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Peter Brian Hegseth (born June 6, 1980) is an American television host and author.
Modern Warriors (2020)
- On 9/11 I was a college student. Those attacks on New York City, the Pentagon, and in the skies reoriented the trajectory of my life- and the lives of an entire generation.
- p. x
- In an odd way, this rise of ISIS, followed by their defeat, crystallized even further the need to tell the long, winding, conflicted, and utterly courageous stories of the men who have been fighting since 9/11. Did we win? Did we lose? Was it worth it? The legacy of warriors is worthy of elevation- a reflection of what we should really value.
- p. xiii
- It was out of all these moments that the idea for Modern Warriors rose. While politicians and media can whitewash a conflict, the legacy always remains for those who fought there. The warriors who left their families, friends, and comfort to do the dirty work of their country. We need to tell those stories. And then veterans come home, with hopes and dreams- and scars of war. They struggle to transition to civilian life; many are wounded (seen and unseen); many wrestle with post-traumatic stress; suicide was taking more lives than the battlefield ever did. We cannot allow ourselves to look away, shrug, and say that's just the way it is. We had to do what we did downrange. We had to embrace the suck. We had to be able to share with our families and our nation the reality of what it meant to be there, to fight, to lose buddies, and to honestly engage in a conversation among ourselves to figure out what all of this meant- and what it means for our country.
- p. xiii
- By their nature, these veterans are straight talkers. And they have strong, informed opinions. In the company of one another, keeping it in the family, they pull no punches. They share their stories for the benefit, as well as yours. They share a desire to step beyond the boundaries of their immediate military families- to include you. Each of the chapters in this book highlights an individual modern warrior who has agreed to share experiences and insights. The good, the bad, the weird, the beautiful, the ugly- the real story in their own words, from the interviews I conducted with them. I only interject as necessary for clarity and to make transitions smoother.
- p. xiv
- I'm privileged to call many of these warriors friends. These are great Americans. They are heroes- even if they reject that title. Working on this venture with them has made me even more proud to be an American- which I didn't know was possible. These men and women are true patriots and true warriors. Like those before them, some may have joined the military for a cause or for the college money, but that soon became secondary to the brotherhood of war. When the bullets start flying, there are no Republicans or Democrats, whites or blacks- only brothers, the greatest of our men and women. This book is dedicated to everyone who has answered America's call. Who put it all on the line- and especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice on the altar of freedom. We never, ever forget them. Warriors forever, in life and death. May their stories live forever.
- p. xv
Battle for the American Mind (2022)
- But it's not just schools. Do yourself a favor and visit your local Barnes & Noble bookstore. Check out the kids section, and notice what books are front and center. The last time I visited mine, of the forty children's books displayed, at least thirty were progressive, agenda-driven books. This bookstore was not in a "liberal" community- this was in a conservative area. Books by or about Michelle Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Kamala Harris were all front and center. There was A Is for Activist and multiple books about George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. Gender and sexuality were well represented, not to be outdone by at least five books about climate change and the environment. It is nearly impossible, without really digging, to find books that contain patriotic, Christian, or conservative themes.
- p. 11
- During the writing of this book, America's two-decade war in Afghanistan came to an inglorious end. After thousands of lives lost, and trillions of dollars spent, the Islamist Taliban are back in charge. It's a humbling, if illuminating, reality. Like most Americans, I was eager for "the folks who knocked those buildings down, to hear all of us soon," as President George W. Bush said atop the rubble of the World Trade Center in 2001. American military might quickly toppled the Taliban, and Al Qaeda scurried into Pakistan. What followed was a nineteen-year experiment in Afghanistan, during which I had a front-row seat.
- p. 54-55
- Americans were proud to see the images of Afghans- including women- holding up their purple-stained fingers as they went to the polls to "elect" their new government. Democracy had arrived in Afghanistan! Girls were going to school, women were working in government jobs, and religious fanatics were relegated to the hinterlands of the country. Except, as I saw firsthand in 2011- and the world saw ten years later, in the summer of 2021- it was all a mirage. None of it was real; it was a house of cards, destined to collapse.
Why? Conventional answers abound: the Afghan Army was built in the image of the American Army, unable to operate effectively without air support. Or the Afghan government was irredeemably corrupt and beholden to Western aid. Or, my personal favorite, "the Americans have the watches, but we [the Taliban] have the time"- American political will was destined to break. (Osama bin Laden did predict as much.) All of these explanations touch on aspects of America's failure, but none explain the deeper reason. For two decades of work to collapse in two weeks, something more fundamental was at play.
- p. 55
- I also have a chip on my shoulder as it relates to "fancy pants" private schools. You know, the ones with the fancy uniforms and family legacies. I don't like the so-called elite status, and I don't like the arrogance. Families pay their way in, in the hopes that their (average) kids will go to "elite" universities. That was my view of most private schools, and, frankly, it still is (excepting classical Christian schools, which reject these forms of elitism). Using money to get a progressive high school diploma in order to get privileged kids into a progressive university just reinforces the failing status quo- pumping more "good kids" into a system designed to turn them into obedient social justice warriors. This privileged path only reinforces the progressive pipeline and power structure.
