From “Why We Fight” to “Nothing Is Worth Fighting For”


During World War II, the United States sponsored and produced a series of seven movies titled “Why We Fight“.  Originally intended for US soldiers, President Roosevelt ordered their release to the general public as well.  They were propaganda, yes, but they tried hard to be objective in presenting reasons why the USA was in the war and why it was essential that US values triumphed, rather than be defeated by the forces of totalitarianism.  All seven films have been preserved, and are available from the National Archives or on YouTube.

The thing is, those films were made for a nation united behind its leaders and their stated war goals.  People were patriotic.  They were prepared to fight, prepared to make sacrifices in the name of ultimate victory.  In the extreme, they were prepared to die for what they believed in.

Nowadays?  Not so much.

The American military is having trouble finding new recruits these days. The problem isn’t just that young Americans have more lucrative options and serious health and legal issues—it’s also that they have a fundamentally different view of the country and military service than in ages past.

. . .

It’s all a matter of perspective. Justice is artificial and conditioned by subjective bias. In this view, patriotism is a form of affection experienced only by the unenlightened who do not understand their love of country is a hollow extension of historic chance itself. The proper response to this chance isn’t patriotic zeal but relativistic acceptance. This is how they arrived at the conclusion there is never a “right side” in a war, never a “higher” moral precept, never a reason to die for a political cause. Among progressive activists today, many of whom are young Americans in their 20s, only 9% say that their American identity is “very important” to them; compare this to the US average of 48% and the whopping 92% for devoted conservatives.

It would be foolish to assume this trend is not somehow connected to the fact that the American military is now experiencing severe shortfalls in meeting its recruitment goals, shortfalls that haven’t been this severe in half a century. To be fair, there are also significant structural reasons including COVID and the attractiveness of the current job market.

But dig a little deeper and the reasons for paltry recruitment numbers are utterly deflating, symptomatic of a generation whose lifestyle and values do not bode well for the country’s future success, much less its security. Only a small percentage of young Americans today can meet these two qualifications: being physically fit and having no disqualifying criminal record.

One in four meet the qualifications. A staggering 75% aren’t able to serve in the American military because of high levels of youth obesity, drug use, and inadequate education. But buried inside this reality is a disturbing trend that speaks to the perspective so many young Americans now possess, a perspective voiced by my students just a few years ago that is now becoming more mainstream: in just the past few years the number of young Americans willing to serve has dropped from 13% to 9%. That is a 31% change and reveals not just a health crisis with the presence of a pandemic and frustration about perceived failures in Afghanistan and Iraq, but a generational pivot in the way they look at the country and the nobility of defending it.

It is a bit reductive and hysterical to merely conclude young people have been taught by their teachers to hate the country and despise our history. While that attitude is certainly more present and powerful than it was a generation ago, my argument is that it is symptomatic not of national self-loathing, but naive individualism.

. . .

We should not be alarmed if declining enrollments are a symptom of a booming economy. But we should be concerned if it is tied to a fashionable disdain of the nation and to a fundamental misunderstanding of the work the American military does in the world.

There’s more at the link.

Part of this is, to be sure, our own fault as a society in general.  Too few of us have tried to inculcate in our children a fundamental patriotism, a commitment and a loyalty to our country.  It became unfashionable, almost primitive, to think and speak in those terms.  That’s partly because of a blind patriotism that refuses to acknowledge faults and failings, something that was evident in much of the older generation during the Vietnam War and afterwards.  The younger generation, that was actually doing the dying there, rejected that.  However, there was no immediately apparent fix for the problem – and nobody tried very hard to find one, at least not then.

However, it’s also uncomfortably true that we’ve allowed our young people to become indoctrinated by community organizers, university professors, politicians and rabble-rousers.  Too many of them have been taught to believe that “America was never great”.  For example:

This, from a disgraced Governor who was forced to resign in the face of overwhelming evidence of malfeasance.

In the name of free speech, we’ve allowed such views to be propagated and popularized – but we’ve done little or nothing to counteract them by propagating and popularizing alternative views, ones that are more faithful to our Founding Fathers and their vision for this country.  It’s an ancient truism that “The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing“.  I suggest the truth of that aphorism is demonstrated by the sea-change visible in our young people’s reaction to patriotism and service (military or otherwise).

