The Art of Political Navigation

by Marion Marks

The national political climate is often compared to the ship of state, but let’s compare it to a simple rowboat. The public is the unsettled passenger while the President is the captain of the vessel. The November national election will be the public’s time to decide if the President will remain at the helm or a new captain will take the lead.

In many ways the analogy of the captain of a small rowboat is simpler to understand than the issues facing the average voter. Each candidate and their surrogates are trying to frame the issues along lines that are most favorable to the candidate’s case, and the fact checkers have been working overtime to unravel the distorted logic that seems to come in the form of political stump speeches. The tag “Liar-Liar-Pants-on-Fire” has been tagged to quite a few outrageous statements over the last few weeks.

The rowers on the left are frantically giving one-directional force, while the right-side rowers are trying to steer in the opposite direction. It’s practically a full-time job just to keep a score card of whopping fibs (LIES!) that come out of some mouths. The problem appears to be that too many people aren’t allowing the truth to get in the way of motivation of party mouth pieces. As one pundit says “Why let truth get in the way of a good story?” Steering problems abound!

The public should demand defensive steering from both sides, but the stakes are so high that the rhetoric has become the battle cry. Joe Biden’s “…put you in chains” line to the proven falsehoods of Paul Ryan are only starters. Truth and civility have become victims of rhetoric and fire-fanning. Our little rowboat is being buffeted by unnatural forces.

Simple analysis of truth is not for the average voter, because truth just seems unimportant in the minds of many participants. Most political action committees seem intent on sinking our rowboat if we do not hand over control. The consequences to passengers just are not on their radar.

The majority of Americans, the 99%, will pay the price for the uncivil warfare in this battle for control. The thought of most seems to be “if we don’t get involved and escalate the rhetoric, we will lose our voice.” That’s just the direction we are headed.

Why not support the fact checkers and help muzzle the liars at every lie. Why let those who are intent on wrecking the rowboat continue to bombard us with hate and lies? Call the liars out at every turn, every side and every spokesman. Enough is enough!

Lies are repeated because a special interest can afford to keep them on the public airwaves; they don’t become truths because they are repeated a million times. Lies are still lies. We have become captives of the riptide dragging us to the perils of the deeper lie.

Lots of Money and NO Concept of a boat…

If we cannot steer together in a common course we will suffer the fate of the ancient mariner. The logical course for the average voter may be to examine the rhetoric more closely, cast out the majority of superfluous rhetoric and determine which course will move the majority of our citizens in a better direction than we are today.

Looking back at who is responsible for which transgression, who benefited from which special interest group, and who is responsible for our future constitute one set of navigational beacons. Other factors are healthcare, education, housing, financial responsibility, and the myriad of networks of agencies that are identified as requiring scrutiny and budget restraints.

Leadership requires risk

The captain of our rowboat for the next four years must be a magician, a dynamic leader, an organizer, a business guru and possess the luck of a sweepstakes winner. He must have the patience of Job and the cool wits of a steamboat captain on the foggy and treacherous Mississippi River at night. But above all, he must have the support of the people, because the partisan political environment has sunk lesser captains who aspired to this job along the way.

Our little rowboat may be related to George Washington’s Delaware River crossing on the icy evening. We know we are on a path that is fraught with peril, and only the brave will attempt the crossing. Let’s demand that our elected officials become more civil and find a common path for America’s well-being. If we don’t begin to row together, we will certainly sink together. Too many outsiders are cheering for our demise.

All Pulling in the same direction
Monumental Leadership!