More on Sheepdogs
I’ve written before that America’s sheepdogs are waking up. With the Sheep in power, the sheepdogs are growing tired of getting stepped on, sworn at and kicked. While the analogy fits well in describing the American electorate, today, on reading Richard Cohen’s column in the WaPo, I’m reminded that the analogy also fits when looking at nations. Nation-states can also be described using the convention of Sheep, Sheepdogs, and Wolves.
America, for decades the world’s Sheepdog, has put the Sheep in control and the rest of the world is reacting predictably. No matter how good the sheep’s clothing looks or how vehemently the BHO regime proclaims itself as just another lamb, the fact remains, the American Spirit is one of the Sheepdog.
As a Sheepdog, America will never be universally liked by the Sheep of the world. An effective Sheepdog can be respected by everyone, but never loved… it’s the way of nature. Even though BHO has dressed America in Sheep’s clothing, the world still sees the Sheepdog… and has lost respect for, and confidence in, the cross-dressing Superpower. Today, the world has no confidence in America being a good friend, and more importantly the world has lost all confidence in America as protector of western liberal democracy… a role it played for just about the entire 20th Century. For the past century the American Sheepdog, standing watch over a thriving herd, has provided for both Allies and former enemies to allow them to recover from the devastation of two world wars and develop into modern liberal democracies. Seventy years of occupation have made Germany and Japan economic powers and centers of political freedom. But the Sheepdog, only doing what he sees as his duty, won’t ever be thanked by the Sheep, nor loved by those he helps.
So I read Mr. Cohen’s lament that,
“Times have changed. America’s power is diminished — relatively, for sure, but absolutely as well. As a superpower, America invaded Iraq. Saddam is dust. But that brief war is now in its eighth year.”
, and I answer with, “It doesn’t have to be this way.” We don’t have to be, and should NEVER be, a Sheepdog in Sheep’s clothing. If we recognize our role as Sheepdog, and act accordingly, we can maintain respect and influence… the error is expecting love and gratitude for enabling the progress of liberal democracy. That love will never come.
Without knowing it, Mr. Cohen has described the phenomenon well… from the Sheep’s perspective.
It suggests inevitability, as if America was the empire of Rome or Britain and also that the past is fated to be the future. That, though, does not have to be the case. We can spend less, tax more, abjure wars of choice, reform Congress and stop confusing the celebrity of the presidency with actual power.
Obama presiding over the unpresidable, the president overseeing the incomprehensible, the full panoply of meaningless power — Air Force One, Marine One, the limo, the motorcade, the briefcase with the nuclear launch codes — all amounting in this case to man railing against the sea, a somber lesson for us all. The spill goes on. The war goes on. The debt grows — and so, for too many of us, does denial.
Mr. Cohen sees the same situation I do, but he seems hopeless. “Oh woe is US… our problems are too big and even the great One cannot make a difference. Oh vast herd of Sheep, hear my bleat.” But the fact is, the spirit of America can’t tolerate hopelessness, more importantly it WON’T tolerate it.
Ignoring the bleating and wailing of the Sheep, self-sufficient Americans will tighten their belts, roll up their sleeves and get back to work building a bright future for the generations that will follow. The fact that the Sheepdogs of the country have been stirred to action gives me great optimism. It matters not that the “movement” isn’t homogeneous, nor monolithic, nor beholden to one creed. It doesn’t matter that there is not a recognized national leader, nor a big bureaucracy to manage the message. The movement that the BHO Administration has been kicking awake is beyond definition. It is the stirring of the American Spirit.
Individualism, personal responsibility, personal liberty, self-reliance and optimism are the principles uniting the awakening voices. Faith in our Constitution and a distrust of big government are the hallmarks of the movement. Beyond that it will be impossible to codify the movement and every effort to classify this collection of individuals will only be seen as another kick.
The President and his sycophantic media can deride the phenomenon and label those stirred to action as Teabaggers. But calling those who are unhappy with growing government and out of control spending and out of touch politicians vulgar names only serves as another kick in the ribs. With each verbal barb, with every mention of more government spending and bigger government, they are kicking the Sheepdog that had been asleep. The American spirit is waking up… a little late perhaps, but it’s begun to reassert itself.
So, Mr. Cohen, if joining Europe as a loved member is your desire, I’m afraid you are correct in your pessimism. But if you love the idea of America as the shining city on a hill; if you recognize that people all over the world dream of coming to America to escape government and economic tyranny; if you believe that America is truly a unique and exceptional place; then you are probably worried, but still confident that the American Spirit lives on. Mr. Cohen, instead of rending your clothing, just roll up your sleeves, tighten your belt and show us what you can do to help us climb out of this funk. And if you’re unable to muster the strength or courage to help, just get out of the way and let the doers do.
It can’t be soon enough, but in the near future America will toss off the Sheep’s clothing. As we’ve seen in every election since the 2008 General Election, the Sheepdog is awake… the American Spirit is rising and it doesn’t care that we’re not universally loved. Respect is the important word.