The Next Monument to US Leaders Should Be Located at the Seashore, not on the Washington Mall
Wanted: Sculptor who works in bronze to construct life-sized group of statues of President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, all to be mounted at the high tide line below a high cliff in Maine’s Acadia National Park.
There what’s left of American posterity can watch as the seas rise inexorably over the coming years and decades, first lapping at the feet of the statues, then the knees, then the waists, then the chests and finally cover over the heads of these “leaders” in Washington who have cynically and foolishly squandered the last opportunity to take effective action to combat climate change.
Such a sculpture would give the lie to these climate deniers, as rise of the sea level due to warming of the ocean and to the melting of the polar caps and the mountain glaciers gradually swamps and submerges these images. It would also serve as a focal point for shaming those politicians who allowed short-term political and monetary gain to blind them to the need for true leadership and action in combatting the gravest threat to humanity and to life on the planet since a comet blasted the earth 65 million years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs.
I imagine other people could be added to this sinking monument: the Koch Brothers, those oil industry magnates who have been funding fake studies and fake political movements like the Tea Party aimed at further enriching themselves while attacking the science of climate change, or the chief executives of the major oil companies, especially at Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron Texaco and Shell, and of the big US auto companies, Ford and GM, who have worked assiduously to buy presidents and members of Congress over the years to assure that no serious action would be taken to reduce the use of oil and gas by Americans and by American industry. There should also be room left along the beach front for sculptures of whoever may be America’s next president and congressional leaders, though it is the current set who had a chance to take truly significant action and let it slip away.
This sculpture should be composed of an alloy that will stand up to the ravages of angry mobs of visitors who will of course want to pelt the depicted leaders with everything from rotten vegetables to dead fish and seagull crap -- actions which a permanent sign at the access parking lot should encourage tourists and pilgrims to participate in. It should also be designed to withstand the salt water, so that any people who manage to survive into future centuries will be able to visit this monument to unprecedented ignominy and leadership failure with the aid of diving gear, or a set of pearl divers’ lungs.