“And if you think tough men are dangerous, wait until you see what weak men are capable of,” according to Jorden Peterson. He’s convinced weak men aren’t virtuous. By weak, Jordan means men who are morally, physically and emotionally weak. Another Jordon quote, in a similar vein, “A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is very, very dangerous man who has it under control.” In fact, he said, “Women want dangerous men that are civilized.” An otherwise strong man will be morally weakened by capitulating to corruptive agents.
Following the 2020 election of Biden/Harris, came the stench of weakness from the White House, penetrating the nostrils of rogue governments and international thugs like Putin, Xi Jinping and Iran, carefully documented that on the world stage is a weak man. As the curtain went up, revealing a figurehead who is malleable, sans abiding core beliefs. Tyrants respond with aggression to such manifest weakness.
Witness the recent Russian assault on Ukraine, orchestrated by Putin, and the air show by eight J-16 Chinese fighter jet sorties over Taiwan, amid rising security fears after these events. Taipei officials dispatched U.S. made F-16V fighters to scramble off the Chinese fighter threat. With the distracted West, it has given President Tsai Ing-wen pause, questioning whether the U.S. will be as resolute now as under former President Trump. Taiwan rejects China’s sovereignty claim on Taiwan.
Taiwan has lived under the threat of Chinese invasion since the defeated Republic of China government fled to the tiny island in 1949, after losing a civil war to the Communists Chinese regime. Schizophrenic, nearly octogenarian Biden, offers no comfort to our allies with his incoherent policies and mixed messages of support for NATO’s role. Weak leaders like Biden and Obama, tend to escalate a crisis. Gamble on dicey issues, ignore consequences, and court appeasement, that never works with thugs, bullies and brutal dictators as Amin, Castro, Hitler, Pinochet, Pol Pot, Josip Tito, Mao Tse Tung, and Rocket Man. Morally weak. Brutally strong.
On November 4, 1979, fifty-two diplomats and citizens were taken hostage, after a group of militarized Iranian Islamic student group seized them, taking over the U.S. embassy in Tehran. President Jimmy Carter fiddled, dithered and imposed sanctions, while the diplomatic standoff lasted 444 days. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance resigned following a failed diplomacy. On January 20, 1981, minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn into office, hostages were released into U.S. custody. Carter’s mishandling of this crisis, contributed to his landslide loss. Reagan carried forty-four states, and 489 electoral votes. Carter left office on his weakness-inability to confront conflict.
Our 30th President Calvin Coolidge, 1923 to 1929, though quiet, earning his nickname “Silent Cal.” He wasn’t weak. His quotes revealed the strong inner man who understood the corrupting influence of big government. Coolidge applied his principles to his presidency. He warned, “A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny.” A man of unshaken faith, and strong moral and philosophical underpinnings.
He left a warning for us today, that seems to have gone unheeded for generations of weak presidents and congress, “One of the chief dangers to the success of popular government is that it will throw away self-restraint and self-control and adopt laws, which being without sound economic foundation, bring on such financial distress as to result in want, misery, disorder and the dissolution of society.” It wasn’t long before the Federal government loosed itself from our Constitutional moorings under weak men.
Albeit awkwardly, yet scripted, Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. top diplomat, went to Paris in 2015, for some high level fence-mending in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. He appeared at Paris city hall with singer James “Baby” Taylor, who delivered his version of “You’ve Got a Friend.” Kerry said he hoped to give the French people a “big hug.” That’s what weak men will do. Like Biden, they’re dangerous to liberty.
Historically, weak men, without virtuous character, foster chaos, sacrificing individual liberty and life on the anvil of collectivism, warring against other nations because their appetite for unshackled power’s insatiable. President Kennedy once said, “Mankind must put an end to war or we will put an end to mankind.” Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement was non-violence. He said in 1968, “It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and non-violence. It is either non-violence or non-existence.” King wasn’t a weak man. Quite the contrary. His confidence in the UN’s ability to disarm the world was sincere, but misguided. He feared being plunged into an inferno, saying, “That the mind of Dante could not imagine.”
In 1961, President Eisenhower sent a televised dire warning about the threat of the formidable union of the defense contractors and armed forces and its growing influence. Now known as the “military industrial complex.” War is dominated by men. Do they love it? What of the feminine version like Liz Cheney? Picard said, “The seed of violence is within each of us.” What of the “Just War Theory?” It’s been debated for centuries by military leaders, theologians, ethicists and policy makers. Augustine was a notable advocate of just-war theory, as noted in his major work “The City of God.”
Must we believe that men like Generals George Patton, Omar Bradley and Eisenhower loved war because they waged it in WWII? Using Peterson’s definition, these weren’t weak men. History portrays Patton as a brilliant military leader, though complex and often contradictory figure. He prayed at morning and night, yet angrily spewed profanity routinely. Ironically, he died from complications of simple auto accident in Manheim, Germany, passing twelve days later on December 9, 1945.
This writer’s father, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, didn’t love war. He wouldn’t speak of it. Most who served didn’t. They fought so their offsprings wouldn’t speak German. Thank God for the willing. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s firstname.lastname@example.org