The Academy nominated movie “Dunkirk” is the tale about the fog of war, life, conflict, individual and collective decisions along a path of ambiguity.
“Dunkirk’s” power and popularity arise from the personal tensions of war, the fog of war and in particular, one man’s struggle to live through a harrowing experience. It is an epic tale of narrow survival during World War II. Amidst the ravages of the European conflict citizens and soldiers are caught in a struggle of life, the oft ambiguity of personal risk, and the morality of decision-making.
Life today is similar to “Dunkirk”, another reason we love the movie. “Dunkirk” stirs our admission that we do live and struggle with ambiguities. Great movies always point to us, the viewer, arousing our deepest emotions, toying with the agonizing question, “What would I do” if faced with a narrow gate to survival?
The Fog of Life’s War
Anyone who follows the contemporary issues of our day will readily acknowledge the creeping and surrounding fog of life’s war. We can’t hide anymore. A billion blasts of information flood the bandwidth of life, providing us no way out. We are forced to see a political and cultural war played out on social media and a 24-hour news cycle.
America is in a struggle of conscience, not altogether like the citizens of Dunkirk. We see the bloody war for liberty laid out in front of us. Worse, we sense the path of escape closing.
Behind us are the marauding armies of secularism, socialism and the certain destruction of our cherished liberties. In front of us an ocean we are not equipped to cross. Surrounding us on all sides is the fog of life’s war and multiple paths of ambiguity. We’re frightened about the outcome. We’re confused about our roll in the conflict. If we stand still, we die, and if we move forward we fear we might drown.
Politics in its ugliest form is like war. There are competing interests, power struggles, limited resources and winners and losers and sometimes annihilation. Intimidation and the fear of loss create a thick fog that obscures the path of escape. We stumble, spin around, rub our eyes, squint to see the way forward. We might even call out for help, for reinforcements. We feel alone, weak, even helpless at times.
Indeed, America is trapped on the beachhead of debt, class warfare, massive bureaucracies, moral and spiritual conflict and the ever-expanding government beckoning us to kneel at its totem pole to swear our total allegiance. But there is something in us that will not surrender. There is a “Dunkirk” playing out within each of us. It’s a story set in early history of the 21st century, and it is at the same time a story about you, me, us. being called to duty.
The Dangerous Path of Ambiguity
Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” is more than a tale of heroism. It’s a gut-wrenching analysis of the human heart. It’s about the toll and danger of war. It’s about soldiers and the agony of decision-making. At the same time, it is a dramatization of our own struggles, choices, sacrifices, callings and the ultimate choice to risk it all. There is something in us that just won’t give up.
More than this, “Dunkirk” is a story about decisions people are forced to make as they travel the path of ambiguity. True, we are not living in May 1940, for which we must be grateful. But we are living in 2018 and we are engaged in the liberation of a nation from the beaches of certain doom.
Sometimes we have the luxury of basking in the sunlight of ambiguity. We let others do the work, the heavy lifting, while we as citizens focus on the selfish pursuits of individualism, materialism, and self-satisfaction. We spend a lot of time thinking only about ourselves.
Our wealth and comfort breed the ambiguity that allows us to lapse into foggy complacency. While confusing, the fog of life’s war provides us with myriad options, all of which seem equally reasonable. We are at the same moment entertaining countless unreconciled conflicts that dance about in our heads, coexisting in the mental soup of ambiguity.
There is a growing chorus of voices singing in unison that all is well in America. We have a tough, tweeting and taunting President who can kick ass and never take a prisoner. We smile, nod, wink and move down our personal path of ambiguity toward a certain encounter on a beach named “decision-time.”
As a nation, we have not escaped the hundred years war of progressivism. While we are pinched on all sides, not able to move forward or backward, the fog sets in and our sight is obscured. Sometimes the political notions we entertain are really the fog of deception obscuring the lens of life.
Our “Dunkirk” is a bloated federal leviathan with tentacles that reach into our personal lives, sucking out the lifeblood of liberty, individualism, free markets, and limited government. This government largess is something we can see and there is no running from the crushing jaws of doom that await us if we become weary in well doing.
The Coming Flotilla
I have some good news.
On the horizon, I see a tiny but growing flotilla of boats, bobbing up and down in the crest of a pounding sea, first appearing, then sinking out of site only to rise again.
These are the boats of freedom piloted by patriots who have abandoned the dangerous path of ambiguity and cut through the fog of life’s war. These are those who know truth, who will not bow, and will not give up. These are those of us who are willing to risk our own safety to extricate America from the beachhead of death.
And who are these captains of tiny vessels batted about in the crests of an angry ocean?
These are the captains of “The Next Generation of Conservatives.”