There is a legend, though many swear it to be fact, concerning groups of land pirates referred to as Wreckers or Mooncussers. From New England, through the Carolinas and all the way down to Florida, maritime folklore tells of heartless scoundrels that roamed coastlines waiting for just the right opportunity to shipwreck, steal, and destroy incoming merchant ships.
This treachery was achieved by first snuffing out illumination from the nearby lighthouse. Next, the Wreckers learned they could place lights called Judas Lanterns on a horse and then leading it down the beach, cause incoming vessels to believe it was another ship. Finally, having caused the approaching ship to misjudge its distance to the shoreline, it would run aground, where the Mooncussers would spoliate the vessel. Keep in mind that this heinous act of skullduggery worked best in foul weather. For these maritime Wreckers, shadows were friends and the darkness was an ally. Too much moonlight made the outlaws visible, so they cursed the lunar light, hence the name Mooncussers.
These days all that remains of the Mooncussers is the legend that bears their name. But I find myself wondering if the spirit of those coastal gangs doesn’t still manifest itself like dreaded apparitions roaming through the hallways of our most preeminent government buildings. How else are we to regard the individuals who serve in those structures using misdirection and stealth in the face of looming catastrophe, knowing that foreign entities lie in wait to pillage our rightful property, possessions and freedoms?
Our collective constitutional freedoms were meant to serve as a brilliant beacon of hope from a trusted lighthouse, elevated on the noble shoulders of those who are elected to uphold its glory. As the ship of America sails into the future, what are we passengers to believe, when the inspirational and crystalline contents of our Constitution are unapologetically clouded up and replaced by the murky language of Mooncussers? The course of our nation’s future rests in the hands of those at the helm in Washington, D.C., but how do we trust hands that are more skilled in misdirection than in navigating towards something as visionary as a Manifest Destiny?
The latest example of a modern day Judas Lantern is called sequestration. Does the public really understand that “cuts,” in government lingo, actually mean reductions to planned increases allocated in the federal budget? In other words, “cuts,” in government terminology, mean a slower, but steady escalation of the yearly deficit and of our growing bondage to foreign countries holding our national debt.
John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, stated on a recent airing of NBC’s “Meet The Press,” ”I don’t think anyone quite understands how it gets resolved.” Really? That is a remarkable bit of insight from one of our country’s leading spokesmen.
Can you hear that ominous, deafening, cracking sound? That is the sound of our nation’s bow caving in as it smashes into the reef of economic disaster.
What we need are leaders who will actually reduce the load of debt that our national ship now carries, while at the same time expanding our area in the global economic ocean, before we run aground.