There’s no denying it. Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” has struck a chord with the American people, and did so by tapping into the deepest civic values we have as Americans – duty, honor, fidelity, courage, love for country…and a love for others.

However, no war movie can live on the big screen without a spew of liberal backlash, and this film is no different. Criticism has come quickly from Michael Moore, Seth Rogen, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and other Hollywood leftists.

As much as the left would like you to believe it, Chris Kyle was not a bloodthirsty warmonger; he was a noble warrior who fought to defend his fellow troops, watched over the lives of his brothers, and advanced the cause of (eventual) peace.

Thankfully, some things speak louder than cowardly tweets—like the more than $200 million in ticket sales the movie has raked in just one week. In fact, the new war film featuring Bradley Cooper as well-known Navy SEAL sniper, Chris Kyle, is on pace to become the top-grossing war film of all time.

As much as the left would like you to believe it, Chris Kyle was not a bloodthirsty warmonger; he was a noble warrior who fought to defend his fellow troops, watched over the lives of his brothers, and advanced the cause of (eventual) peace.

As much as the left would like you to believe it, Chris Kyle was not a bloodthirsty warmonger; he was a noble warrior who fought to defend his fellow troops, watched over the lives of his brothers, and advanced the cause of (eventual) peace. This is where the true success of “American Sniper” comes to light.

The film is not a movie about the Iraq war, or whether we won or lost; or even whether our motivations were justified. Instead, it’s a story about a man and the many trials of war, including coming home from it. In the words of my good friend and former Army Ranger, Sean Parnell,“[American Sniper] isn’t a pro-war film. It’s a pro-warrior film.”

That’s the key. The movie is a testament to the warrior – to the man in the arena. Everyone criticizing the film is on the sidelines hurling insults. Chris was in the arena, fighting for us in a dangerous and complicated war.

Nonetheless, outspoken liberals will continue to cast judgment, saying that they support the warrior but not the war. But they contradict themselves even on that point. The left sees  warriors—men like Chris Kyle—as bloodthirsty and ignorant Americans from fly-over country who cling to God and guns in blind support of our military. They dislike both the warandthe warrior.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, middle-America is full of hard working people of faith and fidelity who love their nation and believe in celebrating someone like Chris Kyle. These are people who feel like they’re already taxed enough, that the government is over-bearing in their lives, that religion has been stripped from every aspect of civil society, and that the president is misguided in his gutting of their military. They are, in a word, patriots.

Despite their frustrations with leftists, middle America is the beating heart of our nation and remains the first in line to selflessly strap on their boots and defend the very freedoms that people like Michael Moore use to criticize them.

It’s awfully easy for progressives to cast criticism down from their isolated ivory towers, but next time they consider demeaning the warriors protecting them afar, as Chris Kyle once did, they may want to consider who protects those towers and keeps them from tumbling.

They’re not only the folks who see this movie, but more often than not, they’re the kind of people depicted in these movies. They’re the kind of people who embody “citizenship,” and the very idea of living and fighting for something bigger than oneself.

Chris Kyle understood that. Today’s servicemen and women understand that. And that’s why millions of people are seeing this movie. They want to celebrate and believe in America again, if only for two short hours in a crowded dark theater.

Pete Hegseth is the former CEO of Concerned Veterans for America and the former executive director of Vets for Freedom. A Fox News contributor, he is an infantry officer in the Army National Guard and has served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay.  He is the author of “In the Arena” and serves on the Advisory Board for United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI).