It wasn’t too long ago that stoicism was a popular attitude for Americans. You didn’t exactly have to be the strong and silent type. But a code of proper behavior and good tone decreed that adversity should be handled with a cool under fire aplomb.
Our heroes were men like Astronaut Alan Shepard, expert cucumber cold pilots who had the right stuff. What was that stuff? To push the envelope of peril without flinching, to laugh at danger, to bear wounds and scars as badges of honor. Well, we’ve come a long way from there.
Because on both Right and Left we’re generally, with exceptions, on the road to becoming a nation of screaming toddlers, of hysterical crybabies who throw fits if we don’t get our way. Our predominant culture promotes that tendency, making sure to damn supposedly toxic emotional control while applauding every weakness and sob sister who blames their woes on something or somebody else.
Trump loses an election? The populist tinfoil hat crowd sobs of dark sinister forces at work. When confronted with the fact that their man was and is a walking message disaster, a blustering billionaire who remains his own worst enemy, they cry harder and point their fingers at specters in the night. Nah, your guy just lost. Stop the boo hoo fest and deal with it. You’re allegedly better than this. I mean, what would Gary Cooper think?
But hell, the Right is only indulging in an amateur hour when it comes to crybaby status. The Left turned pro over fifty years ago. Millions in multigenerational poverty because of Democrat income redistribution schemes? Cry a river and blame whites, Republicans, men, conservatives, and anything or anyone else on the approved hit list. Urban crime shooting through the roof? Elicit pity for criminals and howl and bay at the only force keeping you safe from harm, the police department. Moan floods of eye water about racism, sexism, and transphobia? This while the war on men and boys proceeds apace in our schools and pop culture and a creeping effete degradation reduces our elites to prancing masochists.
Many have forgotten how to act like serious adults. They dissolve into tears and hope pity and emotion can take the place of facts. We have become to a degree cultural cripples, doing all we can to tear down the very traits and attributes that made this country great in the first place. All because we have been programmed to respond well to the treacly, the saccharine, and the maudlin.
Where is the life-affirming focus on the heroic? When and why was it negated? Why is Columbus, a true hero, relegated to pinata status? Why are brave chapters in our history rewritten to serve a craven agenda? Why are police, most of whom are heroes every time they go to work, made out to be bullies and racists?
Because they dare to defy the extant cultural norm. Because people like law enforcement officers live their lives with little crying and a lot of hard bitten calm courage. They should be honored and seen as examples of what heights a country and culture can aspire to if it prizes the heroic and disdains the crybaby mentality.