Brexit: Trump and Queen Anne

A lot of Americans are supporters of Brexit, not least because we see many parallels with America’s revolutionary struggle. From what he has said, I think President Trump does too.  He doesn’t say much, but how can he really, Obama got pretty seriously criticized for his “back of the queue” remark. Rightly of course. These countries are supposedly all our friends, but hey, this is Britain, the cousins. Of course, we care.

So what has he done? Walked very softly and offered the use of one of our biggest sticks, the US economy itself. He hasn’t, in so many words, offered the United Kingdom completely tariff-free trade with the US, but that is the import.

That is just about all we can do, other than offer moral support, and advice from one of the world’s best negotiators. That too has been done, only to be spurned, sometimes contemptuously.

Some of the more sensible Britons have noticed as well. One of them is Freddy Gray and he wrote about it in The Spectator UK. Sadly behind the paywall, but if you have any free articles left, it’s pretty good.

Tune out all the noise around Brexit, and read what Donald Trump said today:

‘I’m surprised at how badly it’s all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation,’ he told reporters at a bilateral meeting with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. ‘But I gave the Prime Minister my ideas on to negotiate it and I think you would have been successful. She didn’t listen to that and that’s fine, she’s got to do what she’s got to do, but I think it could have been negotiated in a different manner, frankly. I hate to see everything being ripped apart now. I don’t think another vote would be possible because it would be very unfair to the people that won … But I thought it would happen, it did happen, it’s a very tough situation.’

In fact, if you want to understand quite how bad Theresa May’s government has been, it helps to go back to January 27, 2017: the day Theresa May visited Donald Trump in the White House. Trump was very keen to offer May a trade deal there and then, but she demurred. She was more eager to get Trump to reaffirm America’s commitment to NATO.

As Steve Bannon, who was there, tells me:

‘President Trump tried to coach May during her White House visit. He told her to get on with it because time was her enemy not her friend. He also offered to do a bilateral deal with the UK. You could tell she didn’t really comprehend what he was trying to tell her. She seemed like a deer in the headlights.’

Westminster know-alls will tell you that it would not have been legally possible for May to enter into trade negotiations with Trump before our exit from the EU. Maybe so. But surely the mere offer would have been useful leverage, as the Author of The Art of the Deal might say.

One can’t help wondering who the real idiot is: Donald Trump? Or Brexit Britain?

My read is that Parliament has become an out of control tyranny, hell-bent on selling British sovereignty to the EU, probably for a hell of a lot more than 30 pieces of silver, the promise of a well-rewarded life of no responsibility, and at least part of the government and civil service are in league with them. Like most things, there is a precedent, the last time Parliament went this rogue, England got the Lord Protector, Cromwell. No sightings around Cambridge so seems unlikely this time, but maybe Queen Anne has something to offer. Cranmer seems to think so.

The last time Royal Assent was withheld from a parliamentary bill was in the wake of the union of England and Scotland in 1707/8, when Queen Anne declined to support the Scottish Militia Bill. And she did so on the advice of her ministers: “…the Tories had shown that their views in relation to the major issues confronting the nation – the Church, the war, the succession, and the question of union with Scotland – were out of gear with the nation’s interests.” Queen Anne deployed her prerogative veto to ensure (or enhance) the possibility of national peace and reconciliation: the last thing the inaugural Parliament of Great Britain needed was armed Jacobites intent on restoring the Stuarts to the Throne.

The European Union (Withdrawal) (Number 5) Bill currently making its way through Parliament – at the behest of Yvette Cooper and Oliver Letwin – is designed to frustrate the possibility of a ‘no deal’ Brexit (that is, a clean, global Brexit on WTO terms). It is thereby purposely designed to frustrate Brexit altogether, simply because it obliges the Prime Minister to seek an extension to Article 50 not quite in perpetuity, but certainly to a point which appears to mandate the UK’s participation in Elections to the European Parliament next month, and thereafter Brexit is delayed until a ‘deal’ is done which satisfies the EU. The Bill doesn’t prevent ‘no deal’ altogether (the European Council could reject the Prime Minister’s request), but it patently binds the Prime Minister’s negotiating hand. It is a profoundly flawed bill – not least because it appears to have been preempted by her recent request for an extension to Article 50 – but it is effectual to the extent that the Prime Minister must move a motion in the House of Commons to extend Article 50 the day after the Bill receives Royal Assent.

