What is needed in American today are not “hurricane men,” but calm representative figures spread throughout society, who by their example and integrity can lead a nation through the storm and accomplish great things…
We have reached a point in our nation’s history where the debate is becoming ever more violent and uncivil. This can be seen in the statue wars now raging after the rally in Charlottesville. The event served as an example of the growing frustration with the political process that many claim is irremediably broken.
Indeed, it is hard to get things done. Worse, things are being done outside the normal processes and even the rule of law. Hence, statues are defaced by vandals or removed at night without regard for the views of the public. Protests have turned violent and lawless. Fanning the fires, the media frames the issues so as to favor a liberal narrative and agenda. People become frustrated and want quick solutions.
And that is the problem. These are times of frenetic intemperance, in which everything must have everything instantly and effortlessly. Many people no longer want to make the immense effort to change things. Whether it be politics or consumer goods, people want everything now, quickly and without complications.
The Hurricane Men Appear
These circumstances prepare for the coming of the “hurricane men.”
Throughout history, there have always been hurricane men. The expression is used here figuratively to mean any man, woman, group or movement that in a time of crisis appears like a hurricane. These figures or movements go outside the political process and break the rules to push their agenda. Hurricane men are usually angry people who do not care about principles or protocol. They think nothing about barreling over obstacles that stand in their way regardless of the consequences.
Not all such figures have been bad people. Some merely disrupt and don’t overthrow their societies. At times, societies benefit from abrupt changes but not without damaging society in some way. Like hurricanes, these people vary in their degree of intensity, thus differing as to the extent of the devastation they cause.
Harming Society by Their Actions
However, most hurricane men have been revolutionaries that end up harming society much like hurricanes do in the places where they land.
These figures appear in times of revolution or stagnation. In cases of revolution, many are the product of manufactured crises exploited by Leftists and cooperative media outlets. In times of stagnation, they excite the public by proposing change for the sake of change that leads to disaster.
The names of these harmful figures are legion—Robespierre, Danton, Lenin, Hitler, Mao, Che, Castro and countless others. The sixties introduced a generation of hurricane people with the sexual revolution. Today’s mass society tends to create hurricane movements (like Antifa and Black Lives Matter) that produce much the same effect.
A Willingness to Steamroll Over Laws and Sentiments
What characterizes a hurricane man is his willingness to go outside the customs and laws that normally govern society. He has no principles to bog him down. He proposes quick, simple solutions and pithy slogans that offer to overcome the frustrations of a society in crisis. He is willing to employ any means to reach his goal—which is deliberately left vague.
As the statue war rages, two hurricane movements clash. The first movement is the gaggle of Antifa-type Leftists, who violently attack the second movement made up of the extremists of the so-called Alt-Right. When these Leftists steamroll over laws and public sentiments, the other side is tempted to slug right back.
Times become dangerous when this happens in society. The debate ceases to be civil or even rational. All sides are committed to anarchy. The victory belongs to the side that presents the better narrative or wields the heavier fist.
The Clash of Hurricane Men Leading to Strife
And that is what has happened in the statue wars. The media have framed the controversy to the Left’s advantage. The hurricane men of the Left have undermined the rule of law. Cowardly politicians call for society to give in to the pressure of the Left. The powerful captains of industry cower in fear of displeasing politically-correct diktats of the hurricane men.
Rather than craft a counter-narrative to win the war for public opinion, many statue defenders find it much simpler to rely upon their own hurricane men, which serves only to create a more intense hurricane. This is not the classic clash of Right versus Left but rather a recipe for anarchy. No one respects the rules or principles anymore. This is the stuff of civil strife that threatens the nation.
What is missing today are those who defy the culture and make the immense effort to frame the debate in defense of order and history. What is needed are not hurricane men, but calm representative figures spread throughout society, who by their example and integrity can lead a nation through the storm and accomplish great things.
In times of crisis, hurricane men appear. However, the same crisis can also call forth those principled and courageous figures at all levels of society who will oppose the hurricane men. The time has come for many who now watch to step up to the plate.
As in times of natural disaster, all Americans urgently need to call upon God’s help to save the nation from devastation.
This article has been republished with permission from The Imaginative Conservative.
[Image Credit: Mike Pennington (CC BY-SA 2.0)]
John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published essays. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.