The Ahab Virus
The story of Captain Ahab and Moby Dick is a fitting one given our current state of political affairs. Moby Dick was an 1851 novel written by Herman Melville that told the fictional story of a man bent on killing a whale, that in a previous encounter took one of his legs as a souvenir. Captain Ahab lost all reason and common sense as he convinced his crew to follow him into the blinding rage he had against this whale. In the end, all but one crewman survived Moby Dick’s fixed assault on the ship. If you’re wondering what happened to Ahab, well, he gets entangled in a harpoon and dragged out to the deep murky sea, swallowed up in his own revenge.
The Dems have caught the dreaded Ahab Virus and it’s painfully clear that they don’t know exactly what to do with themselves. You can see that bloodthirsty zombie gaze in their eyes, bent on taking down President Trump no matter what it costs, even to their own detriment. Typically, as humans, we exercise what’s called self-preservation because at some point it’s about surviving even if it takes us off of our mission for a moment. The Dem’s however have gone kamikaze, fully losing their sense of survival. It’s quite a spectacle to see people going apoplectic and imploding right before our very eyes. When the Speaker of the House is brazen enough to tear up The President’s speech before the house and on public television, you know that a political iceberg has just been hit! But, instead of abandoning the vessel they’ve chosen to go down with the ship, like the musicians on The Titanic. Watching this play-out in real time is as shocking as the first bite Mike Tyson took of Holyfield’s ear during their second bout. Tyson couldn’t take the fact that Holyfield played a better technical game than he, in both fights. Rage had consumed Tyson so much that he lost all reason as he spit chunks of Evander’s ear in the ring, unconcerned with what it looked like to the rest of the world. How did we become so “Us” against “Them” or so… “FUBU”? You’ll have to look that up.
In some way I believe that all sides share some of the blame. No one is escaping without owning a percentage of responsibility for why things are the way they are. As consumers of political content we end up getting caught in the middle and even contributing to these divisions. We can’t be afraid to admit that we’ve done wrong. For me there isn’t enough sweet tea in the world to drink myself into a stupor and deny these cold facts. Can our allegiance be so blind that we forget how to be truthful and intellectually honest with ourselves? Are we like the coming autonomous vehicles where there’s no one behind the wheel, but instead we’re pre-programmed to obey and react accordingly? These are questions we must ask ourselves. What we believe should hold up to scrutiny without having to bludgeon our opponent, or else we need to go back to the drawing board.
The Bible says “Pride goes before destruction a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18 NIV). It was the devil that was cast down from heaven after a failed coup. He’s never quite put his rage against God to death, his creator, and holding the coveted position he couldn’t have. As with the devil’s rage, this is the Dems new normal with acceptable collateral damage. Watching them eat their own is like another form of cannibalism, clearing the field for whatever bloodied candidate survives. No doubt the Ahab Virus has went from being spread by touch to going completely airborne. The extremes on the left are in living color. Bernie wants to give out free stuff like candy (which tastes good but rots your teeth and gives you diabetes), while Biden, is well, Biden. As they duke it out neither one of these guys are very exciting and the establishment is obviously not happy about the choices before them. But, they are of one mind when it comes to getting things back to big government and handouts. Bernie and Biden may not agree on how to get there but the road they are on still takes both of them to la la land.
In my old neighborhood there was a woman that we used to call Big Mama. Big mama had a small business where she sold penny candy. We would run over to her house after school and fill our pockets up with a bunch of sugar. She had all different kinds of goodies stockpiled in her basement, neatly categorized, and of course the price was affordable for us kids. Big Mama was a black entrepreneur that made a killing off of us. She found a way, through hard work and great marketing to make money, pay her mortgage and calm our sweet tooth at the same time. She wasn’t leaning on the government for her needs, she was independent. There’s something good and healthy about the struggle of finding your way, but there’s nothing good about being given everything you need for free, without there being extreme circumstances. I’m not saying that there’s never a time when one might need some assistance. We should make every effort to rally around widows, mothers with children and the physically and mentally challenged. Even The Bible talks about gleaning in the Old Testament. “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:9-10 NIV). Now before you run off thinking that you meet this criteria, remember what God told Adam: “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food” (Genesis 3:19 NIV). Meaning you have to work in order to eat, but if you fall on hard times here’s some help. As black folks, one might say that we didn’t start off with any advantages and in fact our beginnings in this country have put us at the greatest disadvantage. Although there is some lingering systematic residue that’s made it harder for us, it’s mainly physiological hurdles that we as black folks need to overcome. As a truth, the shackles of mental slavery may be more difficult to break than the iron ones ever were.
We can’t mess up the status quo without expecting tremendous push back. They say to themselves, what would happen if we really lost the black and brown vote? God forbid we break those old rusty chains. For me it’s not even about becoming a republican or conservative as much as it’s about listening intently, without having built in prejudices. We cut off the opportunity to learn and grow when we become indifferent and fragile. Don’t get it twisted though, I don’t agree with anybody all the time. We’re going to have disagreements and robust conversations, but I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid for anyone; feel me? I believe President Trump will win this next election primarily because his policies are working and the Dem’s have nothing to offer but bad ideas and a sin-sick hatred for anything associated with our president. For the voter, the real question is why mess with something that’s not broke?
Ahab’s death was predictable. His hatred robbed him of all caution. What could he have been thinking once he saw the writing on the wall? Did he say to himself “I’ve made a mistake” or as he took his last breath was he still shaking his fist at the great whale? In a military conflict you sometimes win or loose a skirmish here and there but your focus is to win the overall war. Ahab didn’t have that as his motive, nor did he seem to care. He first lost his leg and then he lost his life while the whale went on about his business. As the world is dealing with the coronavirus, and its very real impact, there’s another virus lingering in the background that has a different kind of M.O. You can’t wash your hands enough to kill it, it’s an OS (operating system) issue. You actually need a hard-reset. In closing, we have to be carful not to fall into the trap of an “Allegiance No Matter What” mentality. We risk not being able to move forward if we can’t listen intently to the other side. I don’t hate liberals but I vigorously hate their philosophy. If you are a Christian, remember that God tells us to pray for our leaders even if we don’t like the way things are going. Paul said “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior,” (1 Timothy 2:1-3 NIV). We can be critical of belief structures but we should always walk in love. There’s an opportunity to win the hearts and minds of black and brown people like never before. Now go wash your hands!!!