There has been some conjecture that the Crown may demur, as it did in 300 years ago; that the Queen may be advised by her minsters not to give assent to the Bill on the grounds that it is purely a creation of Parliament, not responsible government; that is, government responsive and accountable to the will of the people. As JS Mill observed in 1864: “Responsibility is null when nobody knows who is responsible… To maintain it at its highest, there must be one person who receives the whole praise of what is well done, the whole blame of what is ill.” The Prime Minister can sack responsible ministers, and the people can sack responsible governments, but who can sack both Houses of Parliament? How may those who voted for a manifesto which pledged to take the UK out of the EU (Single Market and Customs Union) mete democratic justice upon a fractious Remainer House of Commons aided by a partisan Speaker who has ridden roughshod over constitutional precedent; abetted by a compliant Remainer House of Lords intent on abdicating their scrutinising role to rush through a flawed, ill-considered and procedurally irregular piece of legislation?

Keep reading. This is, I think, legitimate. Freedom is always based on the interplay between various forces. In the US, it is explicit, in the UK implicit, and it is rare indeed for the Monarch to be involved. But this situation is rare, indeed, Parliament is not in good order, and is obviously violating the will of the people, and now the government is as well, but in a different way.

And frankly, for all the reasons His Grace listed, including her duty as head of the Church of England. Is this so different really, leading the UK into the at best Godless EU, compared to the birth of a Catholic heir that simulated the Glorious Revolution, bringing the House of Orange to the throne?

Ye Venal Slaves be Gone!

I was reminded by Nick Kastelein writing in The Spectator Australia that Newt Gingrich wrote this describing the American government, “as a machine that was designed to be so inefficient that it’s amazing that anything can get done. Between congress, the senate, the judiciary, the presidency, the states, the constitution, the parties, and the people… everyone has levers to pull to make their voice heard and to prevent any one element from tearing the system down. It galls me, as an engineer, to say this—but its inefficiency is its strength.”

He’s right, that was the genius of the founders, everybody has their levers to pull, and their microphones to yell into, and always far more gets said than gets done. It’s government designed for people who need little government, beyond somebody to keep the currency more or less honest and guard the border.

England’s (growing incrementally into the UK’s) government is far more of a democracy than America’s. Parliament acting with the PM can do bloody near anything, or not do anything. Apparently, that includes selling out the people of the UK to a soft (for now) foreign tyranny against the expressed will of the people of the UK.

Make no mistake, Americans understand, while the “Bill of Attainder” in our Declaration of Independence was written against King George III, we knew then and now, that the real culprit was Parliament, epitomized by the Prime Minister Lord North.

How bad is the current status? Many of my friends are stating that May is a worse PM than North, after all, North only lost America, May is losing the homeland. They are not wrong.

‘A Leave Voter’ wrote yesterday on The Conservative Woman that:

I WATCHED the antics in Parliament on Wednesday evening thinking that what was taking place was nothing short of a democratic outrage. Who is listening to 17.4million Leave voters in this country? Nobody, apparently. Leave voters have simply been airbrushed out of the greatest democratic mandate in our island’s long history by a bunch of self-important, self-entitled nonentities voting on green slips of paper to determine the future of this country, whilst their friends in Brussels simply have to sit back and allow their supplicants in the Westminster Parliament to do their work for them. It is incredible that any Tory or Labour MP can apparently dismiss their party manifestos to indulge in a game of multiple choice of how to avert mass democracy with nothing more than a veritable concoction of blather and hypocrisy whilst continuing to enjoy all the privileges accorded to them as public servants.

That is just about the most damning statement against Parliament since a bunch of Bostonians dumped a shipload of tea in Boston Harbor. And the cry is pretty much the same “No Taxation without Representation”. Which the average Briton is obviously lacking in Parliament, and will get worse when Parliament, Government, and the Uncivil Serpents sell them out to the EU.

There is a demonstration going on at Parliament Square in Westminster. If I was physically closer, I would be there, many of my British friends will be. Why?

Kathy Gyngell one of the founders of The Conservative Woman tells us why she will be.

I WANT my country back. This is what the battle for Brexit is about for me and why I will be at Parliament Square this afternoon. I will not be shamed into not saying those five words. It is what I feel in my heart of hearts. They do not make me a ‘Little Englander’ – whatever that smear is meant to evoke. They do not mean I am prejudiced or narrow.

