Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Parable about Air Traffic Controllers, or How Liberals Fly Without the Rules

I have a friend who is a retired air traffic controller. He worked many years, standing in a control tower, reading radar screens, and directing air traffic in order to keep hundreds of jets and planes from crashing into each other. The pilots of the aircraft trusted him to make good decisions. In fact, they trusted him with their lives as he guided them away from danger and toward a safe landing.

To help him in his job, he followed a set of rules to keep all of the aircraft safe. Foremost, he had to follow the rules to keep the aircraft separated at a safe distance, taking into account both vertical and horizontal dangers. Some dangers weren't visible, like wake turbulence and wingtip vortices, which could destabilize or flip other aircraft. Occasionally, conflict between two aircraft would occur when they got too close to each other. The rules provided a buffer zone around each aircraft to prevent immediate disaster, and the rules helped the air traffic controller guide the two aircraft back into safe distances.

Modern conservatism bases its rules on the Constitution and the original ideals of the Founding Fathers. They understood as well as anyone, the dangers of government, as well as the dangers of individuals who don't follow the rules. Some dangers are immediate and obvious. Some are not visible.

Conservatives are the air traffic controllers of our day, desperately trying to enforce the rules to keep America from crashing and falling. Just as the air traffic controller believes the rules should apply to all aircraft to keep them all safe, conservatives believe the rules of the Constitution should apply to all Americans. Conservatives understand that to ignore the rules is to invite disaster.

Modern liberalism, on the other hand, bases its rules on political expediency and bankrupt socialist doctrine. Liberals believe in a "living" Constitution that can change according to the latest progressive dogmas. Liberals are like airplane pilots who ignore the control tower, thinking that every new idea is good. They fly in any direction, at any speed, and at any altitude, secure in the knowledge that they know better than some old-fashioned, outdated rules.

Occasionally,  a few pilots crash and burn, but liberals merely blame the air traffic controller for not keeping them safe. Then, they are off in another random direction, secure in their own wisdom that they are not the root cause of all the mid-air collisions.

Meanwhile, conservatives point to the rules and warn of dangers to come. Instead of heeding the warnings, liberals find new and ever shrill means to denigrate those left in the control tower.

"You don't want me to be free," they exclaim.

"You're in danger," the conservatives answer.

"You're taking away our rights," liberals shout back.

"You're destroying the rules that protect all of us," warn the conservatives.

"The rules are old-fashioned," they respond. "Start living in the 21st Century!"

"You're going to crash!" warn the conservatives.

"You're just a bunch of angry, white, bigoted, racist, misogynistic, homophobes!" they shout, as they steer their aircraft straight into the side of a mountain.


Should we, as modern conservatives, just give up the fight and leave the world to liberalism? At this point, the fiery crashes seem inevitable. I've often thought to just give up and let the world burn. Yet, there is something inside me that sees that the Constitution is still worth defending, that those good, old rules still offer the best hope to all individuals. I, for one, will continue to be a voice of warning.