It is man's intrinsic and irreducible self-responsibility to humanize himself, to exercise his entire range of rational and moral resources to raise his mode of being and seeing and acting above not just that of animals, but also above that of the majority of subhuman (never to be self-realized) humans who will never draw themselves into a self-punishing position of focal self-diagnosis and self-accountability.
In this world, not to be concerned with the pursuit of arete means to be doomed not just in the struggle with life but also in the struggle with other peoples: a people so facile, slack and fatuous as not to prepare to defend itself has already naively resolved to live out its existence as the enslaved subjects of others. War is omnipresent, to some a demoralizing eventual fate of all cities, and to others "the [Heraclitean] father of all things," i.e. the spur to all forms of virtue and excellence. We should be as energized and passionate about our commitment to our utmost values and self-culture as the warrior must be in learning the arts upon which his very life will depend.
Americans are cultured from their earliest years to be either one-sided douloi or one-sided banausoi, i.e. either they cannot think abstractively/conceptually/orchestrally or else they can only think abstractively. Thinking in a truly rational dialectic between intuition and intellect is just beyond the reach of our nation of emotionalist helots. What prevails among us truly has to be called not thinking but "thinking," a pathetic surrogate for actual thinking for the benefit of existentially or modally crippled mentalities.
You know, the brute reality (as darkling Heraclitus perceived so many centuries ago) is that in the vast majority of human lives, the mind is not actually an asset but a liability; humans on the whole are only apt to injure themselves through the deployment of their attempts at thinking, because thinking is a sublime art at which far more is likely to go wrong than to go right by blind chance. To encourage people indiscriminately to "think more for themselves" is therefore highly irresponsible if not catastrophic. It is actually a boon, in normal social and historical circumstances, that so many humans allow others to think for them-a boon when they live in something other than a predatory and mendacious social order, a society aristic enough on the whole to bear up fiduciary responsibilities for its undercastes. Alas, moderns try to practice this thinking-for-oneself in the most culturally impoverished of all cultures and the most amorally atomistic of all societies.
I can't convince myself that it does much good to try to challenge the everyday political delusions and dementias of Americans at large. Their contained and confined mentalities by far prefer the petty and parochial prisons of the kind of sense they have been trained and rewarded for making out of their lives (and are punished for deviating from them). What it costs them ultimately to be such slaves and infants and ideological zombies is a thought too monstrous and rending and spiky for them even to want to glance at.