My heart will be with Kathy, and the rest of my British compadres, even though I physically am far away. This is the battle of the English speaking people, who have taught the world what freedom is, and now see it embattled in our own countries.

But those of us who have studied the British know something else. When things look their absolute worst, they are their absolute best. My prediction is that whatever this dissolute and traitorous government and Parliament do, the people will win out, as they always have.

And we will be here, offering such support as is meet, and our prayers, nor have we forgotten that amongst those who supported us against the King and Lord North were Edmund Burke, Charles James Fox, and William Pitt the Younger in that selfsame Parliament.

At TCW, one of our traditions is The Midweek Hymn, as is meet for a conservative website. This week it was most appropriate:


Bomb Cyclone, Blizzard, Ice Dam: Quite the Week

A BNSF train sits in flood waters from the Platte River, in Plattsmouth, Neb., Sunday, March 17, 2019. Hundreds of people remained out of their homes in Nebraska, but rivers there were starting to recede. The National Weather Service said the Elkhorn River remained at major flood stage but was dropping. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

So I think we’ll stay a little closer to home today. Just a couple hours down I-80 to be exact. I don’t talk about it much, but Nebraska is gorgeous and has been pretty good to me.

But winter going into spring can be pretty awful. This year is an example. Let Emily Zanotti explain:

Historic floodwaters have besieged Nebraska following this week’s “Bomb Cyclone” weather event, leaving areas in and around Omaha and Belleville, Nebraska, completely underwater — and the waters show no sign of receding any time soon.

Few news organizations outside the state have been documenting the flood and subsequent levee breaches, which have left Nebraskans struggling to save their homes and farms from floodwaters reaching up to seven feet higher than they’ve ever been.

Reuters reports that the floods are the direct result of the “Bomb Cyclone,” a “winter hurricane that forms when the barometric pressure drops 24 millibars in 24 hours.” Between the Bomb Cyclone’s snow and rain, the Missouri River rose dramatically, and isn’t expected to officially crest until the early hours of Tuesday morning.

In Fremont, Nebraska, residents remain stranded, according to local news sources. Roads and bridges are washed out and emergency responders are furiously raising sand-bag walls in the hopes of saving homes from the rising Platte River after two levees, meant to keep the river at bay, failed completely.

Near Lincoln, roads and highways are washed out, reports.

“A quarter-mile section of U.S. 281 was washed out just south of the bridge over the Niobrara River,” according to the local outlet. “At the Allen ranch, floodwaters 4 to 5 feet deep inundated pastures and livestock pens,” he said, “tipping over stock trailers, flowing into farm sheds and tractors, and scattering cattle.”

“I’ve never seen anything close to this,” one rancher told reporters. “I’ve seen water come within a foot of coming over the banks of the river, but never anything like this. Never.”

Governor Ricketts and Senator Sasse have been out checking on what is needed, and if truth be told, probably mostly getting in the way. But showing them around is important too.


So we’ve got ourselves a bit of a mess. Ain’t the first one, won’t be the last either. And you know, they remind us of who we are, as we pitch in to help our neighbors, One of my blogfriends, a Nebraska Extension Agent (no doubt she is very busy now) put it this way.

Perspective. I spoke a little of this last week. This week, in the midst of much occurring, it was all about perspective for me. It’s hard to find words for the devastation occurring in Nebraska. Perhaps like me, you found yourself feeling a tad overwhelmed or helpless by the images of damage…cattle being dug out of snow or stranded on islands and whole communities engulfed by water… I think what made this extra hard for me is that so many of our people are hurting and affected. Tornadoes and hail damage are somewhat more isolated for allowing people to more easily respond. This has been harder to help with road and bridge infrastructure damaged in so much of the State. And, unfortunately, we will feel these effects for a long time.

Perspective for me was counting my blessings. Because I rely a great deal on my faith, considering worse things I’ve personally gone through and remembering God’s faithfulness to me helps me with perspective. My family is all safe and we have each other, and my dad’s livestock are also safe. Those statements aren’t true for some I know who lost family and livestock this week and many more that I don’t know. In talking to a farmer friend, he was also sharing how he kept thinking about his blessings and that was the message he was sharing with others. So perhaps thinking of our blessings can help all of us with so much loss all around us? That actually is one of the research-based tips mentioned in this article:

Nebraskans are so resilient! In the midst of tragedy, the stories of people pulling together to help however they can is heart-warming. Though we may experience more devastation for a time, we will get through this! #NebraskaStrong.

