Publisher's Note: One of the most significant things you can do to promote Liberty is to support our mission. Please make your gift to the 2024 Patriots' Day Campaign today. Thank you! —Mark Alexander, Publisher

August 15, 2023

How America Kills Its Own

Suicide is one of our nation’s deadliest enemies. The epidemic of self-murder has many causes.

America is an aging society, but this is no country for old men.

Last year, nearly 50,000 Americans took their own lives, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The figures are preliminary, but that looks like it translates into the highest suicide rate since World War II.

Among Americans 65 or older, suicides increased by 8% in the past year.

They climbed 7% among Americans 45 to 64.

The median age in our country today is 38.9, and it’s only rising.

Will suicides rise with it?

The CDC says men account for 80% of suicides, and white men have particularly high rates.

So do rural Americans — areas with the lowest population densities, those designated “micropolitan” and “non-core,” have the highest suicide levels, 19.2 and 21.7 per 100,000 people respectively.

There are differences by occupation as well: “mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction” has the highest rate (54.2 per 100,000 men), followed by construction (45.3).

Veterans kill themselves at a rate 57.3% higher than the average for other Americans.

The raw number of suicides last year exceeds the number of Americans who died in the Korean War and the 46,233 who were killed in action or died of wounds during the Vietnam War — a conflict that lasted nearly a decade.

Suicide is one of our nation’s deadliest enemies.

The epidemic of self-murder has many causes, some of which are unique to each case, yet others that are culture-wide.

Christianity always discouraged suicide, both by designating it a mortal sin and by offering hope of a new life to even the most wretched earthly sufferer.

In our culture today, Christian assumptions no longer prevail — the taboo on suicide has weakened, and millions believe there is no life beyond divorce, unemployment, addiction, dishonor, sickness, and pain in the here and now.

The blessings of modern medicine can also be a curse.

The elderly and seriously ill live longer, but prolonged treatment is costly, and men who’ve lived independent lives don’t want to end up sustained by machines.

The opioid scourge, meanwhile, condemns the despairing in two ways: prescription pain medication is now heavily restricted, leaving some Americans in agony to feel they have no escape, while others who have abused and become dependent on the drugs see no future beyond them.

The main prey for suicide are not a recognized victim group; rural whites and men with blue-collar or military backgrounds receive little sympathy from our highly educated elite who’ve been taught all their lives that the industrial economy is a fossil and America must become more diverse to be truly good.

When economists laud the global economy’s “creative destruction” and progressives rail against “white privilege,” their implication is that the world would be better off without older working-class whites.

And when those obsolete Americans respond by voting for Donald Trump or other populist candidates, that only confirms the sensitively educated liberal’s judgment: These people are deplorables, human obstacles to a more efficient and enlightened future.

The old American left put a great deal of emphasis on solidarity and mutual aid; it also built the entitlement programs that promised to provide for the material needs of the old and unemployed, though these programs totter as the ratio of dependents to workers rises.

The new left now elevates diversity over solidarity and exalts moral purity — in identity-politics terms — above traditional economic class.

The emerging America of the 21st century is not only more “diverse,” however; it’s more alienated, with fewer common bonds of religion or cultural inheritance and without the public as a whole feeling well-represented by the institutions or government or the media.

Older Americans have lived through a cultural revolution that has turned them into strangers in their own land.

In these conditions, as the connections between young and old dissolve and the Christian background of our culture fades away, the rise of suicide is not surprising.

Simple partisan politics is not to blame, but the move of our culture and economy away from the commitments that once gave meaning to Americans’ lives has left tens of thousands of our countrymen lost and looking for a way out.

America is a worse place for the 50,000 men and women we lost to suicide last year.

The next 50,000 need to hear that before it’s too late.


Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2024 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.