Canada has not done much to assure the world it is anything other than a dog in search of a lap. Americans declared independence from England in 1776, but Canadians still haven’t mustered the gumption to cut ties with the mother island 522 years after John Cabot planted the flag on Newfoundland for Henry VII. Not exactly Wagnerian heroism pouring out of the north country.

It will therefore be no small surprise to learn that the champions of Western civilization—the band of merry misfits who are going to save our skins when the liberal Visigoths go on the warpath after losing another election—are going to be led by a man hailing from none other than the empty attic over the 49th parallel. Yes, you read that right. Most Canadians are walking symptoms of Western suicidalness. But not all. There is at least one Canadian man who is the pride of the West. Our Theseus, it turns out, is going to ride in from the Land that the News Forgot.

Not that the Canadians would claim him. In fact, Gavin McInnes, the man of whom I speak, isn’t welcome anywhere in the Commonwealth. In the fall of 2018, for instance, the government of Australia (which has also notably failed to declare independence from England) announced that McInnes was of such “bad character” that he would not be allowed entry to the marsupial antipodes. Not admitted into Australia? How bad, exactly, does one’s character have to be in order to be turned away from a former prison colony?

Well, as it turns out, McInnes—born in England and raised in Ottawa—has some pretty execrable views. You might have heard about them. McInnes is a white nationalist, our liberal elites have decided. He is a rabid anti-Semite—a Nazi, in fact. He hates sexual minorities. The group that he founded, the Proud Boys, is listed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as “extremists.” The FBI’s use of tanks and flamethrowers to level David Koresh’s Waco property being not extreme, of course, but completely reasonable. Ditto for the FBI’s treatment of Cliven Bundy. And Elián González. And its raid on Ruby Ridge. And its attempted coup against the sitting president. And so forth. To top it all off, McInnes is listed as a practitioner of “hate” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is definitely not a racketeering outfit designed to extort money and ideological conformity out of those who might question the liberal dogma du jour.

Yes, all of this about Gavin McInnes is true. Or is it? McInnes’s Proud Boys are self-styled “Western chauvinists,” but does that make them white supremacists? Yes, it does, but only if by “white supremacist” you mean “open to all races,” as the only requirement for membership in the Proud Boys is that you agree with their motto that the “West is the Best.” (And, isn’t it a little racist of you, actually, to assume that “West” means “white”? Have you not noticed, for example, that there are a handful of ladies and gentlemen of African descent in North America?)

But don’t take my word for it. Go to the Proud Boys website and what do you find? A welcome video hosted by Yosef, a black man with spiky dreadlocks, explaining that the Proud Boys is a “multi-ethnic organization” that “proudly defends the Constitution” and makes “Western babies.” “‘Western chauvinist’,” the group declares, “includes all races.”

“Okay,” Geraldo somewhere is surely now saying. “So maybe the Proud Boys aren’t racist, per se, but doesn’t ‘Western chauvinist’ really mean ‘anti-Jewish’? After all, the National Socialists were pro-Western, weren’t they? And we all know how that turned out.”

Well, not really. The National Socialists were actually pro-Eastern. The West, for the Nazis, was the Typhoid Mary of decadence and rot. Civilization was what the Nazis hated most—Western civilization. The Aryans looked to the East, to “Kultur,” to the mystical chords of racial integrity and Teutonic genetic purity, for their fundamental identity. The mad racialism of the Nazis and their supporters was thoroughly Eastern, a full-bore rejection of the spirit of patient, rational inquiry which typifies the West. St. Thomas Aquinas in a library working through Latin translations of Arabic translations of Greek texts, bringing the light of human reason to bear on eternal problems of the human spirit—nothing could have irritated the Nazis more. The National Socialists loved the East, with its romantic swoons of race-myth and its long-winded humming to the pagan pantheon—which is why Hitler and Goebbels learned so much about the eradication of religious groups, especially the Jews, from their mentors the Bolsheviks. “National Bolshevism”—for National Socialism and Socialist Bolshevism must surely be taken as an ideological set, like passing the pepper with the salt—was a thoroughly Eastern affair.

“But that doesn’t have anything to do with Gavin McInnes. He’s surely a Nazi. After all, the Southern Poverty Law Center assures us that McInnes is dripping with hate. All of this logic chopping is an annoying distraction.”

Not so fast, Geraldo! If you go back to the Proud Boys website, you find that being a Western chauvinist includes all races and all religions.

That’s right. If you’re a liberal and you’re still reading this, you’ll want to have a seat, because in late 2018 the Proud Boys announced it was opening its first chapter… in Israel. Here’s what the Israel chapter president has to say:

I found out about Proud boys by watching Gavin McInnes on YouTube. […] When [I was] in the Israeli military, [I met] a few guys who wanted to start a chapter here. When we started our Chapter, the guys from the US gave us some ground rules to what Proud Boys stands for such as:

No racism in our ranks.

Acknowledge the west is the best.

No fighting in between PB brethren.