#NebraskaStrong. Yep, that describes us. We’re fairly quiet folk, not given to overtalking things or very comfortable showing emotions. We tend toward both the solid and the stolid.  But, we’ve been in this country long enough to know that the old saying was right, the strong do thrive, the sick do die, and the weak never start stay back east. That is the story of the Great American Desert, and neither floodwater nor ice dam, neither blizzard nor tornado will change it. It’s a story of neighbors banding together and facing their troubles down. It’s a very American story, perhaps the American story, neighbors standing together through anything, its what we do, just as de Tocqueville wrote way back when it’s still our way.

If you are wondering how this screws up our lives going forward, my friend’s blog also passes along quite a bit of the information that the University of Nebraska is telling us. Very useful, and highly recommended.


Grace, Jussie Smollett, and Atticus Finch

Actors Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Brock Peters as Tom Robinson in the film ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, 1962. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Ben Domenech had some thoughts that started with the Jussie Smollett fake crime, but they didn’t stop there. All in all a very good Federalist piece.

The Jussie Smollett claims of surviving an attack by racist, homophobic, MAGA-hat wearing supporters of President Trump prompted a swathe of too-soon takes about what his reported incident says about the country, with an assist from all too gullible members of the media, and a few presidential candidates too. Now, with a bit of a remove and thanks to the dogged reporting of local Chicago reporters, the story of this botched attempt at a hate crime hoax takes on a very different character. John McWhorter argues that it’s an indication of the rise of “victimhood chic” – and he’s right. But there’s something else here, too – a lesson in the shifts in assumption about our political opponents, and the decline of grace in America.

Consider Aaron Sorkin’s twist on the dramatic tale of another race-focused hoax, in his Broadway version of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. As you may know, this Jeff Daniels’ led version of the story is meant to be the tale from an adult perspective, and Sorkin does a good job of explaining the differences in a recent sit-down with Marc Maron. Sorkin struggled with giving Atticus Finch a flaw – necessary for the iconic figure to have a character arc. From the perspective of Scout the child, Atticus can do no wrong. But this is an adult take, so Atticus must become Atticus over the course of the play.

The flaw Sorkin chose to inject into Finch is telling: that he shows too much grace and forgiveness toward racists. In the interview with Maron at around the 30 minute mark, Sorkin explicitly says that “There were fine people on both sides” is the same as “liberal high mindedness that we’re going to try and understand everyone” and that “it’s bullshit.” In Sorkin’s view, it speaks to the aggressive politics of the times – that Finch is too forgiving of the racism of those who surround him, and that “sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and fight.”

I, and I suspect you, can certainly sympathize with both sides here. We struggle to see the good in our opponents, just as we always have, even as we struggle with the old beast, that wants to take our revenge, even at the cost of the rule of law. That we so far have, is, I think, the mark of a very high civilization. It’s telling I think that in the United States, and in Britain, the forces of tradition display the prudence that Jefferson spoke of, while the French, the Germans, the Italians, and others take to the streets, in large numbers. But we, the Anglos-Saxons, who freed all Europe in the last century, stiffen our upper lips and fight off the urge to revolt, saying there are some fine people on the left. But as demonstrated in the past, there is a point where that forbearance has outlived its usefulness, and then the wrath of the Anglo-Saxons come into play. It is never a pretty sight, for then, these words become operative.

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on, His truth is marching

Cromwell, just as much as Sherman, would recognize those words.

Ben goes on to quote C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity to good effect.

“For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life—namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. . . . Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things.

“Consequently, Christianity does not want us to reduce by one atom the hatred we feel for cruelty and treachery. We ought to hate them. Not one word of what we have said about them needs to be unsaid. But it does want us to hate them in the same way in which we hate things in ourselves: being sorry that the man should have done such things, and hoping, if it is anyway possible, that somehow, sometime, somewhere, he can be cured and made human again.

“The real test is this. Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, “Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,” or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker.

“If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally, we shall insist on seeing everything—God and our friends and ourselves included—as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.”

He is, of course, correct. We can see it happening with the left, and we can feel the urge in ourselves to go there, as well. But, as Ben ends.

