There is a Tide…

Posted on 20th May, 2011 by Meira

Around four hundred and fifty years ago William Shakespeare observed, in a speech delivered by Brutus in Julius Caesar, that:

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Brutus, William demonstrated, saw opportunity in the murderous machinations of his contemporaries much, I suspect, as Barack Obama sees opportunities in the events of his time in office.

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

The earliest, clear, example was the use of the tide that rose to eradicate the stench of the Bush/Cheney neo-conservatism on which  he rode convincingly into office and launched America’s much needed health care initiative. Such radical movement has, of course, led him into choppy waters fueled by reactions varying from attacks on his legitimacy, to the creation of the looney tune Tea Party, and it has not ended there. It continues now as candidates of the embarrassingly exposed, greedy, right, try to conjure up an image, for next year’s presidential election, acceptable to an electorate no longer fooled by the photogenic ‘All Americans’ to be found on Fox & Friends. Gingrich, Romney, and Ryan, not the best, but photogenic enough, all find themselves in contradictory situations as they try to justify the ludicrous expense of war against the deteriorating condition of the poor and elderly. Their cry not to raise taxes is sounding thin as it becomes increasingly obvious that rising expenditure demands rising income. Argue as they like, the no tax increase advocates cannot deny the loss of jobs, and it’s jobs, not profit margins, that drive the economy.

Had Obama not taken the opportunity to radically change: Had he, ‘Omitted, all the voyage of their life,’ he, like they, would be ‘… bound in shallows and in miseries.’

Happily he is about to float again on full seas as GOP candidates struggle to fool the electorate into believing there is no need to care for our poor, our sick, our elderly. You can be sure the huge profits being generated in the financial institutions saved from bankruptcy by the same poor, sick, and elderly, will not be obfuscated during next year’s campaign for control of the nation. The solid fact that health is not a revenue center – it is a social service center – this time will not be miscast by media with vested interest in drug and insurance companies, but will be openly discussed in the Indie world of informed bloggers, Utube, and Wikileaks.

The sad fact that the nation’s public healthcare is tarnished by workhouse imagery is not necessarily permanent. The nation’s healthcare could become the pride of the nation. It could become a beacon of healthcare against which all others are judged much as it is in France and Italy: The United States is rated thirty seven in the world, behind Porto Rico and Dominica. With an eye to service, and to care, as opposed to profit, the shame of our nation could be restored to its proper place as the healthcare and research center of the world. Once the shareholders’ interests are put in their proper place, and the greedy little money makers are driven back to the market stalls, the very best products of our medical schools could be drawn into a service of respect in which we could all rejoice. How would that be?

As we write the rising tide of democracy is surging through the Middle East leveling, as it goes, the despotic empires of Mubarak in Egypt, and Zine Ben Ali in Tunisia, with Gaddafi, and Saleh close on their heels. Such a tide will not go unused by the wise man in the White House: He will take it at the flood to be sure, and ride it all the way to Jerusalem and deep into the hearts and minds of all who scratch out a living upon the stony ground of the Middle East. The tide in the events of Middle Eastern men and women may well prove to be the undoing of centuries of machismo war mongering because it is borne on the waters of the informed. It is not a tide of ignorance and bigotry that was unleashed when The World Trade Centre was leveled; it is the tide of the young, the vigorous, the intelligent, released from the deceptions of bought and paid for media.

On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

About Philip Newman

Senior Concorde Flight Engineer Retired, Philip Newman, writes in support of sustainable energy technologies. His extensive travels in the Pacific, Antarctic, and tropical rainforests, his love of a good story, and his conviction that the Ancients were sophisticated solar technologists, all contribute to his series of novels about Meira, a green super-heroine.
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