The Good Guys and the Bad Guys
The great classic Western movies usually featured the Good Guys, like the sheriff and those loyal to him in High Noon, and the Bad Guys –- the outlaws. In these movies the Bad Guys knew they were bad. They didn’t deny it. They just thought they could shoot their way out of it. In contemporary United States, the Bad Guys make a great show of pretending that they are the Good Guys, and there are a lot of Bad Guys –- politicians, media personalities, and their financial backers –– who have convinced a large segment of the public that they are the Good Guys and that it’s the guys generally regarded as good that are the bad ones. It’s easy for someone like me, who has seen a lot and learned a lot about American history, having lived through well over a third of it since 1776, and has a pretty good understanding of our society and culture, to tell the Good Guys from the Bad Guys, and it’s agonizing to observe that there are so many Bad Guys and no less so that there are so many people who can’t tell the difference between Good Guys and Bad Guys or have been duped into getting it backward. If the existential struggle going on in the United States right now were happening in a classic Western movie, I could assure you that the Good Guys are going to win. I’m sorry it’s not.