— The Dukes Of Hazzard, The General Lee, and… America!

The Dukes Of Hazzard was a TV show that ran for 6 Seasons between 1979 and 1985.  It was based upon the crazy antics of the Duke family.  And EVERY boy of a certain age loved the show.  They loved the cars, car chases, car jumps, funny music, car crashes, and Daisy Duke (whom, not that you care, I believe was the first woman that made me feel something in my loins as a pre-pubecsent munchkin).  the_dukes_of_hazzard_largeNever-The-Less, America was a different place then.  American kids (of all races) were fans of this show.  We talked about it at school the day after it aired, as though we were “Constitutional Scholars” discussing the Separation Of Powers.

The main star of the show was the General Lee .  No, not a human, but that was the name of the ‘Duke boys’ car.  A loud, bright, Hemi-Orange (sometimes Hugger Orange), 1969 Dodge Charger.  ‘Them Dukes drove the General Lee around with reckless abandon.  But the thing is… On the roof of ‘the General, was a big-assed Rebel Flag.  If you don’t know the car’s namesake, it was Robert E. Lee; a General in the Confederate Army.  Is it possible to pick a more offensive person to name a car after?  especially if you’re an American who wants to ignore, or otherwise disregard that portion of America’s history!

But you know what?  Even though it was the Early 1980’s, that was before America hated that flag, Them Dukes Them Dukesand long before Politically Correct nonsense began to roll over the country.  As a young’in, I had no inkling that that flag was evil.  And if it matters to you, I still don’t see it as evil.  I understand why some might not be comfortable with the Stars-And-Bars flag, but… It is America’s history is it not?  That flag has been removed from individual State’s Flags.  It has even been compared with the Nazi flag (which is ridiculous).  Some of our supposedly tolerant brethren, who are actually the definition of intolerant, must believe that if they purge this flag from the planet, America will be better off.  But in the end, there is no rule against being uncomfortable.  You suck it up… or don’t!  That flag will be here forever.

Friends of mine (of all races) had Dukes Of Hazzard t-shirts, sleeping bags, big-wheels, blankets, and Lunch Boxes with the General Lee and its Confederate flag prominently displayed for all to see.  Let us not even mention the hundreds of toys and action figures such as the Matchbox cars and the electric slot car track that you could actually jump cars that made their way into popular American culture (and my house).  Think about this:  People from all around the world (the world) know what the General Lee is.  A quick internet search will turn up everything from Lamborghini’s, Corvettes, motorcycles, and even Smart Cars sporting the General Lee livery (decor/theme).

And So… Yea, America!

As goes the Dukes Of Hazzard, so goes independence and liberty in America (Seriously… I just made that leap).  The Duke Family represents freedom FROM government.  The UJMoonshine‘Dukes were a family of Moonshine Runners and illegal still operators.  Seriously, Uncle Jesse use to make illegal moonshine in the woods behind his backyard… and the Duke Boys got in trouble transporting (bootlegging) alcohol and that’s why they couldn’t handle, or own any guns through the entire run of the show (although they did use a bow and dynamite-tipped arrows).  The Dukes were not the type of people who thought it was OK to bow to the whim of government, especially the corrupt government as led by Boss Jefferson Davis, J.D. Hogg.  They ran from the police in every episode.  They helped those who needed help.  The Dukes Of Hazzard were good people who represented the ideas and beliefs of the modern Libertarian.  They had distinct ideas of freedom and liberty, and would fight to maintain that.  Even with that Confederate Flag on their car.

Even the opening theme [as sung by Waylon Jennings] of the Dukes Of Hazzard was a testament to individual freedom, and included the lines;  “Mak’in their way, the only way they know how, that’s just a little bit more than the law will allow“, and “Fighting the system like a true modern day Robin Hood“.  The Duke Family just wanted to be free and live as they saw fit without undue interference from government.  Through the run of the show, the message was one of liberty and freedom and the Dukes represented the individual, while the Police and Boss Hogg represented an out of control government whose sole purpose was to get more powerful at the expense of the individual.  Boss Hogg regularly attempted to –raise taxes because he wanted more money (like the Feds), –punish citizens who did not agree with him (like Tea Party targeting), –levy taxes on activities he deems required (like Obamacare), –fix elections (like fighting voter ID laws), –jail citizens who did nothing wrong (like the Benghazi filmmaker), illegally wiretap citizens (like the NSA), and –seize citizens property (like imminent domain).  So yea, just as Hazzard goes, so does the United States.

Two Questions:

1) When did America become a place where living free means blindly supporting and complying with government as though government is one’s King?

2) When did our culture shift to one in which government became the good guy, and is no longer feared as a necessary evil and persistent threat to individual liberty?

Well!  Unfortunately for us, we do not live in Hazzard County and our storyline doesn’t wrap up nice and cleanly at the end of the hour-long show.  Our Boss Hogg is a lot more violent, dangerous, and willing to create conditions that ensure the individual fails.   ‘And we don’t even get to drink Moonshine and/or hang out with Daisy Duke!

But hey, at least we’ve got guns…

Kali Pinckney

 

 

 

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