A long time ago (actually in 1956, my second year in university—which is a ‘long time ago’ for sure), I took a public speaking class. I really enjoyed that semester, and I’ve done a fair amount of public speaking since those days, an activity that I do enjoy. One of the class assignments was to come up with a “proposal” to accomplish something unusual or difficult, or both. Searching for a suitable topic, I suddenly came up with a “eureka--I have found it” moment (with a ‘tip of the hat’ to the ancient Sicilian philosopher, Archimedes—c. 287-212B.C.). I had recently been reading, for my very first time, about the loss of the passenger liner, RMS Titanic in 1912. What better “unusual” topic could there be, in those halcyon days of 1956, then to come up with a proposal to “RAISE THE TITANIC”, which became my talk’s title?
So I conceived a plausible (for those days) idea on how to raise the wreckage of that famous vessel, once it was discovered (a minor detail that my proposal assumed had been overcome, although Dr. Robert Ballard wouldn’t find the Titanic’s wreck until 1985, and discover that it was in two large pieces). As I recall, my 15-minute talk was a big hit with my classmates, and I received a high mark from my professor. Interestingly, my 1956 speech about raising that famous lost ship was a forerunner of an idea that the author, Clive Cussler, also developed, because back in the 1970’s he wrote his book: “Raise the Titanic”, which was made into a thrilling film of that same name in 1976. The story was riveting and the musical score by the late, great composer, John Barry, was one of his very best and most melodic, exceeded only by his score for one of my very favorite films, “Somewhere In Time.” I’m glad that the book was written, the movie made, and the wonderful music composed. But I had the idea first!
If you ever have the opportunity to go to an exhibit of the recovered artifacts from the Titanic’s wreck site, by RMS Titanic, Inc,, I’d recommend that you do so. I’ve been to that exhibit twice, the first time during a trip to Cleveland, Ohio back in 2002. I’ll have you know that during that visit I actually touched one of the actual life boat davits (hooks) that lowered one of the Titanic’s life boats down into the water. It had been recovered by one of the many expeditions to Titanic (and thousands of artifacts have been recovered, preserved, and put on exhibition, including the actual warning bell that was rung three times from the crow’s nest by lookout, Frederick Fleet, a photo of which begins this article). A sign said, “Do Not Touch”, but the urge was too great, and I have a video of myself touching that davit-- a part of history. There was also a 20 ton piece of Titanic’s hull on display. I couldn’t get to it to touch it, but I would have if I could have.
As I looked at all the artifacts—pieces of the ship’s hardware and fittings, personal items belonging to the mostly doomed passengers, letters, menus, and telegrams all somehow preserved under water for well over 70 years, including modern photographs of those who survived and those who didn’t, I began to reflect about the parallels that could be made between the life of the RMS Titanic and the “life” of our beloved, but severely troubled, country. This great ship was launched in Ireland in early 1912 with the expectation that it would sail the oceans of the world for many years. It was the largest man-made movable object in history up to that time. Its owners, officers, crew, and passengers exuded great confidence in Titanic, boldly declaring it to be “unsinkable”. Even God Himself, it was claimed, couldn’t sink this luxurious leviathan. Its designers claimed it was faster, bigger, and stronger than any ship ever made.
As Titanic turned her bow from Ireland and toward New York, she sailed into history and, for so many of her passengers, into eternity. The Chairman of White Star Lines, Bruce Ismay, sailing on his creation, urged Capt. Smith to run the ship at maximum speed to try to set a new trans-Atlantic crossing record. Grudgingly, the Captain did so. The first class passengers, some of the world’s wealthiest people at the time, trusting in their money and in their arrogance, thought of little else but the luxury afforded them. The other passengers, especially those in third class, were at the mercy of those in charge, and thought of little else except getting to America and starting new lives.
Warnings began to come to the Marconi radio room of Titanic from other ships, warnings of icebergs directly on their course, but those in charge ignored the warnings or disregarded them. After all, Titanic was unsinkable, wasn’t it? Icebergs could be seen and avoided, couldn’t they? Why worry when everything was going so well? But a few hours later, this magnificent ship—the “greatest” to have ever sailed up to that point in time—was 12,600 feet down at the bottom of the Atlantic, sunk by one of God’s ICE CUBES, and 1500 of her passengers went to a freezing, watery death and into their eternal destiny.
