In 1864, East Tennessee native Admiral David Farragut shouted those words as his ships were stalled in Mobile Bay by Confederate torpedoes. Here’s how Ned Jilton II of the Times News described the dramatic and critical battle in a feature piece on 8/13/20.
“Early on the morning of Aug. 5, 1864, Farragut’s fleet began to advance. The monitors and the forts started to exchange fire. To better evaluate the battle, the admiral climbed up into the rigging of his flagship as officers and sailors took up positions to relay his orders to the crew.
As the fleet entered the bay, the lead monitor, the USS Tecumseh, began to turn to engage the CSS Tennessee when an explosion ripped through its hull. The monitor had struck a torpedo and quickly sank with most of her crew.
The ships behind Tecumseh, fearing more torpedoes, slowed and nearly stopped as the vessel sank, forcing the ships behind them to slow. The fleet bunched up, giving the big guns of the forts easy, slow moving targets. The admiral’s plan was quickly falling apart.
Farragut shouted through a trumpet to the USS Brooklyn ahead, “What’s the trouble?” To which he received the reply, “Torpedoes.”
Farragut gave the legendary reply, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”
Spurred on by those words, the fleet began to move forward again and into the bay. There they attacked the Rebel fleet until the only ship left fighting was the CSS Tennessee. Farragut’s fleet converged on the mighty Confederate ironclad and pounded it with cannons and then resorted to repeatedly ramming the vessel before it finally surrendered.”
So why do I bring this up at this time? News reports these days are full of scary predictions of how Republicans will more than likely retake the House and possibly the Senate in the ’22 midterm elections. Despite every sign, every indication that Trump-led Republicans have become the party of No, of obstruction, of blocking all Democratic initiatives despite their obvious benefit to ordinary Americans struggling with the realities of a deadly pandemic and its effect on employment, the world economy, action against the climate crisis, and of supporting a megalomaniac autocrat who instigated, and possibly organized, a coup against our government, voters are still ready and poised to turn the Congress over to this party of do-nothings and death threats. It’s discouraging, to say the least, and causes me to lose hope in the efficacy, wisdom, common sense, and even sanity of our country.
My only hope is the battle cry of Admiral Farragut, which I’ll paraphrase here: Damn the predictions. Full speed ahead! Often in our country when we hear a prediction of a sure-thing defeat, the underdogs get inspired and show the pundits a thing or three. We’ve seen it in sports many times, witness the ’69 Mets, witness Jack Fleck beating Ben Hogan in the U.S Open in ’55, witness the “Miracle on Ice” when the men’s U.S. hockey team beat the Soviets at Lake Placid in the gold medal game in 1980. And we’ve seen it in politics. Witness Lincoln beating Douglas in 1860, witness Truman beating Dewey in ’48, witness Kennedy beating Nixon in ’60, witness Clinton beating Bush in ’92, witness Obama beating McCain in ’08, witness Biden beating Trump in ’20, and witness two unknown Democrats beating shoe-in incumbent Republicans in the crucial Georgia U.S. Senate races in ’21.
What happens in both sports and politics is that people get inspired, and when people get inspired all bets are off. It’s Katy bar the door! And I think that could well happen in 2022. The constant barrage of media prognostications of Republican victories will scare the pants off Democratic voters nationwide, not only retaining the Democrats’ control of Congress but widening the party’s majorities, giving Joe Biden a tremendous victory and restoring the country’s forward movement under his leadership. The case against Trump’s seditious acts will continue, leading to a ruling that, if not landing him in prison, will deny him the opportunity of ever running for public office again, from dog catcher to president.
How about it Dems? Isn’t that enough to get you out of your pandemic malaise and get to the polls this November? Let’s show the bastards something they never figured: a Democratic landslide significantly increasing Democratic majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate. That’ll put the nail in the political coffins of such spineless cowards and traitors as McCarthy, McConnell, Hawley, Taylor Greene, Jordan, Cawthorne, Brooks, and, yes, Donald Trump. It also relegates DINO’s Manchin and Sinema to the back benches where they belong. It lets Joe Biden proceed with an agenda that will reenergize this country in ways we haven’t seen since FDR got us on the path out of the Great Depression, or JFK had us believing in Camelot for the coming 60s.
All because Dems came out in droves and voted in such numbers in 2022 that no amount of Republican voter suppression or partisan Trump-infused election officials or even the toxified Trump Supreme Court could reverse. It’s all in your hands, my hands, our hands.
Just do it as Admiral Farragut did it, and damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!
Two new books of mine will give you further insight into my thinking and may inspire you further in dealing with the challenges our present world presents. They are Into the Woods…and Beyond, and The Valley Spirit, both available at Amazon. Thank you.