Allen West: ‘Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?’

Retired Army LTCOL Allen B. West had his cowboy memories tripped by a song the other day. You have all heard its wistful refrain and most of you understand the deeper meanings. For those of you who do not and as a refresher course for the rest, Allen West covers the American Cowboy and the image that we hold of him. 

As Written By Allen West for Townhall:

It was the title of a song done by Paula Cole back in 1996, and a very popular song might I add. It came out at a time when I was stationed at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas going through the US Army Command and General Staff Officer College (CGSC). I had just returned from a one-year assignment in the Second Infantry Division up near the DMZ in South Korea. I was wrapping up one Masters from Kansas State University, and beginning another at CGSC. They loved that song out in the Midwest.

Of course today, 21 years later, the radical liberal progressive feminists would condemn Ms. Cole’s song as sexist and misogynist. What Ms. Cole was addressing was a rhetorical question about rugged, strong, responsible men…where had they gone? I can answer that question, the progressive socialist left has changed them into the “Pajama Boy”. For whatever reason, that which the world had previously admired about America, became despised and rejected here at home. There was something about that tough individualism that defined who we were, and oft times it was metaphorically portrayed as the American Cowboy. Sure, they had the gauchos down in South America, but American western movies and folklore gave us a model, an ideal of what resolve looked like.

C’mon, who out there has not watched the movie “Tombstone” countless times and memorized the lines of Val Kilmer portraying Doc Holliday? And ladies, you all recall that line from Dana Delany when she got off the stagecoach and peered down Allen Street in Tombstone, Arizona and said, “who is that tall drink of water?”

However, those images of American men have been denigrated. A prime example was when the liberal progressives of Europe and America demeaned President George W. Bush as just “an American Cowboy.” In their eyes, the American Cowboy was an inherently negative and neanderthalic image. To their delight, President Bush was replaced by Barack Obama, who embodied a more acceptable, gentler, less intimidating image of America, which by virtue of his lofty rhetoric and sweet smile, was ordained to pacify the world. What ended up happening was eight years of abject weakness, but hey folks, it felt good right? No longer was the American image one that was threatening or intimidating, it was one that sought not to be respected, but liked.

Furthermore, that image of rugged individualism was replaced by one of victimization. Heck, we no longer saw women as Annie Oakleys but rather as wards of the state as portrayed in the video “The Life of Julia”. Our lives were no longer about our own drive and determination, it was about a government that would take care of us from cradle to grave…one that even decided who gets to the cradle. After all, remember the……


‘Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?’ – Allen West

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