Whilst out trying, in vain I might add, to do my part to decrease the elk population of Wyoming, I stumbled onto an epiphany of sorts.
One night while sitting around the tent imbibing some of Adolph Coors' master works and discussing the problems of the world in general, and the state of American politics in particular, with my father and brother, I came to a sudden realization.
I am not a Conservative.
I am not a Libertarian.
I am not a Republican.
What I am is a Fundamentalist American.
What does it mean to be a Fundamentalist American? Well, first off, I have a deep appreciation and love for America, what it means to be an American, and a belief that we are in fact a decent and moral nation.
I believe what the Founders put down on paper, both in the Declaration of Independence and in the Constitution, is how it's supposed to be. That the "Living Document" argument is a stupid one. The writers and framers of the Constitution put in place a mechanism to change it and using the courts to do the dirty work to change portions that they either don't like or have to clout to change on their own is as they say, chickensh*t.
That rugged individualism isn't just some nifty little catch phrase, it's what made America what it is today. People like my grandfather who survived the Great Depression doing jobs that most modern Americans squish and squirm at doing as "beneath them", and who went on to do great things. Not great things in the sense he invented something and became rich and famous, but great things like helping to build a small northeast Wyoming cow/jerk water town into something besides a cow/jerk water town.
Or the man who was larger than life when I was growing up. A Mountain Man. Real life, no kidding mountain man named Timber Jack Joe. I met the man growing up, he was an icon in Wyoming lore, harking back to the days of Jim Bridger and Kit Carson and Jedediah Smith. He was not a"re-enactor", but a man who believed in all his heart in rugged individualism.
I believe in what I was taught from a young age: that you are responsible for you, and not anyone else. Seeing as now we get a constant barrage of being our brother's keeper and that somehow, propping up failure is a noble thing. Failure is just that, failure. That is how life is lived. If you don't fail, you don't learn. Doing the same tired things over and over and expecting different results each time is, to put it mildly, stupid.
So there it is, my epiphany. Fundamentalist Americanism. I'll add more on the subject in the days and weeks to come, but for now, I thought I'd share this with everyone, just to get it off my chest.