Right [off] the bat I liked the idea of a like minded brotherhood that works on respect and acceptance.… We posted about our [first Israel] Meetup on the Proud Boys facebook group and we got a lot of good responses! I never felt so much acceptance anywhere I have been. Especially on the Internet of all places. No one has made a bad remark to me even once. No one cared who we are or where we came from, they just treated us like equals.…

Just a few days ago I saw on my news feed an article from “Southern Poverty Law Center” that pushed the narrative that Proud Boys is somehow connected to white supremacy. Well, I’m here to tell you first hand that if Proud Boys has ANYTHING to do with Nazi, then they are the strangest nazis I’ve ever met. All I got from them (Reminding you I’m a jew living in Israel) is acceptance and respect. If the SPLC wants to know how “Nazi” the Proud Boys are, you can contact us, the official JEWISH ISRAELI chapter.…

Gavin McInnes, founder of the Proud Boys and supporter of Israel helped coordinate the first Meetup. I asked him what his thoughts were on the Chapter and Israel. “My biggest problem with Israel is they are not proud enough. They need to stop apologizing and say, “This is our land. We deserve it, oh, and we love our wall.”

Proud of your boy Gavin. 

(Sic, throughout)

“Well, alright,” Geraldo might reply. “So some Israelis like the Proud Boys. So what? Israelis also like Yanni. What’s your point?”

The point is that when McInnes himself—who is married to a Native American woman and who says of his biracial children that he “like[s Indians] so much, I made three”—was asked about white nationalists and neo-Nazis like David Duke, McInnes responded, “No offence, Nazis, I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I don’t like you. I like Jews.”

“But he hates gays, though, right?” Geraldo now begins to whine. “He must. McInnes is an unapologetic toxic-masculinist, a man’s man who coasts through life on male privilege and a Niagara Falls of testosterone. I’ll grant you that he maybe doesn’t hate non-white people and maybe doesn’t hate Jews, but he definitely hates the rainbow crowd. And that’s all I need to know. McInnes is a hater.”

Now, this is a strange prejudice. Let’s leave aside the fact that the Proud Boys’ motto is “All Races. All Religions. Gay or Straight.” And let’s pass over in silence the “LGBTs for Trump” photograph on the Proud Boys website. Let’s also overlook the essay on the Proud Boys site written by a Proud Boy who is “Gay, Proud… and Conservative.” And let’s close our eyes to the fact that the very, very gay Milo Yiannopoulos has shared a stage with McInnes and the Proud Boys on countless occasions. Forgetting all this “evidence” (what liberals like to call “kryptonite”), isn’t it odd that the left assumes that to be gay is to be a sissy? Just because someone is gay, does that mean he can’t enjoy some toxic masculinity during his free time? What, did you not only think that “West” means “white,” but also that “gay” means “pantywaist”? Isn’t that, well, a little judgmental of you?

The plain truth is that the Proud Boys are perfect at what they do—exposing liberals as the hypocritical frauds they all are. Americans are constantly being scolded by their self-styled betters in the expensivehaircut media that we are racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic, and the Proud Boys do everything right in making these nebbish Tartuffes curdle their starched collars in spluttering alarm. God bless Gavin McInnes and his steely crew of hombres. Ride on, Proud Boys. Tear up the oatmealhearted liberals in your righteous wake. Whatever you are doing, you are doing it just right.

Sadly, perhaps no group has been as insufferably moralizing against the Proud Boys as the “conservative” National Review, that trade magazine of slow-lane liberalism whose Schoolmarm-in-Residence, the limp-wristed Rich Lowry, says that conservatives (by which I assume he means anyone who voted for Massachusetts uber-liberal Mitt Romney) “should anathematize Gavin McInnes and his Proud Boys” over “the poisonous allure of right-wing violence.”

“Right-wing violence.” Sic! When you cut through the pearl-clutching faux horror and the tsk-tsking from the liberals of both parties, what you find is that, as the perennially violent left gains ascendancy in the West, Gavin McInnes and his Proud Boys are exactly what this country is going to need. “Right-wing violence” is the epithet deployed by the same group that thinks the Crusades were an affront to Islam. The important thing to ask, of course, is how Islam got to the Levant to begin with (ever see a Muslim passing out pamphlets in front of a train station?), and also why the Proud Boys sometimes have to resort to fisticuffs when the going gets bumpy.

Lowry is at least partially right when he says that “the atavistic impulse of the Proud Boys is straight from the movie Fight Club, in which a violent men’s group represents a revolt against banal, overly feminized bourgeois society.” Yes, our society is most definitely banal and overly feminized (cf., e.g., Rich Lowry).

But our society—the society of decent people everywhere in this country, of whatever ethnic or religious or sexual background I could not possibly care less—is under attack. And I mean, under attack by more than just the dainty dandies and halitotic pencil-pushers inside the Beltway and their drones in the drive-by media. In case you haven’t noticed, Rich, Civil War v. 2.0 is already underway.

Being “overly feminized” is a big part of the problem, keeping us from fighting back when federal thugs come to take our property, draft our women, and throw us into prison for not using someone’s preferred pronouns. But it also keeps us from fighting back against the band of jackbooted devils that is terrorizing our neighborhoods and city streets. The feds can’t Roger- Stone everyone in the lower 48, so they are happy to let Antifa and related communist, socialist, and, ahem, Eastern groups pick up the slack. The need for strong men to protect vulnerable communities is now long past the point of a theoretical concern.

