Modern wonders of the world number seven, the Golden Gate Bridge is but one. Two more, Panama Canal and Empire State Building give some context to what company this bridge keeps.
Sailing in the presence of one of the great wonders towering above leaves one stunned. Tidal forces are at play beneath the bridge, incessant corrosive sea salts are blown upon the steel and concrete.
In a stout wind sailing beneath the bridge is not a nonchalant experience. Winds and currents are tricky and the sagest of sailor’s tinker upon this piece of water with a care rendered by squeezing so hard to sheet, tiller or wheel that there is no room for blood to flow. Sailing beneath the wonder is often a white knuckle affair.
Most times with my course outbound luck has been bountiful. Not every time. I have in fool youth did not appreciate the wisdom of turning back and for that mistake then beaten by steep swell and high wind. Stubbornness retreats as motion sickness is threatened.
Here is a bridge our nation has stood up and by civilization’s collective agreement kept safe for transit. If the bridge were not constantly maintained the wild world would have long ago reclaimed this site.
Our forefathers, the people of the United States of America arranged by democracy to tax sufficiently, raise revenue by bridge toll, hire maintenance crew, keep in constant contact with expert engineers that by fact and science expertly keep the bridge in tip top shape.
Left Coast Sunset
Without such due-diligence there would remain nothing of use at the Golden Gate, this place of places. Our democracy to keep standing requires as much if not more care and guidance by empirical fact. A faith based belief system is not a mechanical engineering manual.
We are at the most delicate hour in the world’s longest surviving democracy. To keep one of the seven modern wonders of the world hail and whole seems beyond the talent or plans of the current gang of fascists circling about our vulnerable present moment.
With more people come more traffic lights, small towns need none. Order needs to be appreciated. An emptier world might suit a libertarian, this congested place demands further regulation. Imagining there would be a Golden Gate Bridge must have been a leap of faith in our country’s power. Our best educated, our most temperate people, reliable and self-sacrificing, possessing a sense of respect for our future, this is the kind that will help build upon what Joseph Strauss in 1917 first imagined.
Sailing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge reminds us of our souls, of mankind’s potential for greatness. Sending a man to the moon, circumnavigating the world, relishing the company of a wife or husband.
Capitalism is insufficient to the project of our governing this land. The means of advancing virtue and discouraging vice in our civic life is on the table and at risk. Turning away from the journey of being a free people would be to put all that we have done in peril. We stand on the shoulders and inherited much. I cannot imagine giving all that this nation has built to the tyrannical selfish and greedy few.