Step forward, Richard Dreyfuss, star of Jaws, Mr Holland's Opus and (one of my favorites) American Graffiti:
Mark Steyn, a writer with an irritating case of the smart-alecs, has written a book I urge you read called America Alone. Just the first few chapters are a geo-political wake-up call, and he is not someone I agree with very much. But he quotes bin Laden: "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse." And he quotes Donald Rumsfeld: "If we know anything it is that weakness is provocative."We are on a clock we don't see or comprehend. We will not survive this century unless civic virtue is revived. We can discuss its origins all day—if we have the right to speak at all, and aren't dead under jihad.
That's an unusually robust formulation from today's Hollywood. I will leave it to Mr Dreyfuss to expand on what he means by "civic virtue". For my part, I explain in America Alone that what's needed is more civilizational or cultural confidence:
Read on!This book isn't an argument for more war, more bombing, more killing, but for more will. In a culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of "suttee" – the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. General Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:'You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows.You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.'