You know, I had a nice, light post ready for today. I was going to talk more about big robots. Go into a little more detail about where my love of the genre comes from. Give Pacific Rim a bit more love. But I can’t in good conscience do that. Why, you ask?
My government is having a tantrum that puts most four-year-olds to shame right now.
More specifically, the House of Representatives is doing the governmental equivalent of crossing its arms, pouting, and refusing to do anything whatsoever because it didn’t get what it wanted. It didn’t convince the President and the Senate to consider changing the Affordable Care Act. So, this august body of elected officials has decided that if it ain’t happy, nobody’s happy, and has pulled the plug on the federal government. The Library of Congress? Closed. NASA? Shut down. Employees? Out of a job, at least for the time being. A lot of so-called journalists are asking “Who’s to blame?” and pointing fingers at the President, at the House, at the Tea Party…
…and it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter who’s to blame, even if the answer should be fairly obvious to a reasonable human being. I would love to just tell everybody I know what bad news the Tea Party is or has been for years, but Chuck Wendig’s already covered that far better than I ever could. In the end, though, it’s not about blame. It shouldn’t be about who’s at fault for the United States government being in this sorry state. What should matter is, how are people going to live? Why are families with no connection to this particular debate being made to suffer because of obstinate thinking and overblown rhetoric on such a massive scale?
And what can we, the people, do about it?
That’s probably not a question the government wants us to consider. They’d like us to forget that “of the people, by the people, and for the people” is the assumed manner under which they’re meant to operate. Instead, for years the government (Congress in particular) has operated of themselves, by themselves, for themselves. I’m not a big conspiracy nut, but I don’t consider this a conspiracy. In fact, in light of recent events, it seems rather obvious. With rhetoric aimed at instilling fear and pointing fingers, they have taken power away from the constituents and squirreled it away in the hopes of putting the disenfranchised in an even worse position so they can elevate themselves. As much as I think making the blame game the central question of the shutdown is detrimental to progress, it should be clear that no matter how it began, the end result of this is a government uninterested in the common citizen to the point of refusing to do what’s in the population’s best interest.
I’m not saying we should rise up against our leaders. I’m not calling for revolution or anarchy or anything like that. Violence won’t solve this. It’ll just make things worse.
However, I don’t want this to be forgotten.
Sooner or later, the parties will come back to the table. Some sort of compromise will be negotiated. A deal will be struck. And the government, Congress in particular, will hope that we just forget this ever happened.
If you and I have anything to say about it, we will never forget.
We should remain vocal. We should assert our rights. We should make our leaders aware of what this will cost them. We should keep in touch with one another, do what we can to keep ourselves going, share stories, offer comfort. And we should vote.
I’m not calling on my fellow Americans to take up arms. Instead, I want them to remember.
I know the first of October does not lend itself to catchy rhymes as much as the fifth of November does, but…
Hey, I’m just saying.
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”