The Greek philosopher Plato was the first to coin the phrase “ship of state”, a phrase that has survived for so very long because it’s so apropos. Here’s how President Obama used the metaphor:
[Nations] are, he said, like ocean liners: you turn the wheel slowly, and the big ship pivots. “Sometimes your job is just to make stuff work,” Obama said. “Sometimes the task of government is to make incremental improvements or try to steer the ocean liner two degrees north or south so that, ten years from now, suddenly we’re in a very different place than we were. At the moment, people may feel like we need a fifty-degree turn; we don’t need a two-degree turn. And you say, ‘Well, if I turn fifty degrees, the whole ship turns’ ” over. Note that the President wasn’t saying that big ships aren’t worth turning, just that it takes time. Their very bigness is what makes them turn slowly, but their bigness is also what makes them worth turning. (source)
He’s right about the ship. I’ve steered an aircraft carrier (USS Ranger (CV-61) in 1983), and yes, the bigger the ship, the slower it turns. Try to turn it too fast, and inertia forces it to list too far to one side during the turn, and a great deal of damage occurs within the interior compartments of the ship. It can even capsize and sink.
So it goes with nations — make them shift too far, too quickly, and bad things happen. The examples are legion: the English civil war under Cromwell, the French revolution that enabled Napoleon, the October Revolution in Russia, the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward in China, to name but a very few.
I want America to be a social democracy — I really do. It’s the best form of government in the world today, as evinced by ALL the other first-world democracies. But Bernie’s not the one to make that happen…especially since he can’t get elected. Hold on before you lose your temper — here’s what you need to consider:
- Russia supports Bernie;
- Trump actually told Republicans to go vote for Bernie in the South Carolina primary; and
- Within a day of Biden winning big in the Super Tuesday primaries, the GOP began calling for more investigations of him.
I know, I know, Bernie disavowed any help from Russia or anyone else…but that does not matter one whit. What does matter is that Russia’s still doing what they can on social media to build him up and tear Biden down.
Why? Because Russia and Trump both believe that they can beat Bernie, and that they can’t beat Biden.
And here’s the key: under Biden, America’s progress to becoming a social democracy will not happen right away, though he will continue the slow-and-steady process began and supported by Democratic presidents ever since FDR. However, if Bernie’s the Democratic nominee, he’s not going to win. We would have four more years under Trump, and you will get precisely ZERO (or negative) progress towards social democracy.
You can have some progress, or you can have none. You don’t have to like the choice, but that is the only choice you have, because Bernie’s not going to be elected.