Cresting across our country, a moral tsunami
In a rowing race from Ballard to Bainbridge Island and back the first I noticed the oncoming ocean-going freighter was the distant smoke from its stack, after which I gave it no mind since it was so far away.
I would surely reach the intersection of our right-angled paths long before it did.
Those steamers can sure steam I groaned and, waiting for the ship to get out of my way – and the competition to catch up – I looked up the sides of the black bulk rising two stories above to see the crew gathered at the rail looking down no doubt wondering what my little boat was doing out there.
Flying proudly off the ship’s stern was the white-canvas-and-large-red-ball of the rising sun insignia marking their destination. The ship was returning to Japan. I was returning to Ballard. And on my way back to Ballard that morning I was to be the first to discover, close-up-and-personal, what everybody else in proximity and on shore would encounter a bit later.
Not as in ‘that’s swell!’ because it wasn’t, but more as in a green-eyed creature with snarls of hair-like kelp straggling down, the white skeletal claw of breakers clutching to strangle all small craft, a house-high monster-roller that threatened my suddenly tiny pod of a pea in which I almost did.
I rode – not rowed, since I was too frightened to move – it out. One moment, as Johnny Nash sang “I can see clearly now,” I was atop the watery world: there was Bainbridge behind; the colorful spinnakers of recreational sailors oblivious to what was coming their way; the sun shining in the blue sky above.
The next moment I was alone, all alone, deep in the trough where it seemed even the yellow sun couldn’t reach, the sky wasn’t blue – or visible, my white shell but a bit of forlorn flotsam surrounded by green, green and more green.
And no help – or anything else but water – in sight.
There is a roller of a different kind cresting across our country created by the characterless antics of political leaders that has consequences reaching from sea to shining sea.
It’s the subject of David Limbaugh’s column in Newsmax this last day of July entitled “Character Counts in Elected Officials.”
Like a ship stern’s swell gathering momentum, the public’s initial response to Weiner’s sexcapades and those of others much in the news lately is such that Limbaugh writes, “This bizarre notion that we should separate our public officials’ private behavior from their public lives has gained alarming credibility during recent years.”
Limbaugh quotes Ravi Zacharias, “The duplicitous soul of a leader can only make a nation more sophisticated in evil.”
Such ‘sophistications’ have more-than-a-ripple-affect for people along the shore, the children playing in the sand near the shallows. When the moats protecting their creations are suddenly inundated, the foundations of their sandcastles destroyed, soddenly awash themselves up to their elbows, from their hands and knees they look up scanning the horizon as if to ask: ‘where did that come from?’
But by then the source of the devastation has long since moved on to other pursuits and profits, oblivious to – or regardless of – the destruction in its wake.
“If we care about the republic,” Limbaugh concludes, “we have to care about the character of its public officials.”
It all rolls on from there.