This is a question about whether we are going back into darkness. Belief that your tribe is good and other tribes are evil is what everyone thought for most of human history. The human heart tends toward tribalism before tolerance. We can go back to that world. It still lives in all of us. Fighting it is the challenge, particularly at a time when the most audacious thing you can do is show some grace.

A Failed Coup

Victor Davis Hanson in American Greatness reminds us that for the last three years, we have been living through something unique in American History, an attempted coup against the legitimately elected President, by the bureaucracy. With the help, of course, of the so-called news media, and much of the coastal elite. Here’s VDH:

[T]he illegal effort to destroy the 2016 Trump campaign by Hillary Clinton campaign’s use of funds to create, disseminate among court media, and then salt among high Obama administration officials, a fabricated, opposition smear dossier failed.

So has the second special prosecutor phase of the coup to abort the Trump presidency failed. There are many elements to what in time likely will become recognized as the greatest scandal in American political history, marking the first occasion in which U.S. government bureaucrats sought to overturn an election and to remove a sitting U.S. president.

Preparing the Battlefield
No palace coup can take place without the perception of popular anger at a president.

The deep state is by nature cowardly. It does not move unless it feels it can disguise its subterranean efforts or that, if revealed, those efforts will be seen as popular and necessary—as expressed in tell-all book titles such as fired FBI Directors James Comey’s Higher Loyalty or in disgraced Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s psychodramatic The Threat.

In candidate and President Trump’s case that prepping of the battlefield translated into a coordinated effort among the media, political progressives and celebrities to so demonize Trump that his imminent removal likely would appear a relief to the people. Anything was justified that led to that end.

All through the 2016 campaign and during the first two years of the Trump presidency the media’s treatment, according to liberal adjudicators of press coverage, ran about 90 percent negative toward Trump—a landmark bias that continues today.

Journalists themselves consulted with the Clinton campaign to coordinate attacks. From the Wikileaks trove, journalistic grandees such as John Harwood, Mark Leibovich, Dana Milbank, and Glenn Thrush often communicated (and even post factum were unapologetic about doing so) with John Podesta’s staff to construct various anti-Trump themes and have the Clinton campaign review or even audit them in advance.

Some contract “journalists” apparently were paid directly by Fusion GPS—created by former reporters Glen Simpson of the Wall Street Journal and Susan Schmidt of the Washington Post—to spread lurid stories from the dossier. Others more refined like Christiane Amanpour and James Rutenberg had argued for a new journalistic ethos that partisan coverage was certainly justified in the age of Trump, given his assumed existential threat to The Truth. Or as Rutenberg put it in 2016: “If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, non-opinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable. But the question that everyone is grappling with is: Do normal standards apply? And if they don’t, what should take their place?”

But as far as most of America is concerned, they do, and all concerned will, I think, pay a price for their foolishness. If they don’t, well America will change, and not for the better. There are two years left of Trump’s first term, it’s time to clean house.

And there is a hell of a lot of trash needing to be taken out. It’s time to begin, now that we can all see the dim outline of the beast, slouching across the horizon.

Hard to improve on VDH’s ending, so I won’t even try.

In sum, the Left and the administrative state, in concert with the media, after failing to stop the Trump campaign, regrouped. They ginned up a media-induced public hysteria, with the residue of the Hillary Clinton campaign’s illegal opposition research, and manipulated it to put in place a special counsel, stocked with partisans.

Then, not thugs in sunglasses and epaulettes, not oligarchs in private jets, not shaggy would-be Marxists, but sanctimonious arrogant bureaucrats in suits and ties used their government agencies to seek to overturn the 2016 election, abort a presidency, and subvert the U.S. Constitution. And they did all that and more on the premise that they were our moral superiors and had uniquely divine rights to destroy a presidency that they loathed.

Shame on all these failed conspirators and their abettors, and may these immoral people finally earn a long deserved legal and moral reckoning.

I fear that we may, with Yeats, see an awful vision.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Riding to the Sound of the Guns; Defending Men

I’d guess that by now you’ve all heard of the American Psychological Association’s guidance for treating boys and men. No, I haven’t read it, nor do I intend to. Most of what I’ve heard is intensely negative, making ‘pure crap’ sound like a compliment. Plus I’m a technical, engineering type guy, you know, yes or no, right or or doesn’t work, ‘0’ or ‘1’. If it’s not absolutely right, it’s completely wrong. I’m mostly digital, not analog, although I do tend to have quite a lot of empathy for the fixes people get themselves into. Been there, done that. I still sort of believe the engineering school definition of psychology: “Nuts and S**ts. Deal with it, that’s the sort of guy I am.