An equal part of the problem, I suggest, is the 1960’s counter-culture.  The mantra of that era was “If it feels good, do it“.  That’s very different from President Kennedy’s call at the beginning of that era:

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Fundamentally, essentially, Kennedy’s call was to serve, rather than be served.  Today, that’s a joke among most of our young people.  Therein lies a great deal of the problem.  We haven’t raised our young people to serve;  instead, we’ve told them that they can be anything, do anything, without putting in any effort first.  They got prizes at school for simply being there, for existing, rather than for achieving.  They’ve been brainwashed that they can have others serve them without first having to serve others, without having to learn what it means to put others ahead of oneself.  The parents born and raised in the “If it feels good, do it” generation have all too often put that principle into practice in raising their children, and their children have done likewise in their turn.  The results, we see before us.

Ironically, even those most opposed to all that America stands for have been suckered into the same corruption.  Can anyone forget Black Lives Matter and the millions it raised from gullible, panicked, liberal businesses?  How much good did that do for the people it was meant to benefit, versus buying luxurious residences for Patrisse Cullors, one of the top leaders of BLM?  It’s become a standing joke that the movement’s initials actually stand for “Buy Large Mansions”.  How many other leaders of BLM and movements like it have become rich (or, at least, better off) through the funds raised by and for their groups?  Inquiring minds would love to know…

With leaders like that, and examples like Andrew Cuomo, and educators who are out to brainwash them into compliance with extremism, and parents who all too often abandon them to such influences rather than trying to “bring them up in the way they should go“, it’s no wonder that our young people have lost their roots and their way.  It’s no wonder that they don’t see service in general, let alone military service, as an obligation to be taken seriously.  They’ve been served all their lives, in many cases without deserving it;  and they’ve never been asked to return service for service.

And, in the end result, that’s why the US military can’t find enough people ready, willing and able to satisfy its recruitment needs.  Its recruitment techniques and approach are set up for a society that no longer exists.



  1. Leftist kids have no interest in serving a nation they despise.
    Rightist kids have no interest in serving a Leftist government that despises them.

  2. Well, I was going to go on a longer rant, but McChuck has hit it on the head and quite concisely.

    I will say that before I was commissioned, my father who was both enlisted and commissioned said that if you want your people to respect you, then you have to respect them. Our government has been acting very untrustworthy. Not working for an employer you don't trust is smart.

    As proud as I am of my service I could not advise anyone today to serve.

  3. The largest group that supported the Combat Arms has seen their Culture denigrated and the Heroes of their past, even those of the founding generation erased. This culture we'll defend but not the Wokeness permeating the country now.

    The Republic is dead. Crassus and Brutus have lost. Will we get Caesar, Bonaparte, Stalin, or Franco?

  4. What did Lenin say about giving him the education of the youth and he'd destroy a capitalist country?

    Proof is in the pudding, right now.

    What "leadership" will we get? Given the destruction of all the "Old Values" in the manner of Mao's Red Guard destruction of the Chinese "4 Olds" (look it up) we're going to get Pol Pot style leadership mixed with Bolshevik Street actions.

    The Bolsheviks (Russian: Большевики, from большинство bolshinstvo, 'majority'), also known in English as the Bolshevists, were a far-left, revolutionary Marxist faction founded by Vladimir Lenin that split with the Mensheviks from the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and the Labor party was later destroyed as too moderate.

    We tend to laugh at the Left "Eating" each other but the ingoing results to Joe 6 pack on the street is disastrous.

    As Aesop likes to quote "Mountains of skulls and rivers of blood" THAT's what the Leftists intend for you and me.

    I wonder what will rise from the ashes, are we moral enough to restrain from becoming the monsters we fight?

    Praying for wisdom, protect your families, they are the building blocks of civilization.

  5. DH and I never served in the military, however most of our extensive Civilian service was working in various capacities for DOD and DA in particular. When our oldest son expressed interest in enlisting (to take advantage of the specialized training and MOS offered by the obviously lying Recruiter), we lobbied successfully against doing so. What we saw happening just in our own limited sphere was so appalling that we just couldn't condone any of our kids getting immersed in it. Military management levels were/are completely compromised with self-aggrandizing politics, corruption, and wokeness. Enlisted personnel are routinely lied to, manipulated and punished unfairly.
    A great example is the crass stupidity of complaining about recruiting problems while forcing thousands who refuse the Jab out of the military. Another great example is the stories routinely told by recruiters who absolutely know that what they promise is highly unlikely to ever be granted. (When they get out, they have a direct path to the WH Press Secretary position. All that On The Job training, you know.)

