I was talking to my progressive friend again the other day, whom I’ve decided to call Mr. Green. We were talking football when he looked at me in perplexity.

"What do you think’s wrong with the Alabama football team this year?” he said.

I thought for a moment. “I think they need a quarterback,” I told him.

Mr. Green admitted he’d heard this from others. “But why is a good quarterback so important?” he asked.

“I don’t think you want me to answer that,” I told Mr. Green.

“And why is that?”

“Because it’s going to take us into an area where you and I disagree,” I said.

He looked back incredulously. “Yeah? And just how is that?”

Since I had warned him, I proceeded, explaining that just as a ship is adrift without a captain, so, too is an offense without a quarterback. Even though what is missing is only one unit out of many, when it comes to the more abstract realm of Unity – the in-between world where cohesion is achieved through virtue – one sole person can be the difference in everything and nothing.

“It’s what’s wrong with our own American families,” I said as Mr. Green frowned.  

It’s true. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 31.7 % of children in single-family homes live in poverty, while this is the case for only 9.5% of children in two-parent homes. And according to the Heritage Foundation, “a 10 percent increase in the percentage of children living in single-parent homes leads typically to a 17 percent increase in juvenile crime.”

Besides this, the family unit is the basic building block of society. “Like DNA to the human body,” I said. “Or hexagonal cells in a beehive.”

Mr. Green shrugged his shoulders.  

“Strong male leadership isn’t only necessary in the familial sphere,” I continued, “it’s also important at the national level.”

I told him how, in the era of the beta male, strong, manly men are definitely on the wane, a fact that, in my opinion, is costing our country greatly. Just as football teams and families suffer from not having the right kind of male leadership, so too do nations, I told Mr. Green.

“People are running around in a confused morass in this country,” I said. “They don’t know what’s up or down, right or left. People don’t know whether they’re men or women, cats or dogs. And we no longer know whether we’re a sovereign nation or merely one vote on a distant global committee that no one truly knows the location or constitution of.”

I was on a roll, so I kept on. “If you want to know the truth,” I said, “it’s the lack of male leadership that has, at least in part, gotten us into the war in Ukraine. For I don’t believe for a minute that the Russian invasion would’ve happened if the current president was more of a—”

I happened to look and see that Mr. Green was no longer listening; he was flipping through a cooking magazine that he’d taken off my desk. He was never that into football anyway.

But the truth remains. Even though a quarterback is only 1/11th of an offense, the necessity of the position and what he brings to the overall system is so much more than this. Aristotle said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is true not only in football; it’s also true in families. And it’s especially true of nations.

Along with his father, Allen Keller runs a lumber business in Stevenson, Alabama. He has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from Florida State University and an MBA from University of Virginia. He can be reached for comment at allen@kellerlumber.net.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News.

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