Columnist, The Washington Post
Contributing Editor, Newsweek
Dear Mr. Will,
It's not very often that I'm moved by a promotional blurb for a book, but I am very heartened by the lines you wrote to promote Diana West's The Death of the Grown-up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization:
The most intriguing question about American culture today--even more intriguing than, "When and why did men start to hug each other?"--is the question Diana West tackles in this penetrating and witty book: "When and why did Americans decide to stop growing up?" Actually, I have a depressing feeling that the two questions are related.?
I think it's the first time someone with your gravitas has dared mention the link between the advent of men hugging each other and the decline of western civilization. Men didn't touch each other back when I was a kid. People thought it was inappropriate. Heck, I'll always remember everyone's embarrassment when I hugged my stepfather on the day he married my mother. It was very awkward, and a couple of uncles had to take me aside to explain that man hugging just isn't something that's done--even if you're only 10. I didn't know that--I'd spent a good portion of my young life without a dad to teach me how to be a real man--so I was grateful for their guidance. Just as I was later grateful for the taunting and beatings my stepfather employed to mold me into the kind of man who'd do him proud (which I did six years later when I kicked his ass for choking my brother).
America was strong in those days. Our economy was the envy the world. We kicked communist butt in Chile and Honduras and were within six months of defeating the commie hoards in Vietnam. Men like Tucker Carlson could proudly beat up homosexuals in restrooms without fear of being charged with a hate crime, or any crime at all for that matter. It was a time when being white and male meant something. We were riding high. We were a nation of John Waynes.
Then a generation of Dr. Spock babies came of age. They invaded our land driving VW microbuses and wearing tie died clothes. They preached an unmanly religion based on peace, love, and understanding. And worst of all, the males began hugging each other and calling one another brother--even the black guys.
It turned our world upside down. We lost Vietnam. President Nixon was railroaded out of office. The state security apparatus was no longer allowed to spy on us. We were forced to respect women and brown people. They even removed the gift of cyclomates from our Fresca.
It hasn't been the same since. As Publishers Weekly summarizes Mrs. West's book, these new values have "prolonged [the] adolescence of baby boomers [and] left America open to an insidious Islamization of culture via a misconceived political correctness that can't recognize the dehumanizing ideology of that religion."
It makes you want to punch someone, doesn't it?
Gen. JC Christian, patriot