I’ve often thought that our beloved U.S.A. is like the Titanic in so many ways. It was “launched” in 1787 with great hopes and expectations that it would be different, better, stronger, more free than any other nation in history. And for a long time, for most of its passengers, it was. We believed that American self-confidence and a real trust in the God of our Bible would always get us safely into port. The “keel” for the U.S. was laid down from 1607 to 1620, and our nation’s “construction” began on April 19, 1775, with great sacrifice. For many generations of Americans our course seemed sure and steady, guided by God’s Hand on us. Or so it seemed.
However, in recent times and decades, we as a country seem to have sailed into dangerous waters—into the fog banks of ever bigger and more repressive government and its ever more socialist demands on our treasury—into the ice fields of more and more federal power, and less and less citizen power—the exact opposite of what our stalwart Founders envisioned. Those who have been in charge of our Ship of State over many decades have assured its passengers (us) that all is well, that we should trust them to pilot the USS American Nation around the icebergs of terrorism, educational mediocrity, moral decline, huge budgetary deficits, purposely uncontrolled immigration, and national cynicism. Worst of all, we’ve told our Heavenly Father—God of OUR Fathers—that He isn’t needed very much any more, and that we Americans can take it from here and chart our own course from now on. Thank you very much!
Like most of Titanic’s passengers, Americans increasingly seem to be merely “along for the ride”, unconcerned that not only has our ship of state struck a financial and moral “iceberg”, but that it seems to be foundering rapidly. We appear to have a “Captain” on the “bridge” in the “steering room” called the White House that assures his passengers (us) that ‘all is well’, and that he has everything under control (when he isn’t dozing at the wheel), at the same time that our USS American Nation appears to be foundering, and her decks are filling with the waters of fiscal folly and deliberate sabotage by many of her passengers and crew. Sadly, many of those “crew” and half of the “passengers” seem more intent on badmouthing and attacking our former captain, demanding that he “walk the plank” into oblivion, than they seem determined to keep our “ship” from foundering.
Many of the “passengers” and most of the “crew” on our ship of state don’t appear to be worried in the least. After all, those in charge of our “voyage”—those who run and control our mainstream “navigation media”, would tell us if our freedom and safety were in peril. Wouldn’t they? Besides, the water hasn’t reached our deck yet, so sail on and enjoy the voyage. Warnings from increasing numbers of patriotic fellow passengers that our noble vessel is in mortal danger are just rantings from “conspiracy theory” conservatives and doom and gloom extremists and “deplorable” holdovers from our previous Captain, Donald Trump, and his supporters. So, let’s all be happy and enjoy our voyage, even if it might end in a port not of our own choosing.
The immediate concern facing all of us who are “passengers” is to warn and educate our fellow passengers so that our USS American Nation avoids the icebergs of calamity and catastrophe that the enemies of American constitutionalism (Dumbocrats) have placed directly on our course, and will heed the urgings of its former “Captain Trump” and his sizeable “crew”, to steer the proven old course to avoid a fatal collision with tyranny which will assure the “sinking” of our noble republic into the sea of socialist/communist despotism in the near future. Now is NOT the time to “man the lifeboats” and abandon ship—now is the time to act with resolution and firmness, refuse to capitulate to fear, and refuse to obey all of the anti-freedom and anti-constitution “orders” and “mandates” emanating from the collectivist buffoons who are steering our titanic nation toward the sure doom of socialist/collectivist repression!
To do otherwise is to assure that our ship of state strikes the “iceberg” of tyranny and will surely founder from that despotism sooner than we think. We’ve been told that the history of America’s future freedom awaits the decisions that Americans make in November of 2022 AND in November, 2024. Certain calamity is directly ahead of us, and conservative and patriotic “lookouts” are warning our “helmsmen” to immediately change course. Can we stay afloat until next year, let alone three years from now? Ah, that is a question to ponder, isn’t it? Frankly I don’t believe we can. Perhaps our fate is in OUR hands, right now!