Don’t Knock “The Code of the West”!

A commenter just nominated the Republicans in the Montana State Legislature for “Incompetent Elected Official” status because they have proposed “The Code of the West” as  Montana’s State Code.

Nomination rejected. I don’t want to argue about whether a state needs a State Code, although it seems a lot more useful and constructive than state birds, state songs and state pies. I also don’t feel like debating the political correctness attacks on the potential use of the Code of the West by Native American activists, who apparently think the Code glorifies cowboys and insults Indians (Oh, all right: the complaint is nonsense. Valid ideals are not sullied by the misdeeds of those who espoused them.) But I like the cowboy codes, all of them. One is already on the site. I might not choose the same ten tenets of the unwritten Code of the West that is being debated in Montana, but the Code of the West is a perfectly good statement of ethical principles, and any state that embraces it should be praised, not embroiled in a lot of political posturing. Continue reading