The ‘toxic masculinity’ of Gen. Douglas MacArthur

By Bill Federer

General Douglas MacArthur, center
General Douglas MacArthur, center

“Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions,” stated General Douglas MacArthur in Lansing, Michigan, May 15, 1952.

Douglas MacArthur was born Jan. 26, 1880. He commanded in France during World War I. He was superintendent of West Point, 1919-20.

In 1930, at age 50, Douglas MacArthur became the youngest Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. A four-star general, he retired in 1939, but returned in 1941 to defend the Philippines.

When Japan invaded the Philippines, President Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to withdraw to Australia. MacArthur left the Philippines, but not before he promising “I shall return.” When General MacArthur heard that 10,000 Filipino and American prisoners died on the Bataan Death March, he stated, April 9, 1942: “To the weeping mothers of its dead, I can only say that the sacrifice and halo of Jesus of Nazareth has descended upon their sons, and that God will take them unto Himself.”

On Oct. 20, 1944, General MacArthur returned with an American army to free the Philippines, stating: “People of the Philippines: I have returned . By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil – soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples. We have come, dedicated and committed to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control. … The hour of your redemption is here. … Let the indomitable spirit of Bataan and Corregidor lead on.”

In a radio speech broadcast from the invasion beach on returning to the Philippines, General Douglas MacArthur stated, Oct. 20, 1944: “Strike at every favorable opportunity. For your homes and hearths, strike! For future generations of your sons and daughters, strike! In the name of your sacred dead, strike! Let no heart be faint. Let every arm be steeled. The guidance of Divine God points the way. Follow in His name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory!”

General Douglas MacArthur stated: “In war, when a commander becomes so bereft of reason and perspective that he fails to understand the dependence of arms on Divine guidance, he no longer deserves victory.”

Promoted to Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific, he received Japan’s surrender on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Harbor.

Douglas MacArthur received the Medal of Honor, as did his father, Arthur MacArthur, who served during the Civil War.

The only other father and son to receive the Medal of Honor were Theodore Roosevelt, for leading the charge up Cuba’s San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War, and his son, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., for leading the first wave of troops ashore at Normandy during World War II.

After the World War II ended, General Douglas MacArthur suggested that Youth for Christ representatives and other missionary groups go to Japan: “(In order to) provide the surest foundation for the firm establishment of democracy.”

Promoted to five-star general, MacArthur was Supreme U.N. Commander during the beginning of the Korean War, making a daring landing of troops deep behind enemy lines at Inchon and recapturing Seoul.

MacArthur became at odds with President Truman who did not want to confront the Communist Chinese, but instead introduced a “containment” strategy. Truman made the immensely unpopular decision to remove MacArthur.

MacArthur stated: “It is fatal to enter a war without the will to win it,” and “In war there is no substitute for victory.”

On April 19, 1951, following his tour of Korea, General Douglas MacArthur spoke to a Joint Session of Congress to announce his retirement: “I am closing my fifty-two years of military service. When I joined the Army, even before the turn of the century, it was the fulfillment of all my boyish hopes and dreams. … The world has turned over many times since I took the oath on the Plain at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have all since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barracks ballads of that day, which proclaimed most proudly that old soldiers never die; they just fade away. And, like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who has tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good-bye.”

Douglas MacArthur told West Point cadets, May 1962: “The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training – sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those Divine attributes which his Maker gave when He created man in His own image. … No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of Divine help which alone can sustain him. However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country is the noblest development of mankind.”

General Douglas MacArthur addressed the Michigan legislature in Lansing, Michigan, May 15, 1952, (Edward T. Imparato, “General MacArthur Speeches and Reports 1908-1964,” published in 2000, p. 206): “Talk of imminent threat to our national security through … external force is pure nonsense. Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions – those institutions we proudly called the American way of life.”

