Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri is on a momentous mission to make men great again.

Unfortunately for him, the left is ardently opposed.

It’s not that the left says outright that they don’t want men to be great. Rather, they insist that today’s effeminate pseudo-man is great enough already. To call men to reclaim and redeem their masculinity—as Hawley does in his new book, “Manhood”—is actually dangerous, they argue. It threatens to send society spiraling back to an ostensibly worse-off time when men were actually useful.

Therefore, while Hawley, an outspoken Christian, charges men to up their game, the left calls such a charge “toxic” and encourages men to stay right where they are.   

Hawley wants men to provide for their families. The left wants to destigmatize stay-at-home fatherhood (that is if they even want men to have kids at all).

Hawley says it is wrong for men to be “unemployed whiners.” He calls out men for “trash-talking women while playing video games and watching pornography.” The left says such a critique “misses the mark.”

In short, the Senator and his critics have diametrically opposed views about what constitutes “positive” masculinity.

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“If you want to know what not to embrace in considering American manhood, it’s all in the 256 pages of this book,” sneered one writer. “There is much to appreciate about men; still, we’d be much better off if we talked about positive changes—embracing gender equality and rejecting white male supremacy.”

The sad insinuation here is that vanquishing ennui, overcoming porn, getting married, starting a family, providing responsibly, and loving aggressively—all things that Hawley advocates for in his book—are not “positive changes.” In fact, they are mirages that distract from the real crises of today, namely gender inequality and white supremacy. These are the fights the left wants men to be engaged in. Not some barbarous struggle to uphold an archaic notion of masculinity! 

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with gender equality if by “gender equality” we simply mean the idea that men and women—created in the image of God—are equally valuable. And white supremacy (wherever it rears its ugly head) deserves our strongest condemnation. That being said, there’s one glaring problem with the assertion that these are the struggles men need to be focused on:

I have never once encountered a young man who was racist or who espoused openly misogynistic vitriol. Not one. Sure, men like that exist. But is it a pervasive problem? I think not.

Lethargic, porn-addicted, irresponsible men, on the other hand, are everywhere. We all know men like that.

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Man’s addiction to pleasure is enslaving young men and tearing families apart en masse. White supremacy is not. Therefore, it is not hypocritical for Hawley to focus his critique on the former—the real crisis—but not the latter. The left can laugh at him all it wants; young men are being destroyed, and it has very little to do with racism.

“Nothing could be more timid or weak, more sterile, than a man, alone, staring at porn on his phone,” Hawley writes in “Manhood.”

He charges men—by the grace of God—to conquer their vices and cultivate the qualities that would make them responsible contributors to society and their families. By no means is he only interested in making “tough-guy” men. He’s interested in real strength, virtuous strength.

Anyone can be strong… and idiotic. Strength is useless if not steered by virtue. Actually, it is not strength at all. It’s simply toughness. And America needs more than just brute toughness; it needs moral strength.

So, are you interested in conquering “toxic” masculinity? Then you should be all for Josh Hawley’s book. Why? Because if we’re ever going to make men great again in America, it won’t be through blaming masculinity itself but by “redeeming” it through the cultivation of virtue. Until then, men will continue to be bereft, conquered, useless wanderers.

Seemingly, that’s exactly who the left wants us to be.

Jakob Fay is a staff writer for the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Governance. 

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