Until Friday, we lived in an age where the United States government could, with a straight face, assert that the most serious national security issue of our time is global warming.
Until Friday, we lived in an age where men could be thought of as boys, living in their parents’ basement, on their parents’ insurance, tweeting angrily in support of two dudes and an it getting married.
To be sure, some of that continues today. But while Barack Obama and his unserious advisors in a Western World grown too unserious about reality focus on unserious topics, the nations of the world continue to jockey for national interest and Kremlin tanks continue pouring into Ukraine.
That’s the rub of it. Until Friday, we lived in a world where the West had grown comfortable that Francis Fukuyama was right and history had ended. Events would still happen, but the world would inevitably evolve toward liberal democracy. We all learned in college that liberal democracies were more stable and least prone to violence of all forms of government. Barack Obama, David Cameron, the French buffoon with his mistress du jour, and the rest of the West could sit around tables and worry about the environment, income inequality, unisex bathrooms, and other issues. The West had concluded there were no longer national interests, but global interests where we would all win or all lose together.
Hell, just last week the Ninth Circuit ruled that an American public school could ban displays of the American flag lest Mexican nationalist oriented students were offended.
It is the foreign policy view of the naive, the rube, and elite in comfortable times. The Aspen and Davos sets can tut-tut at world events, but their world view and foreign policy have brought us to this point. That world view both fostered and fed off of an unserious foreign policy press and analytical corps that saw the world through global issues and global interests. Many of those within the foreign policy community with the biggest media platforms eschew the military, support progressive social views, and generally think the world can get along if only the bully United States let others lead. They transitioned in and out of government — a fourth estate that worked in and around the first and second, whispering in ears, holding salons, and attending cocktail parties where world view is more important than the wine selection.
And they all nodded approvingly when Barack Obama declared his intention to lead from behind.
While the circle of jerks from New York to Washington to London to Brussels came up with exciting new ways for nations to work together, some national leaders in some countries had other ideas — they’d work for national interests. The West, particularly the United States, started viewing militaries as avenues for social experience instead of instruments of death and destruction.
Meanwhile, other nations grew bolder. China is now more and more allied with Russia with both countries lusting after previously lost territories. China may soon risk war with Japan over some islands and Russia, knowing the West will do nothing to stop it, has invaded Ukraine.
Therein lies the problem. The West’s unserious leaders still govern. The East knows this and knows it can continue unabated because the limp wristed slaps of governments more concerned about gay marriage and global warming than national geopolitical interests are no deterrent to national interests.
The United States and Europe may be in a drum circle singing Kumbaya, but Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping intend to beat the West like a drum. We have moved back into a serious age. The unserious leaders will either get serious or find themselves on the losing side of history — a more real and documented place than the left’s so called “wrong side of history.”