If a rising tide lifts all boats, then the converse is also true.
And, watching the Republican debate last night, I couldn’t help but wonder at the refuse left behind when the tide of civility pulls away. Men in suits–adults all–left foundering in the mud, reaching down and throwing handfuls of muck at one another.
Is that really the best that they’ve got? Is this really the best we can do?
Growing up somewhat near to the seashore, I spent a good part of my youth exploring the beach. Low tides were the perfect time to go hunting for all sorts of creatures that the receding ocean had spit out, and left behind. Sometimes, there were real treasures–starfish, intact sand dollars, even horseshoe crabs. These last had our respect, relics of a time long-gone as they are, and we always helped them (carefully) back into the water. Starfish we’d often put into pails of sea water so that we could watch and gingerly touch them before returning them back to the sea.
But it’s the crabs that I’m left thinking about this morning. Those silly, self-important, sideways-walking creatures that always seemed to be just itching for a fight, whether with other crabs or our innocent toes. They’d scurry around, exposed, scavenging through the other stuff that had washed up, while trying to avoid the seagulls. Duck and cover. Avoid and scurry.
Those politicians last night, sizing one another up like boxers in a ring, were crabs on the beach, comparing the length of their claws. It was dismal; it was embarrassing; it was a sign of so much more that’s wrong in our country today. When the bottom feeders are in line for the highest political position in this land, you have to wonder about both our evolution as a people and as a nation. Where exactly are we headed?
For now, I’m doing my best to not simply stick my head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening. But that doesn’t mean I’m not fervently waiting for the tide to return.