The Proud Boys may be rough around the edges—coarse humor, gross pranks, and bad habits are signatures of the brand—but very soon in this country we are going to have to contend with the collapse of the American empire and the breakdown of law and order even at the local level. When the bad moon of the American Apocalypse rises and every Shady Acres subdivision in the USA turns into Tombstone, Arizona, ca. 1881, then you are going to look around for a Proud Boy and be very glad if one is there to help out. For one of the specialties of McInnes and his band is that they pummel, with glee, leftist punks, graduate students, and other socialist hooligans. The willingness to meet the anti-civilizational terrorists of Antifa in the streets and beat them with fists of tattooed glory is precisely the shot in the arm that our ailing republic needs. It may be hard for George Will and William Kristol to see from their gated palisades, but the civil war that the pundits scoff at is already well underway. And the Proud Boys are very, very much the good guys.

If anyone is looking for a champion more along the lines of Sir Gawain, let us not forget that the knights whom we hold up today as models of valor were of largely the same disposition, in reality, as the Proud Boys. Tournaments and jousting were designed to let inveterate brawlers blow off steam. If someone occasionally—or a bit more frequently than that—got impaled on a lance or knocked unconscious by a shieldblow from a man wearing a suit made of plate metal and chain mail and mounted on a horse running at full speed, well, it was a small price to pay for the overall peace of the realm. Being a young stud and being a rowdy roughneck at the same time is not a recent invention. (Do you think the Knights of the Round Table were the same as the Presbyterian Ladies’ Quilting Bee?)

Also, amidst the preening and grandstanding of the Proud Boys, their juvenile innuendo and overall frat-boy carrying-on, let us also not forget that these wild tendencies can be tamed. Were made to be tamed, in fact. Which is precisely what the West is. Through reason and faith, over centuries of striving, the West became a paragon of civilizational achievement. The Church—and, yes, the synagogue—turned rapscallions, drunkards, and arrogant knaves (like St. Augustine; like me) into something more than the raw materials might have led one to expect. The West turns boys into men. It instills in pagans the fear of God. The Proud Boys, too, are striving for something better. To advance in the Proud Boys’ ranks, for example, one must swear off watching pornography. This may be too frank an admission, for some, that our homeland is awash in filth and that our nation’s manliness is being sapped by this scourge of the filmed degradation of female dignity. But if the Proud Boys admit to knowing what pornography is, at least let us give them credit for vowing to quit it. That is a good first step.

Let us also remember that the Proud Boys are trying to be men in a culture and age that mocks the stronger sex. In 1990, Minnesota poet laureate Robert Bly published Iron John, a book that tried to understand why men have such a hard time in modern life. What Bly found was surprising. In the past, many cultures had initiation rites or spiritual quests, during which adolescent males confronted their destinies and, it was hoped, emerged as men, ready to take on the fullness of their masculinity. Today, men have nothing like this to help them along. Feminists delight in telling men how useless they are. Many men agree. Not proud of your boy, Iron John might say.

The anti-man trend that Bly highlighted has continued since then. Watch any episode of Leave it to Beaver if you don’t believe me. The ideal was once for men to be men, to take care of the weaker members of society—like women, like their subordinates at work, like the unborn—and to work hard to earn the respect of their wives and children. The reaction against this patriarchy, this assumption that father probably did know best, is what we know today as “culture.” Our “culture” is simply anti-Western Cultural Marxism boiled down to Oprah and Anderson Cooper. Our “culture” hates men, but the Proud Boys are out to prove everyone wrong. May God grant that they succeed.

To be sure, the hard truth that the Proud Boys are reminding us of is that many men richly deserve the contempt that is on our heads. We have let a lot of people down. The liberals took over our schools and taught our children that girls and boys can biologically swap places, for example, and we did nothing. The liberals took over our churches and denied the divinity of Christ and the sanctity of human life, and we sat in the back pews and glanced at our watches. The liberals took over our government and told us that love of country was simply a matter of carpet bombing as many swarthy Asians and Arabs as possible, and we scratched the backs of our heads and reached into the refrigerator for a beer.

We failed, men. We accepted the new paradigm that told us that the way to fulfill our masculine destiny was to become weenies without a cause. We just retreated into video games and pornography and, as an entire generation, cried our masculinity to sleep. Shame on us.

But there is hope. Right when we thought the cause was lost and that we would all have to learn to pledge allegiance to the hammer-and-sickle flag, and to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for which it stands, the Proud Boys, led by Gavin McInnes, rode in to rally us to resist. Rode in from Canada, of all places. Ottawa, if you can believe it. It is one of the best ironies of all ages. I’m not too proud, I hope, to take up the challenge of someone who is admittedly a Canadian and to fight alongside him pro aris et focis. After all, even Canadians are from the West, too. And even Minnesotan poets can remind us that we are not mice, but men. Ride on, Proud Boys. I am now riding with you.