“Speak softly and carry a big stick”


I saw How to Train Your Dragon 2 yesterday, and really enjoyed it. It made me cry! That’s not what is inspiring this commentary though. There was an interesting theme throughout the movie that ended up proving a conservative point, probably unintentionally. It’s this theme that I find inspiring to write about. (Warning movie spoiler alert!)

The main character in the story, Hiccup, is convinced that he can talk anyone into seeing his side and that talk creates peaceful outcomes. That bothered me as I watched the movie; it was so the left’s argument. Even when he was told by both his father and his mother that there was no changing the mind of the bad guy Dragos, he remained convinced that because he had changed his father’s mind about dragons, and had changed others’ minds as well through talk, that he could just talk sense into this bad guy and peace would happen. Instead, he was sneered at and put down, and very nearly killed as Dragos insisted that might and power were the only ways to control dragons, but more importantly, control people.

Theodore Roosevelt is credited with saying, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Ronald Reagan knew that building up and maintaining the military was the only way to keep peace with the Soviet Union. He was unafraid to call the Communists what they were and demanded that the Berlin Wall be torn down. Jimmy Carter’s negotiations with Iran holding American hostages came to naught, but the hostages were released soon after Reagan was sworn in, because Iran knew that Reagan would leave their country in rubble if they did not.

Back to the movie. The storyline included alpha dragons, dragons that could control all other dragons. One was benevolent, protecting all dragons under his control, and the other was malevolent, spurred on by Dragos. The malevolent alpha controls Hiccup’s dragon, Toothless, and makes him try to kill Hiccup, but Hiccup still thinks he can talk Dragos into peace and changing his mind about how to treat and live with dragons. Hiccup brings Toothless back to himself through the love they share for each other, but that love turns into the big stick that Theodore Roosevelt talked about. Toothless, to protect his rider, challenges the malevolent alpha with might and without fear. His bravery brings all the dragons over to him and against the alpha who is ultimately defeated by their might as is Dragos who would have never been convinced by words. Toothless becomes the alpha, through fearless demonstration of power invoked by true agape love.

Liberals just want to talk. They are convinced and try to convince us all that evil in this world is so because we (America) have somehow angered and hurt them. If we (liberals) can just prove through our words and good intentions the bad guys will see the light and love us, causing peace to happen. Conservatives know it doesn’t work this way. Conservatives know that carrying the big stick backs up the words with action that bad guys will understand. Conservatives are now cringing because there is no might to back up the soft speech and good intentions that have turned America into a mere shadow of its former self as a nation.

Lynne L Harris

Is a former US Army Officer and graduated from Baylor with a degree in law.