The Myth of Conservative America ca. 1949

Okay, so some twenty-five or more years after I spent Sunday mornings watching the Lone Ranger scattered among old episodes of Sgt. Preston and his dog King of the Yukon, Hopalong Cassidy, and the Bowery Boys, I bought a DVD containing the “pilot” episode of the Lone Ranger from 1949. To you damn kids who attend public schools, I will helpfully calculate that it was 55 years before the cheap DVD was released and by now about 56 years ago that network television presented a hero that:

  • Was rescued by a minority person of color whom the hero had helped previously, in a time when helping minority persons of color was not respected
  • Rescued a quadraped and nursed it back from the brink of death and managed not to eat it
  • Offered the wealth of his and his brother’s share of a silver mine to a poor substinence farmer but for some small stipend
  • Vowed to shoot to wound, not to kill
  • Lived as a symbol of the rule of law, not the rule of self-defense or revenge

Cheese, Louise, had the Lone Ranger lived to vote in 2004, he might have voted for John Kerry.

This is the shared herotage that some people would deny America. I’d like to think that perhaps we could share these ideals, but then some schmuck starts thinking that perhaps since my house is so nice I should give more than what I can spare beyond it that I start casting my own bullets out of whatever the heck they make nickels out of these days.

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