Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


The Great American Cowboy Hat

Several years back I decided to run my hot weather races wearing my straw hat for shade and spectators frequently yell “hey, I like your hat”. This June, while descending the unmerciful Tongue River Canyon on the Big Horn Trail Run I heard a “nice hat” comment from a fellow competitor and this gave my semi-comatose mind something to ponder the last five miles of the hot, dry and boring gravel road exiting the canyon. The cowboy hat is truly a unique American symbol and we freedom fighters battling to restore our republic should adopt it as an emblem signifying our allegiance to our cause. Thanks to John Wayne and Roy Rogers, Americans reflexively know the person under the hat is ruggedly independent, hardworking, courageous, God fearing and compassionate; traits despised by the ruling class. We should capitalize on this. Think of the intimidating impact a leftist politician would suffer while holding a microphone preparing to address a crowd when nearly every member of the audience is sporting a 30X beaver. Unfortunately, this would only work at outdoor rallies as every cowboy’s momma taught them to never wear their hat indoors. Think about it.

Unfortunately, cowboys who have foundered on the progressive Kool-Aid and vote a straight Democrat ticket face a dilemma. Apparently they think it is fitting and proper for government to steal large portions of the wages they earned night calving heifers to redistribute to the lazy dudes back at the bunkhouse sitting on the sofa watching American Idol. I do not. Such cowboys will be lost as collateral damage in our battle for freedom so they best exchange their cowboy hat for a gang-banger stocking cap; attire more fitting to their voting pattern.

Adopting the cowboy hat as our rallying symbol means a whole lot of people who don’t know which end of the cow gets up first will be wearing hats. This is fine. One need not actually own cows to embrace the cowboy principle of rugged individualism and independence. Over my 57 years, I can only think of one time when I wished I hadn’t been wearing my cowboy hat. It happened over two years ago, but was so traumatizing this is the first I have spoken of it. Here is the story.

Team Beef Montana, comprised of me, the trophy wife and ten other Montanans, had just competed in the 200 mile Hood to Coast relay race in Oregon. We had made the trek in two, 12 passenger vans and were headed home to the Treasure State. At a fuel stop in the Columbia River Gorge all we Montanans stretched sore muscles before we crawled back into the vans and attacked the second and longest leg of our trip home. I drove van #2 across the dry plains of eastern Washington with the monotony of the trip interrupted by curious stares of passing motorists. Even van #1 would occasionally pull alongside us smile, wave and then laugh. “What’s up with them?” I thought. Just east of Spokane, we pulled into a very nice rest area for a picnic lunch and another stretch. My teammates, a term I use very, very loosely, exploded from van #1 in hysterics as if their driver for the last 300 miles had been Tim Conway. Sara and Alex wobbled towards me as if weakened from laughter. Between guffaws Sara finally pointed at the back of my van where they had stuck a magnetic bumper sticker reading “I (heart) Gay Porn.”

Suddenly I understood the horrified facial expressions of a nice little family in a mini-van I had passed three hours earlier outside Umatilla; a memory which choked the chuckles right out of me. I imagined this family was enjoying a great Sunday morning driving home from church until they passed a van full of sinners who appeared to be escapees from Brokeback Mountain. With that off my chest, I’ll jump back to my point.

For city patriots wishing to join our cause, purchase the best hat you can afford. If you grab a $4.98 Wal-Mart special you will look like Woody from Toy Story; a cartoonish image unbecoming true freedom fighters. Shopping at a well-established western wear store is a good bet, but if you are truly committed to restoring our great republic invest in a custom built hat. It is not cheap, but spending $300 to $500 for proper attire will give you skin in the game and restoring the founding principles of limited government is worth it. Will I see you wearing a hat at my next political rally?

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