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AMERICAN RESILIENCE IN THE ERA OF OUTRAGE

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Fame, Blame, and the Raft of Shame - Book 4 Dan Crenshaw

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Fortitude

american resilence in the era of outrage

In 2012, on his third tour of duty, an improvised explosive device left Dan Crenshaw's right eye destroyed and his left blinded. Only through the careful hand of his surgeons, and what doctors called a miracle, did Crenshaw's left eye recover partial vision. And yet, he persevered, completing two more deployments.

Why? There are certain stories we tell ourselves about the hardships we face—we can become paralyzed by adversity or we can adapt and overcome. We can be fragile or we can find our fortitude. Crenshaw delivers a set of lessons to help you do just that.

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Dan's working for Texans every day, and standing strong in Washington - and he needs you on his side. Together, we can stand up for what’s right, defend the Constitution, and ensure our values empower the next generation!

Who is Your Hero?

Most people's everyday challenges aren't as extreme as surviving combat, and yet our society is more fragile than ever: exploding with outrage, drowning in microaggressions, and devolving into divisive mob politics. The American spirit—long characterized by grit and fortitude—is unraveling. We must fix it.

That's exactly what Crenshaw accomplishes with Fortitude. This book isn't about the problem, it's about the solution. And that solution begins with each and every one of us. We must all lighten up, toughen up, and begin treating our fellow Americans with respect and grace.

Fortitude is a no-nonsense advice book for finding the strength to deal with everything from menial daily frustrations to truly difficult challenges. More than that, it is a roadmap for a more resilient American culture.

With meditations on perseverance, failure, and finding much-needed heroes, the book is the antidote for a prevailing "safety culture" of trigger warnings and safe spaces. Interspersed with lessons from history and psychology is Crenshaw's own story of how an average American kid from the Houston suburbs went from war zones to the halls of Congress—and managed to navigate his path with a sense of humor and an even greater sense that, no matter what anyone else around us says or does, we are in control of our own destiny.

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The American experiment is about mental toughness in the face of adversity -- because freedom takes toughness. I know no one tougher than Dan Crenshaw, which is probably why his new book, FORTITUDE, is a must-read. Dan combines real-world experience with a command of America's philosophical roots, and he reminds us that what made America great still beats in the breasts of those who continue to fight for a culture of liberty.

Ben Shapiro

Life is a struggle; it is a demanding test, not only for us as individuals, but also for us as a nation. FORTITUDE distills and consolidates crucial elements from ancient philosophy, modern psychology, the SEAL ethos, and Dan Crenshaw's personal experiences as a leader and warrior into a clear and pragmatic guide for any person who wants to confront the challenges of life with courage, tenacity, and fortitude. By living the principles set forth in this book, any person can make their world -- and thereby our world -- a better place.

Jocko Willink

As someone who has served our country on the front lines in Afghanistan, Dan Crenshaw knows what it means to separate the trivial from the truly meaningful. In FORTITUDE, he brings this vital experience to bear, offering keen insights on how to unite our fractured country and take pride in its founding ideals -- even as we face up to the tough truths of its history.

Condoleezza Rice

This solution-oriented book is a must-read for anyone who loves America and believes that the grit and determination that founded her are in need of a revival. FORTITUDE is a set of tools for being tougher, yes, but it is also a guide for preserving the freedoms and foundations of our great country. Dan's experiences as a SEAL and now Congressman give FORTITUDE instant credibility, with a message that desperately needs to be heard far and wide.

Marcus Luttrell

“The basic message is this: If you’re losing your cool, you are losing. If you are triggered, it is because you allowed someone else to dictate your emotional state. If you are outraged, it is because you lack discipline and self-control. These are personal defeats, not the fault of anyone else.

And each defeat shapes who you are as a person, and in the collective sense, who we are as a people. This book is about actively hardening your mind so that you can be the person you think you should be. It is about identifying who that person is in the first place, and taking responsibility for the self-improvement required to become them. It is about learning what it means to never quit. It is about learning to take a joke and giving others some charity when they make a bad one. It is about the importance of building a society of iron-tough individuals who can think for themselves, take care of themselves, and recognize that a culture characterized by grit, discipline, and self-reliance is a culture that survives.”

“Government does not exist to end your suffering; based on equality and justice, so that you may pursue your own happiness.”

“Unfortunately, these days, too many people are overcoming their knowledge deficits with passion, and too many more people are mistaking “passion” and “authenticity” for righteousness and sophistication. It is an unhealthy trend.”

“But in fact, a truly democratic society is one that protects its citizens’ rights to be who they want, while also not forcing others to believe the same.”

“The number of decibels your voice hits as you scream about how right you are is not necessarily an indicator of how much sense you are making.”

“Outrage is weakness. It is the muting of rational thinking and the triumph of emotion. Despite what you’ve been hearing and seeing as of late, it is not a virtue. It is not something to be celebrated, nor praised, nor aspired to. It is a deeply human emotion—even understandable at times—but rarely is it productive, virtuous, or useful. It is an emotion to overcome, not accept, and overcoming it requires mental strength. This book is about acquiring that necessary mental fortitude.”

