On the Issues: Righting the Ship of State

As I began to write this op-ed, I was in the mid-Atlantic aboard a 330-meter-long cruise ship, returning to the United States after visiting Greece, Spain, and Portugal. After departure from the Azores Islands, our ship headed southwest to skirt a gathering storm. Still, we experienced gale-force winds, and 15-foot ocean swells that resulted in the ship listing and rolling – in what one might call a rather tempestuous experience. (Click the title above to continue reading if necessary.)

A day and a half later, we shifted course – this time to the northwest – to go around another brewing storm. These ocean storms and our peregrinations undertaken to avoid the maelstrom made me think about the upheaval of the pending 2024 elections and the need to right our ship of state. Please permit me to use a nautical metaphor to explain what I see happening to this great nation of ours at the present moment.

The American ship of state is now commanded by the precarious Joseph Biden, whom I consider the equivalent to Captain Ahab of the whaling ship Pequod in Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Ahab's obsession with his nemesis ultimately leads to the destruction of the Pequod and the loss of many lives. Our captain, Joe Biden, is hell-bent on chasing his Great White Whale, Donald Trump, with the intent of destroying him. This can be seen in his weaponization of the U.S. Justice Department, the FBI, and various politically motivated investigations lawsuits brought against the former president.

In this metaphor, the U.S.A. can be equated with the Pequod, Ahab's ship. Our ship of state is undergoing an upheaval, colliding with the Great White Wale and being beaten with the vacillating waves of public opinion stemming from Biden's out-of-control policies. Loose cannons by the names of Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are rolling across the deck, causing constant mayhem. Hands like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her "Squad" are seemingly in control of the helm, steering the ship of state this way and that, causing our vessel to sway to and fro, careening as it does from place to place, as with no port in mind.

Despite hands at the helm, the U.S.A. casts about, tempest-tossed, because it is a ship without a rudder. We are hemmed in on every side with wind and wave. Our ship's sails, full of winds from every corner of the compass, drive us aimlessly while we require a safe port. Intense political, social, and economic winds of change sweep our deck. There are no lifeboats on this ship. If the ship goes down, we suffer the same fate as our bark. Swimming is not an option here at mid-ocean, where we are bereft of all succor.

Oh, Captain! Our Captain! Into what peril, what plight have you steered us? It's time to replace you with a new commander, reign in the loose cannons, outfit our ship with a new rudder, put skillful hands at the helm, and chart a new course.

It's clear from this analogy that the American ship of state is in a perilous situation. But we must clarify what threatens this nation, her people, and what they value. While conservatives value family, faith, and freedom, progressives are doing everything they can to attack such values. We are experiencing hurricane-force winds in opposition to all we hold dear. Consider the following:


  • PARENTS' RIGHTS: The federal government is taking over the education of our children in public schools, and much of the new curriculum constitutes little more than socialist indoctrination.
  • EDUCATIONAL MALFEASANCE: Our children in public schools are being forced to endure comprehensive sex education, DEI, the 1619 Project, CRT, and LGBTQIA+ inclusive education.
  • CHILDREN'S SAFETY: Parents are losing their rights as the primary educators of their children to school boards and being forced to co-parent along with the government.
  • SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Social reformers – political, business, media, and social elites – are intent on imposing progressive views about marriage on society.
  • ABORTION: The current federal administration is doing everything it can to promote Roe vs. Wade's historic reversal and guarantee abortion.

All these efforts serve to undermine traditional family values. All serve to weaken the family structure and promote alternative lifestyles. It is the liberal Left that most often promotes a secular agenda that conflicts with our long-held culture of faith.


  • SECULARIZATION OF SOCIETY: The radical Left change agents advocate for removing religious symbols, the Ten Commandments, and any mention of a deity from spaces such as schools, courtrooms, and the public square.
  • RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: Progressive government officials at national, state, and local levels used health care mandates during COVID-19 to force the shutdown of religious institutions while "essential services" were allowed to remain open.
  • EROSION OF MORAL VALUES: Reform-minded Leftists in federal, state, and local officials promote secular sex education and the LGBTQ agenda in public schools and libraries and support educational media that is often seen as morally objectionable.
  • SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: Social reformers often promote a supposed constitutionally-based separation of church and state to oppose public funding for religiously affiliated institutions and advocate for various social policies or "rights" that can be interpreted as hostile to religious beliefs.
  • RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: Individuals with traditional views on marriage, gender, and sexuality often perceive government mandates concerning healthcare coverage for contraception and abortion, as well as nondiscrimination laws encompassing sexual orientation and gender identity, as encroachments on the constitutionally protected freedoms of both individuals and religious institutions.

All these assaults undermine the role of faith in society – especially Christianity. Progressives also promote a supposedly liberal agenda that conflicts with matters of freedom and affronts our sense of patriotism.


  • WOMEN'S RIGHTS: Equality advocates, supposedly intent on expanding human rights, are working overtime to shut women out of sports and restrooms because men who identify as women have taken over.
  • GUN CONTROL: Advocates for social change, and even many moderates, support stricter gun control measures such as universal background checks, bans on so-called assault weapons, and limits on magazine capacities, thereby removing from the law-abiding citizens the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to protect our freedoms and provide for self-defense.
  • FREEDOM OF SPEECH: The Left's supposed emphasis on combating hate speech, disinformation, and online harassment has led to censorship and restrictions on freedom of speech, particularly on social media platforms and college campuses.
  • ECONOMIC POLICIES: Progressive economic policies, such as higher "fair share" taxes on the wealthy and increased business regulation, crush the entrepreneurial spirit and individual economic freedoms by reallocating wealth and stifling opportunities for economic growth.
  • HEALTHCARE: Liberal healthcare reform, such as Obamacare, Medicare for All, or limited insurance options, often expands government control over healthcare decisions and limits personal choice.

These actions serve to remove constitutionally derived or natural-law freedoms. They also weaken the role of the individual in decision-making and turn it over to the government. As is common to socialist societies and communist states, the rights of the many are coming to dominate the rights of the few.


RETURNING TO OUR METAPHOR: The U.S.A. is tempest-tossed due to the progressive Left's incessant pursuit of policy goals dealing with unacceptable political, economic, and social reform. Our ship of state is currently listing and in danger of foundering in a fierce storm of political partisanship. Waves are washing over the deck, and our hatches are not battened down. We are taking on water, our hold is filling, and the ship is slowly sinking. Loose cannons are rolling about the deck, crashing into and destroying everything they intrude upon. Valiant sailors battling the storm are being swept overboard by the wind and the waves. We are adrift and at the mercy of the storm while our captain stands listless, confused, and indecisive. We are rudderless with gale-force winds, without a set course, and with no safe harbor in sight. We must furl the sails, batten down the hatches, restrain loose cannons, hold tight, and ride out the storm to survive – at least until the next election. Will we right the ship of state in November, or will we be a ship of fools?

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