There is something rotten in the state of America and in much of the West. Suicides and deaths of despair are at record highs. Secular culture goads mothers to regard their own unborn babies as career-killing parasites; unsurprisingly, around 20% of pregnancies end in abortion (that’s over 600,000 exterminated children per year in the US alone). Little ones who do make it past birth are growing up in fatherless homes, attending failed schools by day and feeding screen addictions by night.
The prospect of nuclear war is once again creeping into our consciousness. Meanwhile, the US military, which seems more concerned with appeasing online activists than protecting the peace, is falling well short of its recruitment goals even as it lowers the bar for eligibility because of widespread obesity and drug use among young adults.
Entertainment is grotesquely political. Politics is grotesquely entertaining, populated by a cast of characters whose vice, venality, and senescent ineptitude make them difficult to satirize.
It is, for now, still possible to find a job—but that’s largely because millions of people, especially young men, have dropped out of the workforce. And those who are still willing to put in an honest day’s work are increasingly stripped of their income by inflation, falling real wages, and housing shortages.
Many sectors of America’s cities now look like a post-apocalyptic combination of third-world slum and open-air mental asylum: poor souls, abandoned to the ravages of their addictions and psychological illnesses, stumble zombie-style on public sidewalks with festering wounds amidst trash, needles, feces, and makeshift shelters.
Numerous civic institutions and private corporations have succumbed to an intellectually vapid, politically rabid ideology that has inverted their missions: the Justice Department targets peaceful pro-life activists while coddling rioters; the American Academy of Pediatrics advocates for the mutilation of children; global businesses, which used to be protested for putting “profits over people,” now promote transgressive sexual and gender identities even over profits; the police are often afraid to protect and thus no longer able to serve; prosecutors frequently refuse to prosecute; civil rights advocates commonly pit themselves against civil rights; journalists and academics lead the attack on the search for truth; individual merit is punished and group identity is rewarded. Even religion seems corrupt, split between world-worshiping relativists on one side and civilization-hating zealots on the other.
Things are upside-down in a way that feels historically unique. Injustice, stupidity, tribalism, pride, and all the other forces of disarray have been with us since the fall. But they seem crueler, more cultishly absurd, and more determined to generate and proliferate chaos than ever before. Perhaps the worst part is that so many friends, colleagues, family members, and fellow citizens seem not to notice or care. They might even be willing participants in this nihilistic revolution, saying and doing things—like compelling you to call their daughter a “he”—that defy reality and yet have become so common among the “educated” that you begin to question your own sanity. Resigned indifference, if not total despair, is tempting.
Resist it. Don’t give up and don’t give in. Not now, not ever. The world has gone mad, but you have no obligation to follow it into the abyss. You are not alone. In fact, you are in the majority, an understandably fearful majority, but a majority, nonetheless. For example, do you believe that mothers and fathers—and not state bureaucrats—have the rightful authority over their own children and that schools should protect young people’s innocence at all costs? You aren’t crazy, and you’re not alone.
Do you believe that all people deserve equal treatment under the law, no matter their political party? Do you believe that we should morally assess individuals based only on their actions and never on their appearance? Do you believe in protecting the integrity of the natural environment, but never at the expense of human wellbeing? Do you believe that all people should be free to speak their minds according to the dictates of their conscience without fear of coercive reprisal? You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone.
Do you believe in the right to life independently of whether society—or anyone else—finds the person useful or desirable? Do you believe in safeguarding public health while retaining the right to choose what to put—or not to put—in your own body? Do you believe that everyone who can work ought to work? Do you believe that every child who comes into the world, no matter what zip code he or she is born into, should have the best shot possible of becoming a flourishing, productive member of society? Do you believe that there is more to life than seeking pleasure and chasing desires—that there is a transcendent good that gives all of us objecting meaning, purpose, and value?
You’re not crazy. And you’re not alone. Many, many of us are with you.
So how can we, together, turn this ship around? Perhaps some of our institutions can still be saved. If so, let’s take them back. If not—if they’re irretrievably sinking—so be it. Jump ship and build new ones: new schools and universities, new professional organizations, new businesses, new hospitals and research centers, new civic institutions, and new religious movements. Some are already doing this courageous work, and God bless them for it.
Let’s join in. Start by saying “no”—no to teachers and administrators grooming our children, no to pronouns in our work email signatures, no to futile wars, no to neo-racism and gender ideology in human resource and marketing departments, no to surrendering a single right to unelected self-appointed experts, no to the surveillance state, no to any law or policy that restricts your liberty to speak and move freely in public without fear of assault. But then we must immediately move to the “yes”: yes to parental rights, yes to pro-human environmentalism, yes to safe and clean streets, yes to fair wages and a common good-oriented free market, yes to supporting families and the creation of new life, yes to blind justice and equality of opportunity for all, yes to defending and caring for those who truly cannot defend and care for themselves, and yes to competence over identity.
We, the wide-awake at home and abroad, will not agree on everything, but we can agree on this: we will not cede our faith, our families, our homes, our livelihoods, our communities, or our respective nations to those who rage against reality, human dignity, and the common good.
For all those still on the sidelines, those who hope that they won’t have to get involved, those who think that the mobs and corrupt agencies will pass them over if they just lay low and cross their fingers hard enough, please realize that things are not going to get better on their own. There is no waiting this political and cultural storm out. The anti-human forces of our age are playing the long game and they’re playing for keeps. The only way back to stability and prosperity is for all of us—every single one of us—to take a stand for sanity and civilization. The chaos-makers cease scattering us the moment we stop permitting them to do so.