Critical Times, Critical Choices

By | November 1, 2012 | 0 Comments


Distress call from RMS Titanic

Critical time for a ship.
This year “Titanic” was re-released in 3D on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the great ship with the loss of 1500 lives. But have we learned anything in all that time?
After the ship hit the iceberg, the designer, Thomas Andrews, brought the blueprints to the captain. He explained why it was inevitable that the ship would sink, declaring, “It’s a mathematical certainty.” The captain understood, but by then it was too late.
No one ‒ not the most skillful seaman, not the most charismatic leader ‒ could save the ship at that point. Sometimes personal relationships, businesses, and even nations are like that. Sometimes things have deteriorated too far to be remedied. Sometimes all we can do is regret that we did not act sooner, when the situation was still reversible. Andrews had designed a good ship, but it wasn’t foolproof. Nothing can withstand a big enough fool. We need to keep that in mind on Election Day.
Titanic buffs argue about how better construction of the watertight compartments might have kept the ship afloat longer. They argue about what the officers on the bridge might have done differently to avoid the iceberg or to delay the sinking. All this is idle speculation.
The crucial event was Captain Smith’s decision to maintain full speed, despite repeated iceberg warnings by wireless and despite the moonless night. Once he made that decision, Titanic was doomed in all probability, no matter which officers were on watch, and no matter what they did once the iceberg was sighted.
But the sad fate of the Titanic applies to us today.
We argue about what steps should be taken to reverse America’s present course. Should the federal budget be cut across the board, or should cuts be directed at the least productive areas? How deep should these cuts be? Should the cuts be begun gently and then increased, or are deep cuts necessary immediately? Should taxes be raised, and if so, how much and what type? Or should taxes be cut, and if so how much and which type? Should borrowing be drastically reduced before the government becomes insolvent, or should the reduction be gradual so as not to upset the bond markets?
All these arguments are relevant, but they obscure the critical point that something must be done promptly.
● Running up another trillion dollars of debt each year is unsustainable.
● Adding even more regulations that stifle business is unsustainable.
● Raising corporate taxes until they force more companies to move overseas is unsustainable.
● Raising capital-gains taxes until they discourage investment is unsustainable.
● Teaching contempt for human life that is very young, very old, or disabled is unsustainable. Eventually the group of the despised will include us.
● Encouraging dependency until half the people rely on a government check is unsustainable. Everybody can’t be a taker. Somebody has to be a producer.
● Increasing intrusive regulations until they control our light bulbs and toilets, our dishwasher detergent, and even what our kids eat for lunch is unsustainable. Something must remain under our control for us to consider ourselves free.
● A government that does not lift a finger to protect its diplomats’ lives – and then tries to cover up its cowardice and bad judgment – does not deserve to be sustained.
We must convince business people and investors, here and abroad, that we are serious about preventing America from becoming an economic basket case ‒ Greece on a huge scale. Instead, we bicker about details. It is as if the officers on the Titanic were arguing about how sharply to turn the wheel ‒ instead of just turning it.
Critical time for a nation.
Do you want to take over a country? Do you want to overthrow a civilization? You don’t need to subvert the army and stage a military coup. You don’t need to stir up a violent revolution. You don’t need to argue persuasively and convince people you’re right. No, that would require too much effort.
All you need to do is take over most of the schools of education, journalism, film, and law – and wait a generation. Then the majority of teachers will be telling kids what you want them to learn. The majority of reporters will be reinforcing the lessons with slanted news. The majority of films will be doing the same with biased screenplays. And lawyers and judges will call this amoral, chaotic mess “the Constitution.” That’s exactly what’s happening.
Some people can tolerate an amoral, chaotic mess. Some people can’t. If you doubt this, ask John Walker Lindh. He went to liberal schools. His mother dabbled with Buddhism. His father was a lapsed Catholic. When John was in high school, his dad left him and his mother and ran off with a gay boyfriend. Imagine the taunting John endured. His parents gave him no religious training but left him to “find his own way.” He did. He joined the Taliban and was captured fighting Americans in Afghanistan.
Similarly, Adam Gadahn rejected his heritage of freedom, joined Al Qaeda, and remains their spokesman. Superficially, both these men appear to have had privileged childhoods. But on a deeper level, they were deprived. They were given nothing to hang onto. Nature abhors a vacuum. We mustn’t allow kids to grow up with a hollow core – which they may fill with whatever they find, no matter how toxic it is.
How many other young people will grow sick of watered-down Christianity or Judaism, which have become merely liberal politics with music? How many other young people will grow sick of perverted “social studies,” which teach that America has done largely bad in the world? If we don’t give kids a religious and moral foundation, we can’t claim innocence it they seek a source of guidance, even if it is anti-Judeo-Christian, anti-democratic, and anti-American.
Critical choices for a people.
Now we must make critical choices. We can’t avoid making them .If we do nothing, we are choosing to allow our civilization to be radically altered, and perhaps destroyed. We are choosing to allow our ship of state to continue full-speed-ahead into the moonless night, after having received numerous warnings.
It may not happen at once. It may take a generation. The beautiful facade of Western – that is, Judeo-Christian – civilization will remain. But the structure will be eaten away internally by moral and economic bankruptcy. And one day the whole thing will collapse on us. Our enemies, probably radical Islamists, will take over the property and rebuild the structure to their own specifications. But it won’t look anything like home.
And some people think the election is just about politics.

Weak is strong
Vulnerable is safe
Rich is guilty
Hostile is neutral
Friendly is suspect
There’s nothing to worry about, anyway.
– Jeane Kirkpatrick, describing liberal foreign and domestic policy

Maintain full speed.
– E. J. Smith, Captain, RMS Titanic


Lifeboat from RMS Titanic

Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.

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