The Troubled American Ship Of State – The captain and crew have navigated us into a nightmare
It is great to be back, as I was away for 10 days as an invited guest speaker on the National Review summer cruise. We embarked from Amsterdam and headed into the North Sea
toward the epic scenery of Norway. The discussions were informative, and the speakers were truly exceptional.We had an enjoyable family vacation aboard Holland America Line
’s MS Eurodam, returning late last Thursday. My daughters Aubrey and Austen wanted to have family movie night Saturday. They requested the 1958 classic “The Vikings
,” with Kirk Douglass, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine
and Janet Leigh.They especially wanted to see the scenes of the Viking ships
sailing the fjords to compare them with what they had just witnessed. They also wanted to look at the Viking culture and weapons in the movie to compare with the Norwegian history center exhibit on the Vikings at Avaldsnes that we had seen near Haugesund.
However, as I watched the movie – yes, for the millionth time – I pondered how the Vikings were afraid of the fog in the North Sea. They were great shipbuilders, but their navigational skills were confined to hugging along the coastline. Navigating the open seas was a perilous challenge.
Thanks to modern technology, as we were on the MS Eurodam, I was able to tune into a station on the TV set in our stateroom to see the exact location and heading of our vessel and to see the fore and aft camera views. But in an interesting paradox, it was much easier to dock a Viking ship centuries ago than it is a large cruise ship today – and those waterways are still the same.
I began to think about the impeccable responsibility of the ship’s captain, now and then. The incredible art of seamanship to maneuver and navigate a ship on the open seas still is based upon fundamentals.
The fog of economic ruin
I am now back in Washington, and as I did my early morning runs this week, I asked myself, “Who is piloting the American ship of state?”On a ship, someone is always on watch, 24/7. Well, who is on watch for America? Who is on the bridge manning the helm, and who is the captain ready to take responsibility and be held accountable for the movements of the ship?Last week I watched President Obama
give his first solo press conference since April. Needless to say, as the ship he is piloting drifts closer to the rocks, he was not reassuring to the crew or passengers.
We have a healthcare law that is about to impart serious economic ruin on an American economy struggling with a mere 1 percent increase in quarterly gross domestic product. The president himself has ordered several parts of the law’s implementation to be delayed – an action that is beyond his constitutional ability.
The law is as unpopular as ever and for the ship’s passengers (the American people) to know that certain members of the crew (Congress and its staff) have certain exemptions and will receive subsidies is beyond comprehension.
‘Phony scandals’ that are sinking America
Last September, our ship of state received a distress call – “man overboard,” if you will. As an American ambassador was attacked and the call went to the ship’s captain, it seems he was too busy to be bothered – ya know, formal night dinner – and instructed other senior crew members to respond.Against orders, some of the deck crew went overboard to save the one individual, but the ship never stopped, never turned about, never launched a rescue vessel. And the ship’s captain announced to the crew and passengers that the incident was a “phony scandal.”Think about the old days of the Vikings raiding along the English coast. What if England’s feudal kings had told their subjects, “The Vikings have been decimated and are on the run, no longer a threat.” However, when further Viking raids occurred, they told the serfs and simple farmers those were different Vikings. So it is with al Qaeda, according to our American ship’s captain.
And based upon recent developments emanating from Syria, al Qaeda is stronger than ever and establishing a new base. The Muslim Brotherhood, the granddaddy of Islamism, also is not backing down in Egypt.
So we shut our embassies and consulates in what can be only interpreted in the Islamic world as fear and cowardice. See, an embassy is a sovereign piece of American territory, but we basically abandoned ship.
Skipper Obama and Gilligan Reid
But have no fear, the good Skipper Obama has a dedicated and loyal Gilligan in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who in his babbling sense hinted that non-support for Obama’s failing policies is rooted in racism.I, for one, do not want to be on a fateful trip through the fog of failed economic and national security policies, nanny-state growth, and a culture of incompetence, corruption and intimidation through which our current ship of state is sailing. I and many other Americans do not want to end up on a deserted island devoid of the promise of the American dream for our next generation.That desire has nothing to do with the president’s racial complexion; it has everything to do with competence and character.
The next generation deserves a captain who takes responsibility and who is willing to man the bridge and give the right course headings to the helmsman. From the days of the Vikings, who sailed the open seas to find Iceland, Greenland and even America, until today, great ships have had great captains.
Our American ship of state does not resemble the MS Eurodam, which I disembarked from safely. It more closely resembles the Costa Concordia, which still lies half-sunk in the Tyrrhenian Sea because a captain ran it upon Italy’s rocks.
If Washington is the bridge of our ship, no one is on duty and we are dangerously close to the rocks.
Steadfast and Loyal,
Allen B. West