Saturday, March 28, 2009

Excerpts from Born in Texas – written to inaugurate the opening of General Wesley Clark’s web site, Securing America a few years ago. Will use for working title: Born in Texas: The Decline of the Western World and the Rise of Agrarian America.

Could be that we are all destined to be born again as Americans in Texas. Could be that something will happen in Texas to make us different kinds of individuals in the world and a different kind of country. Something from which there will be no going back. Could be that destiny awaits us in Texas. The great visionary Salvador Dali saw a cosmic man-child, Geopoliticus Child, born there in the desert; hatched there, hatched out of a world egg. A new man for a new millennium beholding to none who came before.

Our primary myths arise from Texas. New England was much the same as England after the Revolution. And even when my grandparents arrived here, the mills in Manchester, New Hampshire, were identical to those in Manchester, England, and so were the people and so was the countryside. But Texas is different. Right away you notice it: The sky is big, the desert flat and arid. It does something to you.

The Alamo brings us a more American myth. We began to rise then in conflict with one another in the Mexican War and in the great civil conflict which followed on its heels. And in Texas, lost, gunned down and left for dead, we met our spirit friend. He nurtured us back to life and health. And when we were born again by the Indian healer’s hand we were finally Americans with no thoughts remaining of our European prehistory. Chief Joseph said this spirit would always walk among us, and when we least expected it, it would be there. Like at Appomattox, when Robert E. Lee was signing the surrender. He noticed an Indian present, Col. Ely Parker, a Seneca who worked for Ulysses S. Grant. Lee said, “I’m glad to see there is at least one real American here.” The Indian said, “We’re all Americans here.” Europeans have not such friends. No one does.

(RE: Bush) I have always shared the values and the family culture of the Bushes. And as one born in New England, which often seems hindered in its progress by a wistful yearning for the Old World of England and the Continent, what I like about the Bushes is that they continued their American journey and moved to Texas. Because sometime maybe 30 years after watching the Lone Ranger with my father, I somehow came to understand why he wore a mask. The Texas lawman was left for dead in the desert and was brought back to life by an Indian healer. But he had no memory of his own history; no memory of Boston, England, France, Poland, Russia, Italy or Ireland. He was born again; born American and he had only the Indian to guide him. He had nothing else and was alone in the desert. He was new in the world and free. Free for the first time. We are the Masked Man, our identity incomplete. But free for the first time, born in Texas.