151 Band

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Romantic History

Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library
I had the incredible honor of serving in the United States Navy under the legendary President Ronald Reagan.  There was excitement beyond description with just the mere thought or rumor that Reagan may be coming to the base for a surprise visit.  He was an enigmatic, incredible personality and leader whose following borders on the religious.

But Ronald Reagan is not, nor was he, a christological figure regardless of how much we want him to be.  We often forget that it was under Ronald Reagan that our Department of Defense expenditures were out of control and waste was rampant.  Hell, I remember the $400 toilet seat purchases that finally resulted in very serious cost-cutting measures.  I received a few commendations myself for streamlining administrative procedures in transferring personnel but the truth remained that all was not perfect.

The same kind of romanticism applies with the Republican Party as a whole right now.  Most Republicans today are very much like Democrats today wherein they are part of said political party because they have always been and have believed in some of the romanticism of yesteryear.  Every election cycle, the romance novel is pulled out, dusted off and quoted from with impunity and voters eat it up.

Another example is that of the Dallas Cowboys.  I remember being a fan of the Cowboys during the Landry era.  The man was a gentleman, a class act to be sure and his football players generally were model citizens.   Jerry Jones has turned the Cowboys into a money-making machine, filled to overflowing with thugs and a franchise that has somehow managed to maintain the "America's Team" label even after Tom Landry has gone on to play in the Superbowl in the sky.

It's understandable.  We have so few "heroes" in the forefront of our minds these days.  There was a time when men and women in the military were "heroes."  Men and women who stand a post in our contemporary culture receive far less praise and honor than they did once in this country.  Tom Landry and Roger Staubach served our country.  Perhaps that is why they led with such integrity.