I’ve been trying to think of the best analogy for the still rolling 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck. Suddenly, while watching “Airplane!” it came to me.
Ironically (and annoyingly), the ideal analogy for how the Democrats/”resistance”/mainstream media “Axis of Unethical Conduct” has behaved is an airplane analogy rather than a train analogy, and I hate mixed metaphors. Never mind.
During the entire 2016 campaign, I argued with a succession of Hillary Haters regarding my announcement that I was prepared to hold my nose, suppress my gag reflex and have six shots of bourbon in order to vote for Clinton on election day. I explained that I believed it to be per se unethical for a candidate as loathsome as Donald Trump to be allowed to become President of the United States. Here or elsewhere I wrote that it was like having a choice in an in-flight emergency of having a horrible, untrustworthy pilot flying your passenger plane or a dog.
As I recently recounted, I changed my conclusion at almost the last second, deciding that I couldn’t justify voting for either Clinton or Trump. The airplane analogy is still a useful one, however, though the conditions have changed.
Now let’s imagine that we are all on a commercial airliner amidst the crisis that has fueled the drama in so many movies (and the comedy in the parody of them.) The pilot and co-pilot have been killed or disabled, so one of the passengers (or a cross-eyed flight attendant, as in “Airport 75”) has to fly the plane and eventually land it safely against all odds.
In our fictional flight, there are no good options: the few passengers have plausibly useful experience are afraid to take responsibility. One passenger, a cocky rich guy, however, volunteers for the job. Almost nobody can stand him, and he has dubious qualifications at best (In “Snakes on a Plane,” a gamer who played a lot of flight simulating games agrees to try to land the aircraft. In “Airplane!,” of course, ex-fighter pilot Ted Stryker, seen above sweating at the controls , has a phobia about flying that led to his “drinking problem”). Still, the rich jerk is the choice, and he takes the controls as the plane prepares to survive storms, high winds, wind-shear, missiles fired from the land, meteors, would-be hijackers, you name it.
He’s over his head, maybe he knows it, but in any case, he needs luck and all the help he can get or everyone’s dead.
But one faction on the plane is outraged that their lives depend on someone they distrust and deeply dislike. So they take votes among the passengers about whether the volunteer pilot should be dragged out of the cockpit. The spread rumors that he’s insane, and determined to make this a suicide flight, or take them all to Russia.
They verbally and even physically abuse any passenger who thinks they should be supportive of the man flying the plane. Theybang on the door, and shout threats and insults at the amateur pilot. Finally some of them get in the cockpit, and yell in his ears from both sides as he’s trying to fly: “Why are you going that way? Turn around! You’re insane, aren’t you? Hey everybody, he’s trying to kill us! Hey! You planned all this, didn’t you! You think you can cash in from this if you land the plane, which, you know, you can’t! Turn around! Land down there! Try to crash the plane somewhere safe! You’re an idiot!” and so on, continuously and with no let-up.
And somehow he keeps flying, trying to do the best job he can, while periodically lashing out at the passengers behaving so irresponsibly.
That’s the Presidency of Donald Trump so far.
Who are the villains in this movie?