The Patriotism Of "Mutton-Bustin'": The Young Men In The Arena Clinging Bravely To Our Last Chance At Global Competitiveness

Long before they became known as beacons of transgender pride and abortion on demand the great Republican Teddy Roosevelt observed the nation's cities to be poor places to raise children, because "most good games are against the law."

Eighty years later the bloated liberal victimology cartel, ever hellbent on choking off in our children this great nation's vital pioneering spirit in the earliest trimester of life they can manage to inject their toxic government dependency potion into their brains, has once again singled out a beloved children's pastime to ban. This time though, the game in question is being played far from the overpaid union bus drivers to whom the victimhood peddlers prefer to pawn off the nation's impressionable youths so they might discover the copious shelves of solipsistic ALCU-protected smut passing for "literature" found in East Coast public libraries, in the fields and stadiums of the great American southwest.

The age-old game in question is "Mutton Bustin'", otherwise known as the Little League of Rodeo Country.

"Mutton bustin'" is simply how children who weigh less than 65 pounds have always learned the skills (not to mention grit, courage and perseverance) necessary to grow up to be champion bullriders — by practicing on sheep. And while the LA Times claims the game wasn't around in the Rough Rider's day — the story dates organized mutton bustin' to the mid-nineties — the game was clearly designed to mold more "Men in the Arena" of the sort Roosevelt so famously extolled from a generation of children that might otherwise be neutered by "tolerance," cultural sensitivity training and GMO-free food.

It's 30 seconds before his big rodeo ride, and Julian Apodaca looks like he wants to disappear under the wide brim of his white cowboy hat. He's staring down at his boots, tugging at his lower lip, rubbing at his teary eyes.

Julian's father, a former junior bull-riding champion, has a hand on each of his 5-year-old son's shoulders.

"It's OK, hijo," Vince Apodaca says as somebody plucks the hat off the boy's head and replaces it with a helmet. "Cowboy up, OK? I don't want no crying when you get on there."

The tough training pays off, if Manuel Cavanaugh is any indication:

Dominick Lopez, 5, is clutching his tummy.

"I've got a stomachache," he says.

"Those are butterflies," says cousin Manuel Cavanaugh — an old hand at mutton bustin' at age 10.

Of course, you knew where this was going. The victimocracy never met a vertebrate they didn't seek to liberate from their human oppressors or a face "marred by dust and sweat and blood" they wouldn't rather swab with a gentle organic cleanser and smear with SPF 70.

But animal rights groups — frequent critics of rodeo sports — have condemned mutton bustin' as animal abuse. They've also called it child abuse.

I'm pretty sure there are studies that suggest playing outside contributes to climate change as well, though none are cited by the Times. In the meantime, though, take your children mutton-bustin — before the liberals ruin it for all the sixty pound five-year-olds the cruel scourge of the "obesity epidemic" hasn't gotten to first.

Moe Tkacik is a senior fellow at the Center to Preserve Freedom, Enterprise and Free Enterprise (CPFEE) and founder of the group Uninsured Patriots For Health Care Freedom. She is registered with the Speaker's Bureau.