    I do not necessarily believe that patriotism is the main/only issue. It is far more likely that today's young men and women understand that signing up for military service is no more patriotic than the Swamp allows it to be. True patriots would not want to be part of it. And Milley and DOD Secretary Lloyd Austin absolutely have to go. As long as they are in charge, nothing positive will happen.

    Pray for our Country.

  6. Why the hell should men risk life and limb for a country and culture that openly despises them – especially the White ones?

  7. Who wants to be part of the rainbow idiocy?
    I joined at the end of the Vietnam War. I did my 20. I would not do so now.

  8. Enlisted USN 16-20. It was always going downhill. From letting foreigners seek citizenship through service or allowing the fat and disgusting to get enough waivers to pass a 1.5 mile run. They've made it so easy to serve, that there is no pride in retaining any hardworking service members to continue serving the greater picture of protecting freedom.

  9. We're at war! Our own leaders and educators are demeaning and diminishing the youth of our nation daily. In order to advance in school the children must parrot the material they're fed, otherwise, at best they're considered unruly and unteachable
    The worst part is that very few see this – and when they do see it and speak out about it, they're scorned, reviled, and figuratively emasculated.
    We all know that this will result in bloodshed and major civil "unrest." The only question is when; before or after we're all disarmed.

  10. Why do the youth of today do not enlist in the Armed Forces of America? I think folks are selling our youth short. They have observed a twenty year war which we have lost. They have seen us loose every war since WWII. They also know they are not fighting to preserve our way of life. They are fighting to maintain a vast military industrial complex that requires blood to grease the corporate bottom line. They also observe an invasion of our borders; the true purpose of our military, being allowed.

    All wars since WWII have been optional wars that had nothing to do with a threat to our country. The Vietnamese I fought had no idea where America was much less wanting to invade it. Same for the Arabs I fought. Why would they want to sacrifice themselves for corporate greed? Major General S. D. Butler, USMC in his book "War is a Racket" had it right.

  11. Enlisted 83-88, USAF.
    Proud to do it then. Now, No Way!
    There is no longer any Upside to serving.
    There MUST be a good reason in a persons mind before they will join.
    Even if it is a 'base' reason (I need a Job, At least I'll get Fed.), to the supposedly more 'moral' reasons of Patriotism and Service, Upholding Family Tradition, or even the almost universal "I'll Get Free College", there has to be a good reason. At least to the person there in the Recruiter's Office, signing on the dotted line……
    The Good Reasons are vanishing like Snow on a Griddle! We managed to get my son an appointment to Annapolis 6 years ago. He turned it down. Looking at the world today, I am thankful and relieved he did. It was a good choice he made. While I am not ashamed of my service, I see it now, as a Mistake. I am 60 now, and should have stayed out and finished school like my peers. I'd have been a lot better off.
    The "Woke" Military will suffer even more in the next few years. Recruiting is down only 40% now. Wait until 2024. Any Patriot who stays in now, is just prolonging their own agony.

  12. 1) The customer is always right.
    2) The problem is far more fundamental:
    The U.S. military recruitment techniques and approach are set up for a military that no longer exists.
    3) If we had a military anyone wanted to serve in, they would. The military has alienated the only base they ever had: patriotic conservatives.
    People (self included) have been actively, loudly, and cogently discouraging anyone who'll listen from serving in the woketarded faux military, since 2009. For clear and compelling cause.
    4) Give America back the military we used to have, and you'll recruit the kids you used to get, in sufficient numbers.
    Refuse to do that, and we'll be facing a universal draft inside of three years, if not sooner, and people will shoot themselves in the foot or whatever is necessary to avoid that functional sentence of indentured servitude.
    5) The entire problem was trying to make the military a social experiment that reflected society. Society is what is FUBARed, and trying to emulate that shambling abortion on legs is the fundamental mistake. We don't need or want a military that "looks like society", we need a military that LOOKS LIKE A MILITARY.

    Until the goldbricking worthless sonsofb*****s with stars on their epaulets not only get that, but stand up for it, they might as well burn down the Pentagon, and sell the bases for condos and gold courses. Burning the Pentagon to the ground anyways would probably be a great start, ideally at 11 AM on a Tuesday, after chaining all the doors shut with everyone inside and unable to escape.

