If A Christmas Carol and the Terminator movies taught me anything, it’s that the future can be changed. That said, barring some unforeseeable course correction in Western society, we are going to lose this so-called War on Terror.
Specifically, Islam will vanquish us – our government and civil structures overrun, and our vaunted institutions reduced to Ozymandias-style ruin.
This defeat will be accomplished by various means, including demography (as scrupulously documented by columnist Mark Steyn, a long-time harbinger of America’s decline), liberty-squelching surveillance, censorship, and, above all, our disturbing lack of faith.
Having lived too long on the intellectual capital of greater generations, we have no understanding, much less appreciation, of the legacies left to us. To wit, we don’t know who we are, we don’t know what we believe, and that’s why we’re going to lose.
The Charlie Hebdo and kosher market massacres in Paris (and before them, recent attacks in Australia, Canada, Boston, etc.), along with the pusillanimous, politically correct responses thereto, reveal the stunning contrast between our corpulent, complacent culture and the lean, hungry enemy we face.
To Muslim Jihadists, this isn’t just life and death – this is eternal, spiritual, divine.
And what do we believe in? Climate change, micro-aggressions and man-spreading. Do we even know what matters? By “we,” I mean all of us, top to bottom, in today’s culture.
The erstwhile leader of the free world pays lip service to the notion of free speech, while mendaciously blaming its exercise for his foreign policy failures. Simultaneously, his administration contorts itself hideously to avoid calling our pressing danger by its name.
Even the Pope – at a time when Christians are brutalized and murdered in Africa, the Middle East and across Asia, what does he do? He comes out full-bore against global warming.
We brag about our supposed freedoms and the inherent superiority of our systems, but do we believe any of that? Do we even know what it means?
I know the sort of freedoms I cherish, but the priorities of a little guy like me don’t amount to a hill of beans in modern America.
That is, they prevail on parchment, but not in practice. Run down the items in the Bill of Rights and see how many remain intact in our age of speech codes, civil forfeiture, obscene searches and capricious prosecution.
Moreover, if we were to start over again today, is there any chance we would enact such a charter of negative liberties (i.e., things the government cannot do)? More likely, we would weave some interminable, EU-style document infested with such newfangled “human rights” as free health care and transgender bathrooms.
Consider freedom of speech and private property. If our generation sought to build a new society, would we understand that these two rights form the bedrock of liberty?
Most important, where do these rights come from, in the modern reckoning? Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, et al. were confident they are endowed by our Creator, nature’s God.
Whence do our rights emerge today? From the Supreme Court? The United Nations? Oprah?
Ask any Obama-voting, Jon Stewart-suckling pajama-boy to name the source of his freedoms and he’ll just stare at you like Cameron gawking at the Seurat in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
And this is why we are going to lose. We believe in nothing, let alone God. As for the Islamists, at least they have SOME god on their side.
As was stipulated in my radio interview with the Godfather of Canadian free speech, Ezra Levant, perhaps 99 percent of the world’s Muslims can be considered moderate. Even if that estimate were accurate, out of 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, that leaves some 15 million – over ten times the number of active-duty personnel in the US military – eager for Holy War.
Numbers aside, survey the culture and governments of Muslim nations, to say nothing of the actions of the Jihadists, and ask yourself what influence such moderates wield in real terms. Is it logical to assume moderates will have more power after the radicals achieve victory over the West?
Again, that’s 15 million willing to kill, and die, for their convictions. As Hyman Roth asked Michael Corleone after the latter saw a Castro loyalist blow himself up rather than be taken alive, “What does that tell you?” The reply? “They can win.”
How does that compare with our side’s prevalent faith systems? Would environmentalists die for their beliefs? Heck, they won’t even live by them.
And so, we will lose. That is, unless we and generations yet unborn find a fortitude and cultural confidence that has not been seen on our side in decades. How likely is that?
Will we, pace Dylan Thomas, continue to go gently into that not-so good night? Or may we yet summon the will to rage, rage against the dying of the light?
Theo Caldwell is a host on Newstalk1010 Radio. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org