Sunday, January 22, 2012

Just leave this long-haired country boy alone...

So went the chorus of Charlie Daniels' immortal classic from 1974's Fire on the Mountain. I call it an immortal classic, even thought it never broke the top ten on any charts, mostly because it captures my self-mage. The full chorus:
But I ain't askin' nobody for nothin',
If I can't get it on my own.
You don't like the way I'm livin',
You just leave this long-haired country boy alone.
This kind of self image I've spoken of before, in a roundabout sort of way. I think it's very common, far more common than most realize, and in and of itself goes along way towards explaining the growth of the Tea Party movement.

Truth be told, I'm not really a "country boy." I was born and raised in suburbia, though my father was raised in rural America, as were most of my ancestors and relatives on his side of the family. But to be fair, I can't say even he is a great example of a country boy. And my hair is not all that long, though it certainly was when I was younger.

The song paints a simple picture life and--again, not in keeping with that image--my life is hardly spent sitting on a porch with a hunting rifle on my lap and my coon dog beside me. I spend a lot of time in Starbucks, have a brokerage account and other investments that I manage, blog (obviously) frequently, and read books on economic theory and history incessantly.

So who am I to self-identify with this description?

Simple: I'm my own person. I expect nothing from anyone else. Anyone else. Sure, I'll take help freely given and will do the same for others, but I don't expect it or demand it and no one--aside from my own family--should expect it or demand it from me.

For many years, I've flown an American flag in front of my house. Last year, I stopped and put up this one, instead:

And I do--in fact--own a hunting rifle. It belonged to my grandfather (on my father's side). I've never had a reason to fire it, not being much of a hunter, but I have no intention of getting rid of it anytime soon.

Do I sound like some sort of revolutionary? I don't mean to. But I think--as the Primary season continues to heat up and the 2012 Election draws closer--that it's a good time to remember and critique our own self image, to reassess the people standing in front of us who desire to lead the country, who would have us believe that they understand who we are and what we want. Because sometimes, I think we're quick to get wrapped up in the minutiae of the moment, to be distracted by secondary issues that have nothing to do with core principals, with what should be in the forefront as election issues.

And this CDB song still lays out those issues that are, ultimately, the ones most important to me.

Cheers, all.

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