On Jan. 18, 1955, a monument was dedicated to General Douglas MacArthur at the occasion of his 75th birthday, which had inscribed his statement: “Battles are not won by arms alone. There must exist above all else a spiritual impulse – a will to victory. In war there can be no substitute for victory.”

In 1942, General Douglas MacArthur was named Father of the Year. He stated: “By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder – infinitely prouder – to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentiality of death; the other embodies creation and life. And while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still. It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, ‘Our Father Who Art in Heaven.'”

General Douglas MacArthur composed “A Father’s Prayer” in the early days of World War II while in the Pacific:

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a son who will know Thee — and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.

Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail. …

Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously.

Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the meekness of true strength.

Then, I, his father, will dare to whisper, ‘I have not lived in vain.’

General Douglas MacArthur warned in a speech to the Salvation Army, Dec. 12, 1951, stating: “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”

General Douglas MacArthur addressed Massachusetts State Legislature in Boston, July 25, 1951: “It was the adventurous spirit of Americans which despite risks and hazards carved a great nation from an almost impenetrable wilderness … which built our own almost unbelievable material progress … which raised the standard of living of the American people beyond that ever before known. … This adventurous spirit is now threatened as it was in the days of the Boston Tea Party by an unconscionable burden of taxation. This is sapping the initiative and energies of the people and leaves little incentive for the assumption of those risks which are inherent and unescapable in the forging of progress under the system of free enterprise. Worst of all, it is throwing its tentacles around the low income bracket sector of our society, from whom is now exacted the major share of the cost of government. This renders its paper income largely illusory. …”

MacArthur continued: “The so-called forgotten man of the early thirties now is indeed no longer forgotten as the government levies upon his income as the main remaining source to defray reckless spendthrift policies. More and more we work not for ourselves but for the State. In time, if permitted to continue, this trend cannot fail to be destructive. For no nation may survive in freedom once its people become servants of the State, a condition to which we are now pointed with dreadful certainty. …”

MacArthur added: “Nothing is heard from those in the supreme executive authority concerning the possibility of a reduction or even a limitation upon these mounting costs. No suggestion deals with the restoration of some semblance of a healthy balance. No plan is advanced for easing the crushing burdens already resting upon the people. To the contrary, all that we hear are the plans by which such costs progressively may be increased. New means are constantly being devised for greater call upon the taxable potential as though the resources available were inexhaustable. We compound irresponsibility by seeking to share what liquid wealth we have with others. …”

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MacArthur stated further: “Much that I have seen since my return to my native land after an absence of many years has filled my with immeasurable satisfaction and pride. Our material progress has been little short of phenomenal. It has established an eminence in material strength so far in advance of any other nation or combination of nations that talk of an imminent threat to our national security through the application of external force is pure nonsense. It is not of any external threat that I concern myself but rather of insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions – these institutions which formerly we hailed as something beyond question of challenge – those institutions we proudly called the American way of life. Foremost of these forces is that directly, or even more frequently indirectly, allied with the scourge of imperialistic Communism. It has infiltrated into positions of public trust and responsibility – into journalism, the press, the radio and the school.

“It seeks through covert manipulation of the civil power and the media of public information and education to pervert the truth, impair respect for moral values, suppress human freedom and representative government, and in the end destroy our faith in our religious teachings. This evil force, with neither spiritual base nor moral standard, rallies the abnormal and subnormal elements among our citizenry and applies internal pressure against all things we hold descent and all things that we hold right – the type of pressure which has caused many Christian nations abroad to fall and and their own cherished freedoms to languish in the shackles of complete suppression. As it has happened there it can happen here. Our need for patriotic fervor and religious devotion was never more impelling.

“There can be no compromise with atheistic Communism, no half way in the preservation of freedom and religion. It must be all or nothing. We must unite in the high purpose that the liberties etched upon the design of our life by our forefathers be unimpaired and that we maintain the moral courage and spiritual leadership to preserve inviolate that mighty bulwark of all freedom, our Christian faith.”

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