One of my favorite sayings is from an apocalyptic adventure author named G Michael Hopf. It comes from his novel Those Who Remain, Book 7 in The New World series. The main character, Gordon Van Zandt, makes this statement:
‘Hard times create strong men.
Strong men create good times.
Good times create weak men.
And, weak men create hard times.’
According to Hopf, it’s an oversimplification of the generational theory, but I agree with the validity of the statement. I’m 65 years old, and a product of grandparents who struggled through the Great Depression and who also fought in World War 2. We refer to them as “Our Greatest Generation.” This generation achieved great things, and we have much to thank them for. These people were strong. They had to be in order to survive through poverty and defeat tyranny from Nazi Germany and Imperialist Japan.
Many of our grandparents or great-grandparents fought in World War 1 and survived the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. We can keep going back in time, and we’ll always find strong men doing great things. The Civil War: Terrible but great. Life on the frontier: Dangerous and difficult, but great. All throughout American history, we find strong people working through hard times in order to create good times for their children.
But something happened after World War 2. These strong men had created so much prosperity, that their children were able to live comfortable and easy lives. Swimming pools, air conditioning, television, dishwashers, everything became automatic. And then later we added computers. Now we pick up our phone, go to Amazon and order anything we want, and it’s delivered magically to our front door.
Then I look at my parents. My father worked hard and so did my mother. They’d experienced the Great Depression as children, and they didn’t want me to have to go through the same hard times that they’d experienced. On the contrary, they wanted me to have every advantage that they couldn’t have in the poverty of their youth.
They gave me everything, and I grew up spoiled rotten. All through the 50s, 60s, and 70s, this trend continued on into the 21st century until we have our present culture of narcissistic brats.
Our ancestors were strong men living through hard times, and they gave us every material advantage. So what went wrong? I think I know the answer to that. Someone fumbled the baton. These strong people gave us shiny cars and airplanes and the expectation that we could all be happy. But … they didn’t successfully pass on their value system.
What is a strong man? Someone who works hard to protect and defend the weak. Someone who sacrifices themselves to help a friend or even a stranger in need. A strong man is honest, loyal, brave, and hard-working. A strong man knows what’s most important in life: God, family, and country.
Because the last several generations never learned these traits, we now have a society of weak men. What is a weak man? Someone who thinks of himself before others. He is self-centered and feels entitled to happiness and self-gratification at all costs. I remember growing up in the 60s, there was this saying, and it went like this: “If it feels good … do it!”
That was the drug-addled, self-pleasuring hippie culture of the last half of the 20th century. A society with a life philosophy of greed and hedonism cannot survive for long.
America is weak — because her people are weak.
And that brings us to November 8th, 2022. The election.
Millions of conservatives all over the country were shocked at the outcome, and none more than in my home state of Michigan. We passed overwhelmingly, a ballot proposal to give people the constitutional right to kill babies in the womb. Isn’t it ironic that we are a weak people who refuse to protect the weakest among us?
So where does that leave us?
“Weak men create hard times.”
Get ready America. Whatever you sew, that you shall reap. This was predictable and even inevitable. Why should we be surprised at simple cause and effect? Weak men create wars, famine, plagues, and all manner of human suffering. AKA hard times.
But don’t be discouraged. God is still on the throne. And He will use these hard times to once again create “Strong Men.” It’s just going to be a painful and long process. In the meantime … buckle up America; because the ride’s about to get a little bit bumpy!
Skip Coryell lives with his wife and children in Michigan. He is the author of 21 books. He is a Marine vet and teaches concealed carry and advanced pistol classes. Skip is the host and creator of a podcast called The Home Defense Show. He also co-hosts the largest military talk show in the country called Frontlines of Freedom.