Monday, May 28, 2012

When Men Become Boys

There is this thing called "discipline." It is the key to all great societies - to great militaries, great companies, and great marriages. Without it, as Shakespeare would say, "the enterprise is sick."

This matter of the Secret Service cavorting with prostitutes in Columbia more than anything is a matter of discipline - that thing that separates men from boys.

The first thing we teach a child is discipline. It is called "potty training." The Secret Service in Columbia forgot their "potty training" and "pooped" in their pants. Boys will be boys? No. Let us call it how it is:  Those men become boys who cast aside their discipline.

There is a saying among military men as they cast off for overseas deployment:  "Wheels up, rings off." I'm sure they get a good laugh out of that. But, it is no laughing matter. First, with that declaration, they instantly reduce themselves and their marriages. Second, their wives have, no doubt, heard that saying, too. Chances are, she must be saying the same thing at precisely the same moment: "Hey girls, wheels up, rings off. Let's party!" (Still laughing?) How about when you "boys" come home and there's a marble rye in oven when before all of your loaves were wheat? (Will you be laughing then?)

Where discipline is lacking, consequences can be severe. When discipline broke down in the Roman Empire, that empire became corpulent and depraved. Soon, the walls began to crumble.

The Secret Service is on the front lines of this nation's defense. Discipline there is suffering. Some say, "What happened in Columbia was an isolated incident." No, that was an incident that, by pure chance, came to the light. (They say that for each time a person is busted for "drunk driving," he has already gotten away with it a hundred times before.)

There is a discipline deficit in America's Secret Service, just as there is in America's military. Pictures of soldiers pissing on enemy corpse, posing with enemy body parts, and reports of our soldiers wreaking murder, rape, and mayhem on civilian populations are tips of the iceberg. For each incident to which we are exposed, bet that there are a hundred more played out in nooks and crannies across Iraq and Afghanistan that we know nothing about.

Instead of making excuses for our "boys", why not demand that they be "men"? Either that, or resign ourselves to a sickness that will bring the walls down.

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