But I’m not everybody, and more and more I notice a lot of young guys (girls too) seem a bit screwed up, so maybe somebody should help them and I’m very likely not that guy, so maybe psychologists do have a place. But I don’t think these guidelines, or at least what I’ve read about them, are helpful.

Quillette Magazine reached out to 12 well-known practitioners (some I’ve even heard of, and even read some of their stuff). What they said is about as balanced as I’ve seen. And it is interesting. A few excerpts follow. much more at the link.

Introduction — John P. Wright, Ph.D.

Thirteen years in the making, the American Psychological Association (APA) released the newly drafted “Guidelines for Psychological Practice for Boys and Men.” Backed by 40 years of science, the APA claims, the guidelines boldly pronounce that “traditional masculinity” is the cause and consequence of men’s mental health concerns. Masculine stoicism, the APA tells us, prevents men from seeking treatment when in need, while beliefs rooted in “masculine ideology” perpetuate men’s worst behaviors—including sexual harassment and rape. Masculine ideology, itself a byproduct of the “patriarchy,” benefits men and simultaneously victimizes them, the guidelines explain. Thus, the APA committee advises therapists that men need to become allies to feminism. “Change men,” an author of the report stated, “and we can change the world.”

But if the reaction to the APA’s guidelines is any indication, this change won’t happen anytime soon. Criticism was immediate and fierce. Few outside of a handful of departments within the academy had ever heard of “masculine ideology,” and fewer still understood how defining traditional masculinity by men’s most boorish—even criminal—behavior would serve the interests of men or entice them to seek professional help. Instead of passing quietly into the night, as most academic pronouncements do, the APA’s guidelines did what few such documents have ever done: They engendered a social media maelstrom, and likely not only lost professional credibility, but potentially created new barriers for men who need help. […]

We are heartened by the criticism that emerged from the APA’s guidelines. Why? Because we don’t believe that most of the backlash resulted from crass political motives. Instead, much of it was rooted in a deep concern about men and boys. The culture wars have not been kind to men, and data from an assortment of surveys tell us that boys and men are not thriving. Documents can be edited, but goodwill is a commodity no one should erase. If the APA is truly concerned about the mental and emotional health of men, it will recognize the goodwill and constructive intent underpinning much of the criticism, and consider the feedback as a starting point for a broader and more productive discussion of how to most effectively provide successful treatment for boys and men.

A sample from one contributor.

Who Will Mount Up and Ride to the Sound of the Guns? — B. Christopher Frueh, Ph.D.

The APA’s latest manifesto is an embarrassment to the discipline of psychology. It is an abdication of scientific responsibility, denying biological and evolutionary realities in favor of a progressive fantasy pushed by “social justice” and “feminist” ideologies. It is harmful to all members of our society and dangerous to our national security. Masculine qualities like rugged individualism, courage, stoicism, ambition, and a willingness to protect and sacrifice for others helped secure the freedom and prosperity that so many now take for granted.  

At a time when many academics are virtue-signaling by whining about “toxic masculinity,” taking offense at every imagined “microaggression,” and listing their “pronouns” in their email signature blocks, we should ask where does this line of absurdity end? Perhaps the next APA manifesto will seek to abolish religion, athletics, heterosexual marriage, eating meat, etc. Whatever happened to common sense? And where does this take us? Will we next ban books, movies, and podcasts by people named Ernest Hemingway, Clint Eastwood, or Jocko Willink?

OK, I’m not neutral in this fight, and Dr. Frueh says what I think, so I featured him here. That makes neither him nor me correct, but he damn sure raises a valid question. Read the whole thing, I found that each of the 12 contributors has something valuable to add. None of this is simple. I can’t speak for you, of course, but often I wonder exactly why I think, speak, or write as I do. Dr. Frueh also quotes one of my favorite authors, and it is important that we keep it in mind as we move forward. Remember, life is movement, if we’re not moving forward, we are slipping back.

“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

—C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (1943)

Saddle Up!


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