I’m a fan of anything nautical or a Great Ship, sails billowing, powering majestically across endless expanses of ocean. Metaphorically it’s a grand allusion to this greatest of nations; America.
There’s a romance to the sight of one of these multi-mast craft as she works the next wave as a knife cutting into the water’s heart. She powerfully leaps and bounds across the surface. She plows forward and dives deep into the next ponderous breaker. She splits its fury and dissipates its hold on a sleek hull moving through with the lubricity of a hot knife cutting butter. Think of the sails straining against the wind, propelling the weight, pushing the mass closer to its destiny.
But a ship must have a crew and a crew must have its master. The crew strains at lines, exerts its power on the day to day tasks; keeps the ship trimmed for running and true in the face of the winds moving it through today into history tomorrow. The crew is the muscle, the strength and power needed to make it all happen.
But there’s no chance of this becoming a reality unless there’s a captain at the helm. The captain must be experienced, his sight clear and fixed on the goals of the craft and the sure and present knowledge he commands from a stance of integrity and personal reliability. His soul must be strong and as weathered by the elements he works in, to show his understanding of what’s necessary to get the job done.
No captain is a novice. He’s selected from the crew of Master Mariners available and experienced enough to know what’s right; work to correct what’s wrong and win the day in any gale sent his way.
It requires experience to simply tread a deck on a rolling, pitching sea. It takes courage beyond most understanding in the face of storms and gales working at odds with the ship’s goals. Nature’s fury is a banshee wail away from tearing sails; shattering masts and sending the cutter to the depths.
Only the Ship’s Master and Commander has the skill and wherewithal to test his mettle against the mean and savage wretch the sea can be, when assailed by internal and external powers such as the wind and tides create. One will be matched against the other. It’s the immortal tale told of the relationship between all seafarers and the seas they sail. This is much like America.
We, the citizenry of the world’s foremost Light Ship of Hope coursing the seas of political intrigues, are that senior crew spoken of in the text above – not Congress. It is we need to take the apprentice representatives and let them learn the craft and trade of what they’ll do for us. No crew can move forward without the direction and tutelage of the journeyman directing the novitiate through his education. The lessons move from basic through intermediacy to a level of expertise meant to honor the master as it distinguishes the student. There is no gain unless there’s knowledge of the sweat equity worked into the tension of a new knot or the strength of a sail’s stitching. They must hold strong and true or all can be lost. Function depends on craftsmanship; craftsmanship delivered depends on the integrity of function understood. We now man the rail, ready to fight to set this ship to rightness.
We’re not led by a Master Mariner, but by a novice midshipman unqualified to plot a true course or maintain it as we sail. His buttons are polished and appear brilliant but a lubber walks in his shoes. He bellows commands the crew know are wrong. But a good and true crew stands before the mast even as the ship could plow headstrong onto the reef destroying all she stood for.
This novice turns his back on his crew and sees only the glory his position affords him. This Great Ship risks wreckage on the shoals of ignorant “leaders” looking for their place in history; no matter the cost. He seeks praise from admirers of an empty uniform.
Obama is no Master and Commander.
Thanks for listening.