Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Maverick Unpacked

A maverick is an unbranded, feral range animal, especially a motherless calf; it can also mean a person who shows independence of thought or action; a lone dissenter; a non-conformist or rebel.

A feral organism is one that has escaped from domestication and returned, partly or wholly, to its wild state. The introduction of feral animals or plants, like any introduced species, can disrupt ecosystems and may, in some cases, contribute to extinction of indigenous species. From the Wikipedia

OK, I (like you) have always thought that the image of a maverick was inspiring---a horse that ruins free, unfettered by human notions and desires, escaping captivity and able to do the unpredictable. I used to think of it as positive when it came to politicians. I no longer think it’s a flattering image in that a President has to be steady, dependable, thoughtful, taking into accounts many sides of complex issues---able to work within the structures and cultures in which a President is always called to work. To be unpredictable, idiosyncratic, without loyalties or webs of relationships seems like a bad place to start. How do I know this? Lets see….

We have had a Texas cowboy as President, who might also qualify as an independent thinker, often ignoring the counsel of his closest advisors, acting unilaterally and free of party or relational bias, ignoring the warnings and cautions of Congress. It is what got us into Iraq which we need to remember was based on a tissue of lies told by a true cowboy rearing on his horse and brandishing a Colt 45.

It dawned on me, thanks to a news commentator that the last few times Congress was told that they MUST act in a short time frame was the Iraq War and the “Patriot Act”. They still remember that—thank God—which may explain their anger, frustration and resistance to be rushed by this new Bush crisis. For all the complaining I believe the House and Senate are trying to be thoughtful, responsible and accountable to the American tax payer.

Brett Maverick is a fictitious character based on a TV series by Warner Brothers in the 50s. His name originally means being independent and nonconformist with wandering from place to place. He and his brother Bart are gamblers who migrate from town to town always looking for a good game in order to make lots of money. They prefer playing poker or any other gambles and often get into trouble with law. Instead of fighting they prefer leaving town.


While the above description of James Garner’s original role (which my family watched religiously when I was a child) is a great TV role, I am not sure it describes the desirable characteristics of a President of the United States. I've had enough Westerns for a decade.


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