“Power, without honor or trust, is tyranny.” Ron Ewart, national author and speaker
3-9-14 The other night we watched the Crimson Tide movie again with Gene Hackman as Captain Ramsey and Denzel Washington as Executive Officer (XO) Hunter, commanding a nuclear submarine, the Alabama. The Alabama is sent on a mission to destroy a Russian naval and missile base that had been taken over by Russian rebels who were threatening to fire nuclear missiles at the U. S. if the rebel’s demands weren’t met by the Russian Government. The Alabama received an order from central command to fire their nuclear missiles at the Russian naval base, but while submerged and preparing to launch, it came under attack by a rogue Russian submarine. During the attack a message came in from central command but was cut off mid message. The Alabama ultimately destroyed the Russian submarine, but in the process of the fierce battle, it lost its radio and thus could not confirm the content of the second message.
The crux of the movie was about the dispute between Captain Ramsey and XO Hunter over the decision to fire nuclear missiles and the potential dire consequences, without knowing what was in the second message. The Captain was determined to fire, but the XO was determined to not fire until the 2nd message was received in full. In the end, the radio was fixed, the message came in and central command had rescinded the order to fire the Alabama’s nuclear missiles. The Captain was wrong and the XO was proved right, thankfully.
But this time as we watched the movie, it was different somehow. We were suddenly struck by the parallels between the operation of a nuclear submarine and the operation of a Constitutional Republic. A nuclear submarine has virtually more destructive firepower than all the weapons fired in World War II. With 24 nuclear tipped missiles, each having at least 10 nuclear devices in them, a nuclear submarine can rain Hell fire down on targets that will totally obliterate them, along with tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousand lives. That is just one nuclear submarine. The United States has many nuclear submarines.
The United States of America, under the command of the President, controls the firepower of the combined army, navy, air force, marines and coast guard. No nation on earth has this much power in the hands of one man that can pull the “trigger” to save the nation, or pull the “trigger” on an insane whim. The captain of a nuclear submarine and the President of the United States have the same exact awesome responsibility and it is only different in the degree of how much firepower each can unleash. The captain answers to the President. But the President answers to ….. ?
In theory, a nuclear submarine operates to preserve Democracy, not to practice it. In contrast, and as designed, a Constitutional Republic operates to preserve a Democracy as well, but with a different set of less-rigid instructions. The nuclear submarine operates under the intransigent and fixed Rules of Navy Regulations and a chain of command from which there can be no deviation without serious consequences for the offender. A Constitutional Republic operates under the Supreme Law of the Land, the U. S. Constitution, and the laws that are Continue reading