In American the heroes always walk the line. Those who are our American idols are those who love to test the balance, they live in the grey area between what society says is and is not acceptable. American culture loves to blend the line between what is considered fame and infamy.
We tend to glorify those who stand up against the “man” we look up to the moonshiners, the cowboys, pirates, and the american revolutionaries. In their time these people were not looked upon in the way we look now. They were criminals, low lives, disturbers of the peace. These people have become immortalized in film (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Patriot, Lawless) yet they are supposedly bad guys. So why is this?
I think this is because as a people we love those who we think fight for the little man, the men of the people who seem to fight against laws or restrictions that retrospectively seem wrong. Americans put a good deal of emphasis on freedom; so they feel these people are protecting their freedom, their ability to pull themselves up by their “bootstraps”. The moonshiners brought drink to the people, protecting their constitutional rights which most define as the right to do whatever the hell they want. The men who get the people what they want regardless of the law tend to be looked upon favorably by history if the majority feels the same way.
Time for a bold and most likely unpopular opinion. I think that America’s drug dealers will become the America’s next cowboys. They are the contemporary American smugglers. They get what has now become the majority of Americans (55%), the drugs that they want. The majority argues that the laws prohibiting it are archaic. They are made by the wealthy to benefit the wealthy (i.e. cigarette corporations, other drug producing companies)
So I’m now going to predict that in fifty years or so there will be movies made about the great drug dealers who got the product to the people regardless of what people consider an unfair law. I think it is merely a product of a society that spends as almost as much time glorifying outlaws as it does heroes.