For the conservative, every day feels like a sinking ship, constantly having to plug new holes in unexpected places that seemed sturdier than they appeared. With the rise of political correctness, common sense seems to have been thrown out the window.
The Olympics almost fell to such a fate, with early commentators wondering why we allowed Michael Phelps (arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time, but nonetheless a white male) to carry the flag in the opening ceremony instead of a female Muslim fencer who competes in the traditional hijab. Thankfully the rest of the Olympics were not plagued with such silliness and instead had much to offer for the still sane among us.
A recurring theme I saw throughout the Olympics was the tacit emphasis placed on the family. Whether it was the stress of Aly Raisman’s parents while she competed or the adverts of the American athletes thanking their mothers for all they had done, family seemed to play a central role in the success of the athletes.
Most of the gold medal athletes I saw had a traditional family structure of a mother and father. Even Simone Biles, who was the anomaly in my statistic, was raised by her adoptive grandparents. For me, this continues to show that human excellence is best achieved within the framework of a traditional family structure. Having both a mother and a father not only provides the financial wherewithal to achieve success, not just in sports but life in general, but also a stable and balanced environment that is best suited for personal and emotional growth.
For our secular society, Christianity (and religion in general) has taken a back seat in popular culture; however, it seems to be extremely influential on the best athletes in the world. Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps are arguably the two greatest athletes ever and are both Christians. Bolt is an outspoken Catholic, making the sign of the cross before each race, wearing a medal featuring Mary, and previously being invited by the Vatican to speak at a conference on religious liberty.
Phelps on the other hand, has given his life over to God after a particularly dark period in his life. Along with this, it was a touching moment when Simone Manuel won gold in the 100m freestyle and addressed the reporter with the pronouncement, “All I can say is all glory to God…and I’m just so blessed to have a gold medal.” I cannot help but think that the success these athletes have attained has something to do with their Christian faith. It should also be noted that out of the top 10 countries in terms of medal count, 8 of them are Christian-influenced Western democracies.
You won’t hear this much in the mainstream media, but America IS the best. America eviscerated the competition this year. Our closest competitor, China, was 51 medals behind us. America, however, is not just dominant because of the medal count, but because even though we don’t like to say it much anymore, we cherish excellence.
George C. Scott in his role of Patton says “Americans love a winner, and will not tolerate a loser,” and I still believe that is largely the case today. We expected to win, and we did. Even though we are apparently “citizens of the world,” according to progressives, no one cheered for other countries, unless the individual athlete was excellent in his or her own right.
Americans did not cheer for Usain Bolt because he was Jamaican, they cheered for him because he is the fastest man in the world. Even when there was an American running against him, we were torn because we cherish excellence that much.
Over the years, progressives have tried to erode the family, religion, and excellence from both our language and culture, yet they cannot be expunged because they are true. They are built into our individual and societal fabric. Even if these principles are to be suppressed and eroded, they will take shape in unnatural forms: government will replace the family, pleasure will be deified, and mediocrity hailed as a victory.
Instead of being bitter about the trajectory of the modern world, we must take solace in each small victory that comes our way. These three examples show that modern society cannot fully escape the fundamental truths of the past and that they still have a home in our culture. We will not reclaim the culture by fiercely proselytizing or retreating in on ourselves, but instead, must go out and be living examples of the truth that once was and always shall be.