional Officer at Folsom Prison. She was one of the first females to work at the facility in this classification. After retirement, she went to (more...)
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