MOTR, Ep. 49: What if We Had a Lone Ranger Today? Or Several of Them?

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We didn’t have TV in my early youth. No one did. We had appointment radio with favorite shows on certain nights. Then, when that amazing TV thing did come along, my parents were somewhat suspicious of its impact on one youngster.

So, my viewing times were controlled. Nothing before ‘Howdy Doody’ at 5:30 weekdays. And nothing after 8 P M. because, well, school nights and the early morning bus.

“The Lone Ranger” was Thursday night. And I was so there. I just wanted entertainment.

But it was also an important show. I knew that because for some reason my parents usually watched too. And during the Cheerios commercials, they’d comment or ask me questions about what the title character was doing and why I thought he was doing it. I realized later that’s one reason the program has stuck with me all these years, as they intended.

The Lone Ranger had been around on radio since the mid-1930s. It was the first big hit of the 1950s for the fledgling ABC-TV network.

But its cultural impact endured long after — an American good guy in a white hat with a righteous code of behavior, an underdog on the frontier with a loyal partner valiantly protecting little people against dishonesty and crime. With no expectation of or desire for reward or fame.

His calling card was a silver bullet, a cultural metaphor that endures today.

The American Frontier ended around 1890. But the forces of crime, evil, distortion, and dishonesty seem to persist. At times like this, their combined might can seem overwhelming to our society and its spirit.

That got me thinking. And this week’s audio op-ed is the result.

The most recent audio commentary was on this spate of balloons floating all over and the serious questions they raise and that remain unanswered by the president and his appointed posse.

The most recent column examined Joe Biden’s looming announcement about 2024 and the ever-lengthening list of serious reasons why he should continue to postpone it, for his own good — and ours.

For the first time in its history, California has lost a House seat. Its residents are fleeing by the hundreds of thousands to other states, especially states without the Golden State’s immense burden of taxes like Nevada, Texas, and Florida.

It’s all legal, of course. Now, even Utah is worried about the mounting impacts of these potentially non-like-minded neighbors moving in and our Jennifer Oliver O’Connell tells the story.

The 2024 GOP presidential field grew by one more this week. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced. The daughter of immigrants, she has an interesting personal and political story and a campaign theme that resonates — time to shed the faded names of the past for fresh leadership.

The mainstream media does not seem to like her, which makes Haley all the more interesting to my eyes.


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