  13. Having got out in 10 I can mirror Aesop's comments and everyone above. I can also add this: The Iraq and Afgan debacles showed very clearly to anyone that war was happening or we were at war just for something to do. There was not any clear objectives and we were accomplishing nothing. War was just something to do. That's it. Full stop, the defence contractors got rich, political elites kept their kids from being deployed if they actually served. The combat experenced troops that served the country and their branch have been forced out leaving the military some how stripped of it's combat experence after 20 fucking years of war. Think about that too.

  14. Just have to echo others here, why would anyone serve the actual American society as it actually is and not the original ideal. Whoever is approving of the current ideal is insane.

  15. The right (Right as in has his head on straight)thinking youth are not going to sign up to be forced to take the jab. The young man interested in serving isn’t interested in serving next to a trans/ non binary. He wants to fight next to someone who will have his back not need a safe space when they break a nail.

  16. If 'Nothing is worth fighting for', not to worry, soon you will have nothing because someone else will take everything you have from you. Then you will have nothing and no reason to fight.

  17. The United States is suffering under a ruling class & deep-state oligarchy whose members hate and despise ordinary Americans and traditional America. Since the armed forces are a subset of the deep-state, traditional young men of the kind who have always provided the backbone of the combat arms forces of all the branches of service have joined in large numbers in recent decades only to see themselves and their most-closely held values betrayed.

    The armed forces resisted for a long time the cultural marxist take-over of our society, but that citadel was finally breached in 2008 when Obama came to town. The truth is that the cracks in that foundation had been evident for years beforehand dating back to the Clinton era, and even before it.

    As a martial arts instructor of many years experience, I have had ample opportunity to influence young people on their career choices, in particular for fields like the military. Once, I enthusiastically recommended uniformed service for outstanding young people, but I quit doing so some years ago, and do not foresee doing so again in the near future, not as long as the status quo remains as it is.

    My father, a WWII veteran, and my grandfather, a WWI veteran, must be turning in their graves.

  18. If you want to know what happened to the military, it is not actually a recent change. It's just that it is more visible nowadays. I would say it started prior to WW2. The blame rests mostly on Democrat politicians, and FDR really got the ball rolling. He apparently fooled the European leaders into believing that he would, and could, stop Hitler if he crossed any major borders. Congress would never give him that power, so that didn't happen. (documents were found in the EU that were presented by our ambassadors to heads of state that this would happen, which may explain why there was such idiocy on display throughout Europe prior to the real war.
    Then, he forced the Japanese to go to war by cutting off their oil supply. Gee, does this sound familiar?

    Then, after winning most of ww2, but allowing the Soviets to grab nearly everything, we literally THREW AWAY almost all our military gear. (guess why? the Dems made promises to business that NOTHING that was sent overseas would be repatriated to CONUS) (the only exception was aircraft and vessels that were transporting our people back home. Most of our aircraft were bulldozed into ditches and buried or tossed into the ocean or burned)

    Five years later, we are at war with the communists (that the F'ing Dems had supported since their founding), and we are struggling to win a minor war. And we don't really win that war, due to Dems not wanting to do the job right. Fast forward a decade, and we do the SAME EXACT DAMN THING AGAIN! (remember, Dems don't like winning wars, especially against communists)

    I was considering quiting high school and enlisting for the Viet war (bored, above average IQ), but I started putting my focus on looking at the war in detail, and realized that it was being run by certifiable idiots. That clown in the white house was micro-managing the war! Literally! NONE of the high command were worth a damn. We would have been better served if they had been handed shovels and told to dig a hole to hell. And then, after the media stopped looking, the Dems stopped funding the South Vietnamese, and wasted all that effort and lives and treasure.

  19. continued:

    A major problem seems to be that the Republicans, over time, began to think a bit too much like the Dems, and started emulating them, especially in the area of military use. D.C. really got into treating our military like they were world cops (more like the mafia, actually), and that sort of ideology gets old quick. We became the town bully, and not many really want to deal with that sort of thing. Add in the woke crap and you have a perfect storm of denial of service (loss of manpower). Fixing society is the only thing that might fix the problem. Per Aesop: "Mountains of skulls and rivers of blood"…

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