- p. 240
- We all come at the subject of education- of "school"- with our own backgrounds. The Left calls this concept "implicit bias." They cynically apply it to race and gender, but it's very true when it comes to schooling. The goal of this book has been to challenge our long-held assumptions- our biases- about what we think is good for kids, and good for this country.
- p. 240
- Just doing what we are doing, and hoping our kids turn out "just fine," is not a strategy. I know many good families, good parents, who believe that living in a good neighborhood, with other good families, and going to "good schools" will insulate their kids. Instead, the story unfolds otherwise. The school tells students that their parents' beliefs are backward; they are young and naive if they hold traditional values, it's much easier to follow the crowd, social media reinforces every "woke" message, Hollywood does the same, and, voila, you have a high school graduate you don't recognize. Or, just as bad, a falsely fortified graduate who heads off to college and is completely consumed by the next level of "woke" educational and social pressure. If I had a dollar for every parent or grandparent who lamented as much to me during my travels, I would be a very rich man.
- p. 242
- As soon as I found classical Christian education, I realized how little I knew. I am a graduate of two of the most "prestigious" universities in America- Princeton and Harvard- yet I've never read most of the classics. Homer or Virgil, Plato or Aristotle? I've read next to nothing of them in school. I don't know a word of Latin or Greek, let alone really understanding the histories of Rome and Greece. I never had my faith infused into my education; it was always just an accessory. I can't properly diagram a single sentence, and couldn't tell you the difference between a verb and an adverb. I write like I speak. It just is what it is. We were all failed by our government schools, and we didn't even know it.
- p. 246
- During this project, I've visited many classical Christian schools as well. Some small, some large. Some urban, others rural. All of them are bursting at the seams and full of life. What strikes you when you enter them is how much more simple- or classic- they are aesthetically. The hallways and classrooms are simple, walls adorned with Bible verses, portraits of the founding fathers, cursive writing, and the American flag. If you enter a public school classroom, you are immediately hit with the opposite- bright colors and flowery slogans. At first the contrast seems stark, but it's intentional. The "beauty" in classical Christian schools is the knowledge and love of learning fostered in the classroom. The energy is not on the walls, but instead in the mission and the kids. It's the opposite of government schools, which have colorful walls and fancy technology, but an empty mission.
- p. 247-248
- The same thing goes for elite private schools, and many Catholic schools. Social justice has become the gospel for most parochial schools in our country. It's no better than government schools; in fact, in some ways it's worse. Government schools are silent on faith, but many religious schools are self-loathing- apologizing for our faith and our history. No matter the school, I know something for certain: two or three hours of "church" each week is not sufficient to counteract forty hours (or more) of social justice indoctrination. Following the crowd = enabling the enemy. Or, as the Left often puts it, status quo = complicit.
- p. 248
- More importantly, the state of our country right now requires future citizens who are more than survivors of progressive education. Our Republic cannot survive if future generations blindly follow the progressive pipeline and become ambivalent followers of conventional thinking. In this day and age, in 2022 America, our country needs leaders. We need fighters. We need men and women of wisdom and courage. We need the next generation of founding fathers. It's no wonder our culture and politics is so divisive, negative, and toxic today- it's all a product of the massive project turned Cultural Marxist Paideia. Most Americans don't know any better. A great example is Congresswoman "Comrade" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; you can hardly blame her for her politics; she is a product of a system that worships what she preaches. She is not an outlier; she is the result.
- p. 248
- Without the grace of Jesus Christ, and of many others, I would not be here today. Our kids need Christ. We all need Christ. Without a grace-filled life with conviction, children cannot thrive- something I desperately want for my kids. The church, the school, and the family must be dedicated to the reality of God's grace alone, and each child's faith alone. The call to discipleship begins with faith, but this is where classical Christian education picks up. That faith can be made stronger when wisdom and virtue are cultivated.
- p. 250
- We've heard it before: get married, have lots of kids, and raise them in Christian homes. To that I add this: never let them set foot in progressive government schools. Break the cycle! Instead, join a movement- an insurgency- that contributes to something that will outlast your life. In an upside-down world, classical Christian education is the only comprehensive educational model that can restore our Western Christian Paideia, and give our kids at least a fighting chance to save America and Christendom. Join the insurgency! And then spread the word.
- p. 251
Quotes about Hegseth
- Pete Hegseth is a New York Times bestselling author and the cohost of FOX & Friends Weekend- America's number one cable morning show. He is also the host of multiple FOX Nation documentaries, including The MisEducation of America. Pete is an army combat veteran and proud father of seven children.
- About the author from The Battle for the American Mind (New York: Broadside Books, 2022) by Pete Hegseth with David Goodwin