Small acts of cowardice are destroying our culture

I remember an Army counter-terror briefing in which a trainer was detailing all the ways soldiers can protect themselves and their families from off-duty, domestic terror threats. Notably missing from the briefing slides was a recommendation that service-members — each of whom is trained in the use of a weapon — obtain concealed-carry permits or use personal weapons in any way.

As the training droned on, a hand shot up. “Sir, why are we not being told to purchase a weapon for self-defense?” The response was instantaneous and politically correct: “Because that weapon is more dangerous to yourself than your attacker.” The room erupted, and within minutes, the trainer had backtracked and admitted that he carried a handgun when off-duty. It was a tiny victory in the grand scheme of things, but cultures are won and lost through tiny victories and defeats, and for a generation, the vast majority of then victories have gone to the left.

I’ve often found myself thinking of William Butler Yeats’s classic poem, “The Second Coming.” In it, Yeats ponders societal collapse, writing: “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.” In our nation, the center didn’t even try to hold. The “reasonable” people made the easy choice to go with the flow of cultural upheaval. These are the “best” people, those with good jobs, good families, and sensible thoughts. But, as Yeats understood, there are times when the so-called best fail. They “lack all conviction,” surrendering the field to the worst, those “full of passionate intensity.”

We see this reality before our very eyes, as an intolerant Left does battle with its doppelgänger, a crass Right that cares little for individual liberty or for reason itself, enthralled instead by the sheer act of resistance and the love of offense.