Remembering The Duke

“Yup. The end of a way of life. Too bad. It’s a good way. Wagons forward! Yo!”  —John Wayne in Hondo


They weren’t always weird in Tinseltown. At least, not all of ’em. After all, not many exemplified American values better than Ronald Reagan, Brigadier General Jimmy Stewart (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance), or Marion Robert Morrison, the actor who, as the rugged patriot John Wayne, perfectly mirrored the virtues that defined the nation for the first two thirds of the Twentieth Century.  But, as a young man, the “Duke” was a self-described FDR-style socialist:

“In the late Twenties, when I was a sophomore at USC, I was a socialist myself — but not when I left. The average college kid idealistically wishes everybody could have ice cream and cake for every meal. But as he gets older and gives more thought to his and his fellow man’s responsibilities, he finds that it can’t work out that way — that some people just won’t carry their load … I believe in welfare — a welfare work program. I don’t think a fella should be able to sit on his backside and receive welfare. I’d like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living. I’d like to know why they make excuses for cowards who spit in the faces of the police and then run behind the judicial sob sisters. I can’t understand these people who carry placards to save the life of some criminal, yet have no thought for the innocent victim.”

Mr. Morrison came to his senses, something you can’t say about many of our modern Hollyweirdoes.  In fact, the Duke became so sensible that  sinister old Joe Stalin, the Soviet Godfather, once put a contract out on him:

Assassins were supposedly sent to LA but failed to kill Wayne before Stalin’s death. When Khrushchev met “Duke” in 1958, he told him “that was the decision of Stalin in his last mad years. I rescinded the order.”

Like his contemporary Leslie “Bob” Hope, John Wayne was a favorite of the U.S. fighting man:

 Wayne had become an icon to all the branches of the United States Armed Forces, even in light of his actual lack of military service. Many veterans have said their reason for serving was in some part related to watching Wayne’s movies. His name is attached to various pieces of gear, such as the P-38 “John Wayne” can opener, so named because “it can do anything”, paper towels known as “John Wayne toilet paper” because “it’s rough and it’s tough and don’t take shit off no one,” and C-ration crackers are called “John Wayne crackers” because presumably only someone as tough as Wayne could eat them. A rough and rocky mountain pass used by military tanks and jeeps at Fort Irwin in San Bernardino County, California, is aptly named “John Wayne Pass”. (Wikipedia)

In 1974, The aging Duke faced down an audience of hostile Harvard students:

Student: “Where did you get that phony hair?”
Wayne: “It’s not phony—it’s real.  Of course, it’s not mine, but it’s real.”
Student: “Do you look at yourself as the fulfillment of the American Dream?”
Wayne: “I don’t look at myself more than I have to, friend.”

Some things never change.  Harvard is still hostile to patriots like John Wayne, and now one of the odious progressives from that venerable institution is ensconced in the Oval Office, using executive power to transform America into a place none of us will recognize.  As the Duke once said, “It’s getting to be ri-goddamn-diculous.”

About Bob Mack

Retired since 2003. Military Service: U.S. Army, 36th Artillery Group, Babenhausen, Germany 1966-67; 1st Signal Brigade, Republic of Vietnam, 1967-68 Attended University of Miami, 1969-73
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11 Responses to Remembering The Duke

  1. It was nice when we had heroes.

    • AFVET says:

      We still have them.
      Chuck Norris is one.
      You can find his writings on from time to time.
      Keep in mind that during the time that John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart (who by the way was a pilot, and flew combat missions in B-17’s in Europe) were true Americans.
      We were at war, and some of the actors decided to make an effort to defend the Country
      Some did not.
      To those who did, you will be always be in the hearts and minds of the American People.
      There were no re-takes there.

    • Bob Mack says:

      Kids need real role models, not LGBT weirdos, pro sports felons, or Hollywood leftists.

  2. bunkerville says:

    I went through a usual periord during my college years of being idealistic. The difference was I got out in the working world and started to understand how business worked. What made it not work as well. Today? I am not sure that many of the young ones, have or care to have that piece of education. Yes, yesterday’s heros. It was a High ho Silver, and justice would be done quite rightly and in 30 minutes or less.

    • Bob Mack says:

      Justice? To today’s elites that means equalizing income & blaming the character flaws of everybody except the wealthy on a hypothetical rotten environment.

  3. Fred Witzell says:

    We NEED heroes, John Wayne was a HERO…

    Hollywood today can’t SPELL hero…

  4. Where are the John Waynes of today’s Hollywood? AWOL!

  5. Is this a tribute to John Wayne? Cause it looks a lot more like a vindictive thrashing of all the Americans you don’t like. To say nothing of the odd use of “real.” John Wayne was as much of a character as any of the specific characters in his movie. wayne knew th\at, even if you dont.

    • Bob Mack says:

      The “odd use of real” ? I don’t believe the word was even used in the essay, at least not by me. As far as “vindictive thrashing”, whatever the hell that is, I pretty much allowed Mr. Morrison to thrash for himself.

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