Don’t Abandon Ship − Stop the Leak

By | May 26, 2021 | 1 Comments

Some time ago, I saw a TV documentary about the cruise ship Oceanos, which sank off the coast of South Africa. The story is all too relevant to our current problems. At about 9:30 pm, sea water began leaking into the engine room. Electricity for the engines was shorted out, leaving the ship dead in heavy seas. Only emergency lights remained.

The captain, officers, and many crew members began readying the lifeboats – for themselves. Portholes were not closed. The leaky bulkhead was not shored up. The alarm was not sounded. The unaware passengers remained in the lounge, while entertainers kept them occupied with songs and jokes. (Sound familiar?)

The first inkling passengers had that they were in danger was when they saw an officer in a life jacket. No one had told them to get their life jackets. The cruise director went to the bridge to discover what was going on, only to find it deserted. The courageous young woman returned to the lounge and readied the passengers to abandon ship.

Later an entertainer went to the bridge and also found it deserted. He heard inquiries from other ships on the radio, picked up the microphone – and directed rescue efforts. If it were not for him and the cruise director, many passengers would have perished. That’s how anything gets done in this world: Some people go beyond the call of duty, to make up for the others who shirk their duty entirely.

Many of the officers and crew left in lifeboats. A few boats were launched with passengers, but soon the ship was listing so badly that no more could be launched. The passengers waited through the night, with thoughts we can only imagine.

The South African Navy and Air Force launched a rescue effort. At first light, helicopters began lifting passengers, two at a time, by harnesses. Like many cruise ships − and many tall buildings − there was no helipad. If there had been helipads atop the World Trade Center, hundreds might have been rescued.

The first to be rescued was the captain, who claimed he was needed to direct the rescue. The helicopters flew the victims to land, then returned for another load. The last two to be rescued were a passenger and a navy diver who had jumped into the sea and swum aboard. Heroism is admirable, but careful planning often makes it unnecessary.

Soon after, the ship sank. By the heroic efforts of the cruise director, the entertainer, and the rescue party, all 571 people aboard were saved. Later the captain and officers were found guilty of negligence. But the captain was placed in command of ferries, where he again had human lives in his hands. Despite his disgraceful failure, he was a member of the “elite” and was taken care of by fellow members. (Sound familiar?)

What can we learn that is relevant to our current situation?

● When the ship sustained damage, the captain and officers saved themselves. They did not close the portholes or repair the leak. That the ship would sink became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This is similar to leftists and liberals (is there a difference anymore?) who assume our free-enterprise system is sinking, so they promote socialism − that is, control of the economy by government. They assume that our constitutional republic is sinking, so they promote environmentalism and judicial activism − that is, control of everything by unelected bureaucrats and judges.

And when these remedies don’t work, liberals insist that more of what hasn’t worked is needed. More bilingual education that produces graduates semi-literate in two languages. More welfare programs that accelerate family breakup. More home mortgages for those unable to make the payments. More government spending on programs that are unnecessary or counter-productive. Always more. The prophecy becomes self-fulfilling − the ship continues to sink.

● The problem didn’t begin when the captain and officers abandoned ship without warning the passengers. No, the problem began years earlier, when their parents raised them without a religious foundation, and when their teachers taught them facts without an ethical framework. The problem began when they went to sea lacking the ethics of seamanship, and took charge of passengers’ lives without taking responsibility. The problem began when they viewed their position as merely a job, not a calling.

This is similar to the self-anointed “elite” of America and other Western nations, who make up the “deep state.” They too were raised without a religious foundation. They too were taught facts without an ethical framework on which to anchor the facts. They too were given power over the lives of others, but they viewed their position as merely a job, not a calling.

● The problem didn’t begin when the stock and real-estate markets crashed.

● The problem didn’t begin when confidence men ripped off their clients’ life savings.

● The problem didn’t begin when the “elite” viewed America not as their homeland, but merely a place they happened to be living at the moment.

● The problem didn’t begin then the “elite” viewed immigrants not as new citizens to be Americanized, but merely as new Democratic voters and recipients of government goodies.

● The problem didn’t begin when the government stopped reassuring our friends and worrying our enemies, but started worrying our friends and reassuring our enemies.

● The problem didn’t begin when the ship of state actually started to sink.

No, the problem began years earlier, when the officers − the “elite” − abandoned the American ship of state. They abandoned it spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually – but not physically. Their bodies stayed at the controls on the bridge. But their hearts were far away, in some imaginary utopia where “social justice” and “fairness” were doled out by (surprise!) them. They were “citizens of the world,” which carries no responsibilities except breathing – but also confers no rights.

The problem began when law schools and business schools turned out graduates who knew the price of everything but the value of nothing. The problem began when faculties of political science, education, and journalism were infiltrated by leftists who had no allegiance to free enterprise, free elections − or freedom itself.

The problem began when the “elite” no longer saw themselves as stewards of a precious heritage, but as agents of leftist “change.” So why plug the leak? That would only safeguard the ship they despised. Instead they let the cold, dark sea pour in.

The “elite” assumed they would be safe in their lifeboats. They assumed that in a socialist nation, they would be Party members with special privileges. They assumed that with socialized medicine, they would be cared for in special clinics. They assumed that the bureaucrats and judges would always make decisions favoring them.

But what the “elite” did not foresee is that there is no outside navy or air force to rescue them. Americans rescue other nations, militarily and economically. No one rescues us. I doubt that other nations would want to even if they could − envy is a powerful emotion. But the socialist nations of Europe are sinking even faster than we are.

We “ordinary” people – like the cruise director and the entertainer on the Oceanos − can keep things afloat only for a time. And then the ship that the “elite” neglected and damaged will inevitably sink. But this time the “elite” will go down with the ship. Before that happens, we “ordinary” people need to work harder to keep things afloat:

● We need to sound the alarm and inform the other passengers of the danger.

● We need to fire the irresponsible officers who are concerned with their own agenda, but not with the safety of the ship or the passengers.

● We need to tell the lookouts to watch for terrorists who want to kill us, not for disabled veterans in uniform, three-year-old girls in wheelchairs, or 95-year-old ladies in adult diapers. Stupid lookouts put us all in danger.

● We need to tell the lookouts not to let someone – probably a woman – in a niqab with the face covered through airport security, while detaining a 72-year-old female professor for reading The Jewish Press, an American newspaper printed in English.

● We need to get up from our comfortable chairs, ignore the entertainers trying to distract us, do our best to plug the leaks − and stop spending money we don’t have.

● We need to pay our own way − and stop bequeathing our debts to our children and grandchildren. Remember no taxation without representation? Small children and the unborn never voted to tax themselves to pay for our wastefulness.

● We need to stop pretending that even the entire planet has the wealth − or the desire − to keep buying up our debt and financing our spending spree.

● We need to recognize that if we continue to spend money like water, we will eventually drown our republic in debt.

● We need to remember that it is the engine-room crew − the small to medium business people − who keep the ship moving forward, while the passengers in first class − the “elite” and the “deep state” − tell them, “You didn’t build that.” Yes, they did.

● We need to put a new captain in charge who has faith in our ship and will strive to not just keep it afloat, but keep it running at full speed ahead.

● We need to restore faith in our ship and our ability to run it ourselves, without waiting for the “elite” to save us. They are interested only in saving themselves, and they may not even be able to do that.

Otherwise, we’re all going to get really wet.

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