This off-season’s big free agent acquisition of the New York Knicks, Joakim Noah, unintentionally demonstrated once again the fatal flaw with modern liberalism: it doesn’t live in the real world.
At question is Noah’s decision to skip a team dinner at West Point. The Knicks, who are training at West Point in preparation for the upcoming season, were invited to a team dinner with a retired Colonel and with West Point Cadets. Noah’s rationale for not participating in the team event is best explained by Noah himself, “It’s hard for me a little bit — I have a lot of respect for the kids here fighting — but it’s hard for me to understand why we go to war and why kids have to kill kids all around the world. I have mixed feelings about being here. I’m very proud of this country. I love America. I don’t understand kids killing kids around the world.”
To Noah’s credit he wasn’t trying to foist his political beliefs on the rest of us, à la Colin Kaepernick who chose to maximize media exposure by making himself a spectacle at the start of each NFL game when millions of fans have tuned in to watch. On the publicity his skipping the team dinner generated he stated, “It’s not my way of saying anything — I was not comfortable.” To Noah’s discredit he either doesn’t understand or chooses not to accept basic facts about life on planet Earth.
Since Noah doesn’t understand why, when presented the opportunity, he should embrace breaking bread with the cadets at West Point rather than shunning them as if they were lepers, let me explain it to him. The world has about seven billion people, many of whom reflexively hate the Unites States so much so they would be more than delighted to see the United States and its citizens wiped off the map. Nations such as North Korea and Iran as a matter of public policy vow death and destruction upon us, and other nations, such as Russia and China who may be more diplomatic about stating it, probably wish the same. We add to this groups such as ISIS, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram, who for the most part have dedicated considerable energy and resources into trying to harm us. What keeps this genocide of Americans from taking place is a robust U.S. military. Thank God for American servicemen who do what they do so the rest of us can go about our lives as we please. Is this really too hard to understand? Can’t he pick up a newspaper or history book and figure this out himself?
But Noah’s mentality is the modern liberal mindset. If only we didn’t have a military the world would be nice to us and we wouldn’t need a military. If we banned guns bad guys wouldn’t have them. If we raise the minimum wage dramatically it won’t impact employment. If we redistribute wealth it won’t dampen creativity, innovation, or hard work. If we let in all the Syrian refugees, they will all be so grateful none of them will become terrorists or insist on Sharia law.
To be a modern liberal is to be perpetually immature, which in itself is an annoying enough personality trait, but liberals are usually not content to just be immature, often pairing this with a certain condescending smugness, totally oblivious that their deep thoughts and well held philosophies are sophomoric and stupid when considered rationally.
Every year about 15,000 young men and women apply to West Point. These applicants have many options to choose from, but unlike Joakim Noah they have thought seriously about the world we live in and have decided to dedicate a portion of it, at least, to serving our country. Of these 15,000 applicants, only 1,000 or so will be accepted to join that long grey line. Upon getting commissioned as officers, the West Point graduates will take an oath in which they pledge to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. A far cry from dedicating themselves to running around the world killing kids, as Joakim Noah believes.
West Point Cadets have served this country well since the early 19th century, and this excellence continues unabated to this day. The post-9/11 world has been tough on West Point graduates. As of 2013, 1.8% of all combat deaths since 9/11 have been West Point graduates. This is the highest fatality rate for West Point graduates during any major war or conflict since the Mexican-American War in 1848. They deserve our support now more than ever.
The question is not are the West Point Cadets worthy enough to dine with Joakim Noah. Rather, is Joakim Noah worthy enough to dine with the West Point Cadets?