Discover more from Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
America's Men Need Help and Leadership
We're not looking out for them
We are a country absent leadership. The leaders of the past, like FDR or Eisenhower, knew how to guide a country through a difficult time. As one country, one nation, a President should never use a tragedy to further divide it yet that is exactly what Joe Biden did in addressing the nation after the shooting in Texas.
Biden was put in place for one reason and one reason only, to un-elect Trump and redirect a country amid a populist uprising back towards the established order. It wasn’t Biden who took power and led. It was still the former administration, the Obama coalition trying to hold onto what they built lest it falls to the hands of the half of the country they could not stand and greatly feared.
Gun control was a problem Obama could not solve. Joe Biden believes he must solve it for him. He can’t solve it by blaming half the country. He can’t solve it by defaulting to the same arguments. The time has come to address the problem: why men feel so alienated and isolated that they pick up a gun or decide to drive an SUV into a crowd and kill as many people as possible. In this case, the most innocent and helpless among us: children.
The Democrats like Beto O’Rourke, the activists who protest outside the court of Supreme Court justices or follow politicians into elevators or bathrooms are constantly in the mode of pleading to the GOP to do what they want them to do. They have such certainty that the only thing that could prevent children dying in schools is if the GOP goes along with their legislation. Yet, leadership means they lead - they don’t deflect blame. There is a reason we have arrived at this point and it isn’t the fault of just one party.
Regardless of your feelings about Reagan, this speech is a great example of what a President should sound like and how he or she should lead during a crisis. He offers sympathy, then he says what he plans to do to address the situation. Never once does he blame those who did not vote for him nor those who do not agree with him. He does not blame half the country because no serious leader would do that in a crisis. We do not have serious leaders right now.
A tragedy is a time to offer comfort and solutions. In this case, Biden was required to go beyond the usual partisan debate about gun control. He was required to see bigger solutions to deeper problems. Most of all, he was and remains required to unite the country. On all of these counts, he failed.
What might Biden have said instead?
Maybe something like this:
“My Fellow Americans, we are living through a time of unprecedented hatred, division and violence. This is true in our cities, true online, true in our streets and in all of our states. We went through something horrific in 2020 and lockdown has left another pandemic in its wake: mental illness. Whether it’s mass shootings, random shootings on subways, or SUVs mowing down children during a parade, the rage is the problem and it’s high time we addressed that.
In addition to the sympathy and prayers I am offering to the families of the shootings, we are going to infuse their community with funding for mental health, better security at schools and mentorship for young men who feel they have run out of hope.
In addition to that, I am going to implement a mandatory service for every young person in this country to serve for two years either before or after college. They will not have to pay for it, but they can use this service to excuse some or all of their student loans. If they do not go to college, they will be given a bonus to start their life with at the end of their service.
I will be implementing this Executive Order to roll out in the next few years. I also plan to do my part to work with the Republicans to come to some agreement on guns. If we put our heads together, and stop demonizing and blaming one another, we might come to a better solution than the one we have now.
Additionally, I am going to form a bi-partisan committee to implement a nation-wide protection plan for schools. This might include having armed guards protecting them and security checks at entry. We have sophisticated technology that can drive cars. We can send people into space. We are tracked every single day of our lives to be more compliant consumers but they can’t detect when someone with a weapon is entering a secured building, like a school?
All schools have a single point of entry. There should be a button to press that locks all of the doors. There should be a loud alarm system in place to alert students. And finally, there should be desks that can double as protection.
I will also be doing my part to end this hatred and division that has infected this country and each of the two parties. We are still Americans. We can work together to solve our problems but we can’t do it this way. God Bless you and may God protect our troops.”
The sudden rise of mass shootings has offered an array of different types: white men, Asian men, Black men, and Hispanic men. The media mostly ignores the shootings by Black men. They could not ignore the mass shooting in Texas, even if the perp was not white. The hate crimes, the violence is not limited to white males. The Democrats never address this. They continue to blame the half of the country that didn’t vote for them.
There is no doubt that 2020 hit this country hard. Look at the numbers from gunviolence.org:
What happened in 2020? COVID, lockdown, and the cultural uprising over the Summer. What has happened to children, teens and adults from the COVID isolation is immeasurable. I myself lost someone I loved who could not cope. The Democrats have never talked about what happened, and they aren’t addressing their part in it. As always, they are “good” and the Right is “bad.”
We have to start talking about men.
We have to talk about what it means to be male in this country, whether Black, white, or anything else. We have to talk about it from a place of empathy, not blame. We have to talk about why this is happening. We have to talk about rage, not “white rage,” but male rage. Why is there such a sharp rise in not just suicides, not just gun deaths but mass murder?
Because so many men grow up without fathers, as men, with tosterone coursing through their bodies, they need other alpha males to guide them, to give them direction and a sense of purpose. This is a problem that we have to address head-on or suffer the consequences.
This is the reason people like Elon Musk, Tucker Carlson, Ben Shapiro, Joe Rogan, Dave Chappelle, and other alpha voices are able to capture so much of our attention is that nature abhors a vacuum. Young men especially are drawn to these voices because they literally have nowhere else to turn.
As we moved through the Me Too movement, the uprisings of 2020, and the Cultural Revolution in its wake, there was a massive shift that seemed to punish men just for being men. Young men, especially young white men, have felt guilty just for being born. This was true even in Hollywood where we started to see a deliberate attempt to remove male heroes and put females in their place. What message does that send to young men, no matter their skin color?
Masculinity is a reality. You don’t get to nearly 8 billion people on the planet without it. It isn’t just their reproductive value, it’s their expansive mindset and their need for a purpose, whether it’s being a soldier, a father, or a hunter. Without that, they are dangerous. The idea that we can keep shaming, blaming, diminishing men is only going to lead to more isolation, alienation, hopelessness and depression, which in turn can lead to either suicide or violence.
Men need purpose: The best way to deal with those who fall through the cracks is mandatory public service that gets them off their computers and into real life.
Men need leadership: We must vote for a leader who is ready to bring the country together, not one that seeks to divide it.
Men need hope: whether it’s movies, books, an education, a job - their rights must not be diminished as we push for the rights of others.
The shooter in Texas worked the night shift at Wendy’s. He was bullied. He was taunted. He didn’t appear to have any hope, any friends, any love. There are hundreds, maybe thousands more just like him waiting to strike. We have to reach them before they get reach for the gun. We have to reach them before they kill themselves or others. We have to reach them.
[From somewhere in Iowa, narrowly dodging a tornado. Hope there aren’t too many typos.]