In the months and weeks leading up to the election, I had been thinking about the situation this country is in by likening it to being on a crashing plane. On the one hand, we had the current pilot who wasn’t able to control the plane, and the fact that it was crashing was due in large part to his piloting incompetence. On the other hand, we had a passenger who had a great deal of piloting experience, who was volunteering to take the controls. In his previous piloting experience, this volunteer had saved another plane from crashing. If we could get him in the pilot seat, well, we may have still crashed–the situation was definitely dire–but there was at least a possibility that we’d end up relatively okay… alive and standing on the wings of the downed plane in the Hudson River, a la Chessley Sullenberger, if you will.
I really thought that our fellow passengers would come to realize our plight, and vote to put an experienced pilot at the controls. But I was wrong. Far far too many of us either don’t see how dire are the straits we are in, or have convinced themselves, despite overwhelming proof to the contrary, that more of the same policies will keep us aloft.
So I have had to re-think my analogy. Now, the plane we are flying in is headed straight toward the Statue of Liberty. It is being piloted by a man who wants to radically transform this country. He knows exactly what he is doing. The cockpit door is locked, and this pilot has Czars and Cabinet Secretaries with boxcutters standing guard. Many of us realize that this is a one-way trip, and that we won’t get out of it without a huge crash and terrible things happening. But once you realize you’re definitely going to crash, the way you crash, well, it matters a great deal.
So here we are, just over half a nation of free-stuff moochers; just under half a nation of Todd Beamers. I’m hoping that all of us Todd Beamers will have the courage to do whatever it takes to avoid having our plane crash into and demolish the most potent symbol of freedom in the world.
And perhaps in the smoking wreckage of some Shanksville, a few people will emerge from the smoldering ruins and begin the arduous task of re-building our nation.
Let’s roll, people.