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What Did You Do In The War, Daddy?

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What Did You Do In The War, Daddy?

By Richard Kline, USMA 1967
Served in the US Air Force, Senior Executive Service

The battle for America’s soul has been going on at least since the lovefests of the 60s.

This battle has not raged. Rather it flares up intermittently whenever a radical cause surfaces.

The conflict in Vietnam was a major focal point for the liberal reactionaries. Their problem was that the Democratic Party was the main instigator of the conflict with Lyndon Johnson escalating the fighting every year of his presidency. It was eventually his undoing and the liberals found themselves turning on one another.

Other smaller events, like the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King, sparked riots that destroyed lives and property. Black Lives Matter, George Floyd’s demise, and Antifa guerillas are just a few more examples that caused riots. Today it’s the occupying of college campuses in support of Hamas that unleashes the violence of the Left.

In America, our most critical wars these days are not with some foreign power.

The war today is a battle over the cultural, legal, and societal underpinnings of what was our national character post World War II.

We are not yet at armed conflict within our borders. Although such conflict might well be on the horizon. Rather, we fight in the legislatures, in the media, at the ballot box, and in the streets.

The call to arms today does not involve the military. We form our battle lines between advocacy groups. The major political parties dominate the headlines but our national issues have given rise to smaller, more single-issue focused organizations.

And these issues come in every size, shape, and color. They have given birth to so many different advocacy groups that one can barely hear the various debates above the din of protests.

Immigration, abortion, inflation, crime, taxes, debt, wars among our former friends and allies, the economy, an overreaching government, the currency, the strength of our military, religion, terrorism… real and imagined. are all vigorously argued… and even aggressively fought in our rioting cities.

It seems like there are more internal battles to be waged than there are Americans to fight them. Most people hope these fights will just die the death of a disinterested citizenry. There are more pressing and resilient personal problems with which to deal. After all, incomes need to be earned, families need to be raised, holidays need to be observed, and retirements need to be planned. There are simply too many sources of conflict to engage.

The noise on the battlefields is deafening. It seems a fruitless undertaking to get involved.

But get involved we must. The stakes are simply too high to stand on the sidelines as an uninvolved, and unmotivated, observer.

America is at risk. Looking across the array of societal issues, one overarching theme surfaces: will America slide into socialism?

The threat of socialism is no longer a “goblin in the closet.” It is already staking out a claim to major elements of America’s culture and government.

Our debt is crushing; CRT/DEI is gaining a foothold in American business, the military, and education; open borders make the concept of controlled immigration a joke; the military cannot recruit sufficient personnel to replace those leaving the service. The threats are many and worthy of our attention and effort. If we do not confront them with all our energies, they will become controlling forces in our daily lives.

So, twenty years from now when our children ask us about these battles, what will we say in reply to “What did you do in the war, Daddy?” What form of government did we give them? Will we have a Constitution that even remotely resembles the one given to us by the founding fathers? What civil rights will we enjoy?

The call to arms is everywhere. And only a few are answering. Shame on us all if we simply stand on the sidelines. Step up, America. Choose an issue and join the fight.

It’s time once again to pledge “our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor.”

First published on American Thinker


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