The Board of Supervisors for San Francisco schools has voted to cancel a long-standing tradition of Army personnel coming to high schools to teach formative skills. Unlike ROTC in colleges whose purpose is to recruit or at least have on campus a center available for those wishing to learn about and enlist in the armed services, the high school program is simply about teaching leadership skills, done so by those whose real life experience has made them highly suitable for such an endeavor.
The board claims that the U.S. Army’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding gays and lesbians is an affront to the values of this town. In other words, anything involving Army personnel is taboo simply because the Army is a taboo. Others argued that recruiting had been done, though concrete evidence of such recruitment was not supplied.
Given that the Army agreed in principle and fact that it does not want to recruit, the board countered that the mere presence of Army personnel might “incline impressionable minds to later consider enlistment.” And, in San Francisco, it is understood that such a career move is incompatible with an enlightened and constructive life.
That the children at these schools testified how much the program had improved their lives, understanding and self-esteem meant nothing to the liberal commissars who for decades have lectured us about the need for schools to foster “self-esteem” and that we in this country must create a more socialist society “for the children.” Evidently, the U.S. Army is not seen as an incubator for socialism nor is self-esteem through rugged individualism and physical prowess the right type of self-esteem. This proves, once again, that liberals espouse platitudes only in service to the liberal agenda, not as enduring, absolute principles.
It is clear that San Francisco officialdom does not like the Army or what it represents. To many liberals, the Army is a retrograde, a relic of bygone times when people were insufficiently enlightened and sophisticated to settle their differences through conversation over wine or a one-night-stand. There is no terrorism, simply a lack of understanding; there are no legitimate reasons to make war, only love. If armies are valid, it’s not the U.S. Army.
This holiday season I ask for no presents save this one: That in the event of war, no locality or university that has outlawed the presence of Army personnel or ROTC be protected and defended by the Army. Those who vilify and seek to harm an institution should not benefit from it. Those who impugn our soldiers and their character should not be granted our soldiers’ sacrifices. I seek no revenge, nor wish them harm, rather an extension of the separation they are already calling for. Diplomats today call this a two-state solution.
Truth be told, there is a much greater undercurrent here explaining the loathing by San Francisco iconoclasts of anything represented or taught by the military. They are repelled by the values and ideals of historic America, and nothing embodies that America more than does the military. San Francisco and other liberal elitist enclaves have for half-a-century been engaged in a systematic overturning of the ethos that has guided this country from Plymouth until Allen Ginsberg.
They hate the crew cuts, the discipline, the notions of honor and sacrifice for country; the deferment of pleasure for a purpose transcendent, the Army’s loyalty to God, laws, and traditions. They hate its “Yes, sir” and salutes. They especially hate its manliness, a configuration of manhood incongruent with the “nebbish/sensitive” man that lives by political correctness but dies not for country.
They hate its cleanness, its exuberance, its willingness to follow orders — that sees its virtue not in “dissent” but in standing by one’s country. Every one of the principles by which the Army is guided is anathema to the hedonists who wish to transform America into France or the pleasure pimps and self-centered whose guiding ethos is conspicuously at odds with those guided more by altruism.
Aside from the particulars mentioned above, the Army is America’s most enduring institution and the only one left that is still animated by the values historic America has cherished until now. More than any other American institution, it has remained what it was before, the one least despoiled and castrated by American liberals. Because it is quintessential America, it is denigrated and “canceled” by those in San Francisco who hate America. They are at war with our values. The culture war is the one war they support.
Liberals don’t volunteer to serve in the army, so they don’t lead it. They, therefore, despise the army and try to undermine it — as they do with anything they do not control.
But there is something alarming and perverse in the guiding ethos and wicked lifestyles prevalent among certain circles of San Francisco that makes it stand apart from, say, East Coast liberalism, namely, its hedonism and disregard for religion. It prides itself on being America’s most secular and unrestrained city.
Serious theologians have for centuries warned that the hedonist wants not merely to live for pleasure but is repelled by that which is pure, upright and moral. Overtime, the hedonist develops an actual distaste and revulsion to that which is spiritually clean; worse, an attraction for the grotesque. The now-famous stench of San Franscisco’s streets and public spaces appears more acceptable to San Francisco’s governing class than the spic-and-span uniformed army officer. San Francisco proves our need for authentic Judeo-Christian religion.
Sign up to the Human Events newsletter