Alan Newman

Toxic cowardice

Image from Wikipedia
Image from Wikipedia

In the revered 1952 Hollywood western “High Noon,” Marshal Will Kane, played by steely-eyed Gary Cooper, protects the town of Hadleyville by defeating the vengeful Frank Miller gang. Immediately after he kills the last bad guy, the townspeople emerge from their shelters to applaud Kane. With distain for their craven cowardice, he slowly surveys the crowd, and before riding off, tosses his marshal’s star into the dirt. They didn’t deserve his bravery.

Now, the progressive societal movement has foolishly skewered “toxic masculinity” as a deplorable personality flaw. The notion suggests that men are gun-loving, abusive, homophobic and misogynist, iron pumping and racing to do violence. The reluctance to allow youngsters to compete and to instead win “participation trophies” is a part of the woke trend. Diluting our academic standards and insisting on DEI-admittance algorithms also aligns with this weakening cultural drift. While the “science” of this, much like the health benefits of dark chocolate, remains to be determined, we can wonder how it affects America’s national sense of self, and how it is viewed by allies and adversaries. Are we a tiger or the paper tiger?

While no one should admire a thug, the “toxic masculinity” opprobrium should not frame our national mindset. The DEI-driven deterioration and disfunction of our Armed Services is well documented. So too are the ramifications of self-destructive curbing our – not China and Russia – fossil-fuel usage to reduce global warming. So too is opening our borders to millions of aliens. These social conscious capitulations jeopardize our national interests. In the global interplay of nations, strength and resolve must not be replaced with naïve, weak-kneed, messaging projects.

Brett Stephens’s recent NYT opinion piece, “Do We Still Understand How Wars Are Won?” explores how America has retreated on the world scene with a growing list of conflicts where victory has eluded us. It seems in most cases moral clarity was replaced with a “kick the can down the road” justification. America has been protected by wide oceans and has fought wars on someone else’s turf. There have been unfortunate periods of isolationism, but the string of ambivalent geopolitical missteps since World War II betrays America’s history of fighting and sacrificing for just causes.

Someone once said that when you go into a New York subway car, you should project the attitude that you – not the other guy – are the one with the machete. America needs to find its pioneering, self-reliant, 1980 Miracle Team, go-to-the-moon core character.

The world is filled with bullies and immoral institutions. China, Russia, North Korea and Iran either use or traffic weapons to barbarous tribes. A nuclear exchange scenario lurks around the corner with Iranian apocalyptic crazy men in charge, and powerful nations chose to pander with ill-conceived accommodations like the JCPOA and oil sanctions relief. America needs to toughen up.

Superman’s motto, “truth, justice and the American way,” was aspirational. Sadly, in 2021, the Superman motto underwent a morphing into the woke proclamation “truth, justice and a better tomorrow.” It now sounds more like a Miss America winner’s pablum over-promising world peace and an end to hunger.

The lofty goals of organizations like the United Nations have been replaced with a hypocritical, politicized processes allowing the worst of all nations onto “human rights” counsels. The UN’s obsession with Israel can only be explained as a retreat to the most virulent, ancient antisemitic dogmas. As observed by many, Jews and Israel are the canary in the coal mine (and then next they come for you). Hillel Neuer, in 2017, at the United Nations Human Rights Counsel, when considering a series of biased apartheid accusations about Israel, referenced the 1.5 million Arabs in Israel enjoying all the democratic freedoms. He repeatedly asked of each of the accusing countries, “Where are your Jews?”

The United Nations, ICC, ICJ and the European Union continue to disappoint. They have been corrupted by self-interest or minimized by the voting power of autocratic nations. Recently, they mealy-mouthed solemn ceremonies for the death to the butcher of Teheran, President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi. Even President Biden allowed a spokesperson to offer condolences and our representative at the UN stood along with the assembled for a moment of silence.

The flipped narrative about the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel and the subsequent prosecution of the war in Gaza to remove the butchers is evidence that the world had once again turned on the Jews. The ludicrous campus riots and encampments, and the unilateral offers of statehood to the Palestinians derives from a toxic brew of ignorance, convenience and antisemitism. The debunked accusations of Israeli genocide against Palestinian civilians and the clear proof of UNRWA criminal duplicity in the slaughter should create a demand for justice. But it doesn’t. Even the Biden administration’s press to micro-manage the war, to demand manipulated ceasefire offers, to interfere in Israeli politics, and to not unequivocally stand by its partner in time of war only aids Israel’s enemies.

America is about to elect a president in November. The world needs a strong America, and one that can reset the balance of practiced power and reclaim the moral authority to face a very dangerous world.  The Frank Miller gang is alive and well, with religious fanaticism and dictatorial authoritarianism in control of much of the world’s population, resources and landmass. If America choses to wimp out, to not assert itself as a reliable, powerful force, the slide towards chaos will continue.

President Joe Biden has lost control of our borders, a basic of national sovereignty. He has continued the humiliating strategic retreats and red-line erasures of Barack Obama. Biden’s willingness to sacrifice our national advantages for flabby global progressive pipe-dreams of the far-left warrants grave concern. President Donald Trump is the alternative, and he has a track record of strength and accomplishment. Of the two candidates, Trump, warts and all, is by far the better choice for a return to the “Will Kane” doctrine of courage and principle.

About the Author
Alan Newman is a life-long supporter of the Jewish community and Israel. His commitment is evident with his hands-on approach and leadership positions at AIPAC, StandWithUs, Ben-Gurion University, Ethiopian National Project and Federation’s JCRC. He has traveled to Israel almost two dozen times and is an enthusiastic supporter of pro-Israel Christians including critical organizations like CUFI, ICEJ, USIEA and Genesis 123 Foundation. Alan’s compelling novel, GOOD HEART, published by Gefen Publishing House, is a multi-generational story about a Christian and Jewish family. He was a senior executive at Citigroup and holds two US Patents. He lives with his wife in West Palm Beach and enjoys time with his two sons and their families.
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