“I will not quit in the face of danger or pain or self-doubt; I will not justify the easier path before me. I decide that all my actions, not just some, matter. Every small task is a contribution toward a higher purpose. Every day is undertaken with a sense of duty to be better than I was yesterday, even in the smallest of ways. I seek out hardship. I do not run from pain but embrace it, because I derive strength from my suffering. I confront the inevitable trials of life with a smile. I plan to keep my head, to be still, when chaos overwhelms me. I will tell the story of my failures and hardships as a victor, not a victim. I will be grateful. Millions who have gone before me have suffered too much, fought too hard, and been blessed with far too little, for me to squander this life. So I won’t. My purpose will be to uphold and protect the spirit of our great republic, knowing that the values we hold dear can be preserved only by a strong people. I will do my part. I will live with Fortitude.”

“It has grown terribly difficult to separate objective journalism from opinion journalism.”

“If you’re losing your cool, you are losing. If you are triggered, it is because you allowed someone else to dictate your emotional state. If you are outraged, it is because you lack discipline and self-control. These are personal defeats, not the fault of anyone else. And each defeat shapes who you are as a person, and in the collective sense, who we are as a people.”

“Wealthy celebrities in particular are all too eager to jump onto the proverbial bandwagon of oppression, and lecture us about the evils within our country. In Vogue magazine, Taylor Swift said, “Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender male.” Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, elected to Congress at twenty-nine years old, famously said that her generation “never saw American prosperity.” Such overstatements, totally devoid of evidence, only make sense in the context of a culture that has become accustomed to seeking victimhood over self-empowerment”

“I seek out hardship. I do not run from pain but embrace it, because I derive strength from my suffering.”

“Admiral McRaven, the senior Navy SEAL who planned the Bin Laden mission, said this starts with the mundane: making your bed. “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”

“Carl Jung, the renowned psychologist, summed it up: “The foundation of all mental illness is the avoidance of true suffering.”

“John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

“While our own citizens burn our flag or sneer at our pledge of allegiance, millions of people around the world would do anything to be here.”

“You have a duty to accomplish something every day. You have a duty to live up to your best self, the person you want to be, the hero archetype that you admire. You have a duty to embrace shame and learn from it. You have a duty to be polite, thoughtful, patient. You have a duty to overcome your hardships and not wallow in self-pity. You have a duty to contribute, even if your contribution is small. You have a duty to be on time. You have a duty to do your job, even if your job sucks. You have a duty to stay healthy, both for yourself and so that you do not become a burden on others. You have a duty to be part of the solution, not the problem. In other words, don’t join the Twitter mob. You have a duty to try hard not to offend others, and try harder not to be offended.”

“I am a conservative. We can define conservatism generally as an approach to governance that values individual freedom, personal responsibility, and moral virtue as a bulwark for that same freedom. We believe in a limited role for government, fiscal discipline, and an understanding that government exists to protect our inalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Government does not exist to end your suffering; it exists in order to create the proper structure, based on equality and justice, so that you may pursue your own happiness.”

“Thoughtful conversations have been substituted by social media snark and insult, where your opponent is assumed to have the worst intentions—simply because they are an opponent. Fairness and due process have been supplanted by self-righteous hysteria and public shaming. The meme has replaced good argument, the tweet has replaced the well-reasoned op-ed, and the op-ed has replaced objective journalism. The result is nothing short of information chaos, a culture of contempt, and a deep sense of unhappiness that is blamed on everyone but ourselves”

“My mental outcomes were a consequence of my habits —and my habits were a consequence of my choices. It is true that character is to some extent innate. Our genetic makeup imbues in us certain proclivities. But it is as true that character is mostly a consequence of choices. We all make them. And we should make them deliberately, with the knowledge that these choices are part of our responsibility toward a purpose other than our own selfish aims. That responsibility is to your family, friends, community, and country.”

“More and more, we are putting a preference on victimhood, glorifying weakness instead of strength, and outright shaming anyone with more traditional characteristics.”

“The question isn’t about the existence of injustice, but whether our reaction to said injustice is productive—or strewn with self-pity. The former reaction allows for growth beyond the injustice, and the latter imprisons you in victimhood.”

“In Hate Inc., Matt Taibbi notes that this is partly because the financial incentives for incendiary opinion journalism are so strong: “There is a financial pull toward research-free stories. Writing 1,200 words of jokes about a Trump tweet costs less than sending a reporter undercover into a Mexican maquiladora.”

“Thomas Sowell, the preeminent economist and social theorist, put it in stark terms. “One of the sad signs of our times,” he wrote, “is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized.”

“The common story being told by many people, especially in the outrage mob Twitter-sphere, is that their opinion is true simply because it is their truth. There is no sense of shame whatsoever in their inability to explain why they hold that opinion.”

“Thoughtful conversations have been substituted by social media snark and insult, where your opponent is assumed to have the worst intentions—simply because they are an opponent.”

“The meme has replaced good argument, The tweet has replaced the well-reasoned op-ed, and the op-ed has replaced objective journalism.”

“The dismissive and insulting tone of today’s political debate is a reflection of mental weakness.”

“this is the difference between normal citizens and the abnormal outraged: One tells stories about what they’ve done, and the other tells stories about what was done to them.”

“Forming an opinion without the relevant facts is a phenomenon that I believe is getting worse—probably because of social media and the echo chamber of disinformation it can create.”

“The stories we tell ourselves ultimately make up our characters and decide our fate. These small stories make up the larger narrative that we build together as Americans.”

“Identity politics becomes the new normal, and cultural leaders and politicians take advantage of these stories and even encourage them.”

“The phrase “check your privilege” becomes the favorite tactic used to discredit opponents and subvert real discourse.”

Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage

Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage

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