By Matthew Delaney
Of all the heart wrenching images our rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan produced, it was a short opening paragraph that hammered home that nation’s future more than anything.
Graeme Wood wrote about the Taliban’s claim that they weren’t a vengeful bunch during their first stint running “the graveyard of empires” in the late ‘90s. Then he tells us its ousted president was castrated, had his genitals shoved into his mouth, and was dragged through the street.
That picture — more than people falling from C-17s or desperate mothers throwing their babies over razor wire-lined compound walls — stuck with me about how the Taliban operates.
You can call me biased. It’d be fair. A man having his manhood chopped off and force-fed to him before he died? I’m crossing my legs as we speak. But it’s deeper than that, because I couldn’t help thinking we’ve been munching on our own nuts for some time.
Tell me, has anything about our current leadership come across as masculine to you? They give away money for us not to work. They insulate us from consequences by (illegally) banning evictions. They tell us none of our problems are our fault, then pit us against each other by gossiping about the hateful desires a given group of people has. When we finally work up the nerve to voice something we all agree is bad — such as the hap dash evacuation from Afghanistan — they tell us it’s old news…two…days…later.
If pre-1960s American culture could be characterized as an emotionally distant, racist, and abusive father, then 60 years later it’s become the exact opposite: a catty, unaccountable, and pungently single mother who has to bribe us to stay in touch with her.
This isn’t really about women, per se. Yes, there are self-aware miserable Karens and feminists purposefully ignorant to their own misery. But there are also simps and soyboys who make you think the Y chromosome never existed. These personas are byproducts of a culture that glorifies fainting on a couch while simultaneously demonizing any hint of testosterone.
Terms like “toxic masculinity” and “white male patriarchy” are red herrings. Normal people don’t take those blue-haired dictionary words seriously. It’s the baseline set of assumptions laced into everyday interactions that have made us into sissies.
The pandemic has tapped into this instinct more than anything. From the need to wear a mask just because it’s the considerate thing to do to endlessly accepting new reasons to follow The Science™, we’ve shown we have no appetite for risk.
CNN’s Jake Tapper said years ago that “the American people, honestly, want security over freedom.” I, honestly, wouldn’t have believed him until the public opinions on vaccines had come out in various polls.
56% of Americans think employers should mandate vaccinations for their workers. Another 60% think the government should mandate vaccinations for all citizens. A slim majority of the country is in favor of vaccination proof to do everyday things like eat out or hit the gym. You could dismiss this as another polling error a la the 2020 election. However, you’d be ignoring how little courage we have if people need to walk around proving they’re healthy for you to be near them.
As per usual, the media isn’t helping. The Associated Press covered the first day of New York City’s new vaccine proof experiment with a kind of aww shucks-y-ness like when you misplace your car keys when you walk out the door. Get a load of the Israeli tourist they interviewed to really articulate how “normal” this is.
“We have to persuade as many people as possible to get vaccinated,” he said. “I know this is problematic — people’s rights — but, still, this is an emergency. In an emergency, you have to take aggressive measures.”
I mean, like yeah, rights and stuff, but what about my safety? Come on now.
That has a similar ring to other sentiments you may have picked up over the past few months.
I will gladly deal with how much more expensive things are as long as we don’t have anymore mean Trump tweets.
If you can’t pay people a living wage, then you shouldn’t be running a business in the first place.
Not taking the Covid vaccine is your choice. But if you get sick with it, you should just die. You had your chance to do the right thing.
This snide tone is beloved by both the algorithms on social media and our preening tastemakers. We’re smothered with it by the elites we so desire to be that it ultimately becomes a part of our native tongue.
And then, when the shock of stranding tens of thousands of Americans in Afghanistan causes us to break character, those same elites just give us the bratty, disrespectful attitude they always do. Like when Joe Biden flew in from his Camp David to give a brief statement on the withdrawal plan, only to walk off the podium to go back on vacation right after.
Thankfully, we don’t seem to be letting this one slide… yet.
There’s been a big commotion about the Afghans’ loss of civil liberties that was ensured by U.S. military might. Reports have already come out that independent media have had their programming changed to put on Islamic music and Taliban-approved content. Women, obviously, are the biggest losers in all this. Some have been removed from their bank jobs. Others are being denied entry into their schools. Forced marriages — and worse — are right around the corner.
Props to journalists for keeping up on this. They’ve hounded Biden, as they should for all issues. There even seems to be some respect for liberty from the press. It’s a refreshing sight, no matter how short-lived it is.
It’s just deeply ironic that they have to look outside of our borders to remember why freedom is valuable. The political left’s hold on every major institution in the country has given it immense power to dictate how information is delivered. They’ve chosen to convince people that individual liberty endangers everyone. Additionally, they’ve programmed us to seek out the feminine yin of security at the expense of the masculine yang of freedom.
That even our brain trust was humiliated by our Afghanistan evacuation shows how it’s an optics disaster for Biden. Avoiding a needless fight with the Taliban is one thing; abandoning our own countrymen and countless refugees to fend for themselves is completely different. Sharper minds than me have suggested this chaotic exit “strategy” was intentional. Considering how much we’ve been told emasculation is a good thing, can you really say you’re surprised we bailed in the most cowardly way possible?
I’m glad we’re finally summoning the testicles to say “enough.” Or at least, those of us who’ve been saying “enough” for a while finally have some support from those with larger, institutional platforms. But they’re also waking up to the fact that our nether regions were removed long ago, and we’ve been gnawing on our unit a little longer than you’d expect.
The only difference between the Taliban’s tortuous castrations and our own is that we did ours willingly. The allure of beefed-up unemployment checks and knowing everyone we talk to is “clean” have persuaded us it was a worthy tradeoff. But it can no longer distract us from the dick hanging out of our mouth.
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