Every age has found some alternative to American values appealing. The number of Western intellectuals enamored of fascism and all the various expressions of Marxism was legion.
It is easy to respect secular Americans who hold fast to the Constitution and to American values generally. And any one of us who believes in God can understand why some people, given all the unjust suffering in the world, just cannot believe that there is a Providential Being.
If anything, we older people yearn for a peaceful world even more than young people do. We are the ones who lost friends or relatives in some war. We are the ones who have lived a lifetime of seeing and reading about human suffering.
People confuse goodness with weakness. It is weak people, not good people (goodness demands strength), who are taken advantage of.
Thomas E. Mann