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Conceit on parade

September 7, 2020

I have participated in a few boat parades. The organizers always were careful about the combined wake from multiple boats running at the same time in a small area, and what damage that might cause to other boats nearby, to shore fixtures, to people in the water, and to the boats participating. Minding your wake is as basic to boating as stopping at red lights is to driving. No boat sank in any of those.

Three weeks back, a Trump boat parade created a large wake as it went through downtown Portland, sinking a boat. I noted that, but didn’t post on it, wondering if a pattern would follow. Well. This weekend, a Trump boat parade on Lake Travis sank five boats. That was not caused by inclement weather or feminist submariners. It was the result of careless, selfish, and dangerous behavior by bullies, unconcerned with what damage they do to others, relying on public services to pick up the pieces, while scoffing at legal regulation, at knowledge relevant to their endeavor, and even at the recent experience of those doing likewise.

So it is no surprise when one of the organizers of these parades is arrested and is facing felony charges for threatening someone. Three makes a pattern.

I have seen allusions to these fiascoes as metaphor. They aren’t, though. They are demonstration and example. Of the kind of behavior the Trump cult generates and relies upon. If any lawsuits come from these events, those held responsible will develop more hatred for what they malign as the deep state, and for what the rest of us recognize as providing a rule of law. The pity is they likely won’t learn, most of them long past the age where social behavior is learned. It isn’t hard to understand the sense behind the rules regarding wakes:

The general maritime rule applies to vessels of all types, from the largest ships to the smallest boats and personal watercraft, operating in the navigable waters of the United States… A vessel causing injury to others by her swell or wake is held responsible for any failure to appreciate the reasonable effect of her own speed and motion through the water at the particular place and under the particular circumstances where the injury occurred.

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