- - Thursday, June 2, 2016

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. — John Stuart Mills

I read with disgust this week the details of a YouGov poll that showed a large percentage of millennial men don’t consider themselves fully masculine. This is the result of decades of leftist, cultural Marxism that have changed the fabric of American society. It is also how nations lose wars and find themselves relegated to the dustbin of history.

If you haven’t noticed, the “conquest ethic” is alive and well in the world today. All you have to do is look to the Crimean Peninsula or the South China Sea for real-life examples. The world is getting more dangerous, not more peaceful. The aggressors smell weakness, especially in the Obama administration. The fact that this weakness has been willfully engineered is especially disturbing.

Power-hungry empires and dictators are now taking advantage of this weakness and planning for more. Russian snap drills of 150,000 troops on the NATO border are not just for show. Secretary of State John F. Kerry was dead wrong: This is the 19th century all over again, only this time with nuclear weapons.

Pundits laugh at pictures of Vladimir Putin shirtless on a horse, or chasing a tiger through the Siberian tundra. Laugh all you want, but this is an image that sells in Russia, where men are men and women are women.

“He is a real man,” you hear people say of Mr. Putin. In other words, a protector, a primal real man protecting the family cave. When compared to pictures of President Obama on a bumper car or eating ice cream on Martha’s Vineyard, the mental picture is especially troubling.

SEE ALSO: Vladimir Putin, Sergey Lavrov parody accounts unfrozen after sudden Twitter suspension

As long as we are speaking of Russia, did you know feminism is especially despised there? By the women? “Why would I want to act like a man? I’m proud of being a woman,” one Russian women recently told the news site Russia Beyond the Headlines. In the old Soviet Union days, women were able to experience real egalitarianism. Unfortunately, the outcome was not so pleasant.

Feminism only flourishes in rich, comfortable societies. A woman who is starving to death and wants to eat knows abstract principles don’t fill the belly.

I’m all for equal opportunity for women — for everyone, for that matter. That is what has made America great. But I’m not for mandated equal outcomes. I’m not for the emasculation of American men. This will be our downfall. The forced integration — and therefore the forced lowering of standards — in our armed forces will lead to more American deaths and possibly defeat in battle. Our edge will be gone.

What this country desperately needs are more men like Marcus Luttrell, Chris Kyle, John McCain and Joshua Wheeler; there are too many to name. But they are getting fewer in number. We don’t need a bunch of metrosexual millennials demanding their safe spaces.

Our country is at a turning point, a precipice, a fork in the road.

We must decide as a society if we are going to be worried about defending ourselves, or more worried about boys using girls’ bathrooms. We must choose between self-reliance and dependency on government. Right now. The country is 50/50. It could go either way.

SEE ALSO: State Department admits Iran press conference edited, not a glitch

The barbarians are coming.

L. Todd Wood is a former special operations helicopter pilot and Wall Street debt trader, and has contributed to Fox Business, The Moscow Times, National Review, the New York Post and many other publications. He can be reached through his website, LToddWood.com.

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