I’ve seen quite a few sarcastic and Tweets and posts full of outrage this week as the United States government came minutes from a budget fiasco shutdown. I’ve posted quite a few of them myself. As the skies grew dark and the thunder peeled in the sky as the clouds of doom gathered over DC, I realized it wasn’t thunder. It was Ronald Reagan, FDR, JFK, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and all the signers of the Declaration of Independence turning over in their graves.
This is what the United States government has become – a bunch of bickering toddlers fighting over how to divide their graham crackers and milk. They are calling each other names and screaming, “Mine! Mine! Mine!” Forget that Johnny has more graham crackers than Teddy and will drop them all if he tries to pick up one more, but Johnny is looking out for Johnny, so he tries to take Teddy’s crackers and everything he’s holding tumbles to the floor. Then Teddy sees an opportunity to get more for himself and tries to pick up all of Johnny’s crackers. Then the tantrums begin.
When it’s all said and done, all that’s left are a bunch of soggy, broken, inedible graham crackers and two hungry, exhausted kids. Nothing was solved because they are still learning to share.
The biggest losers in this situation are the American people. Shame on you, United States government. You’re older and better than that. Previous generations have proven it. Abraham Lincoln said, “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.” The government has forgotten that, and shame on us, the people who voted for them, have let them.
After watching all the ridiculous posturing this week, using the plight of the 800,000 workers who would have been furloughed because of the infantile government tantrums explode all over the press coverage, I was very disturbed about how our government’s inability to govern and come to a mutual conclusion was going to affect our military.
Congress would still get paid. The men and women who serve our country for an embarrassingly low amount of pay were not going to get paid. Don’t get me wrong, we have to keep a working government and I get that, but our government isn’t working. It’s broken, so why pay them? It has to be broken if they are going to insist our people serving in the military, some in very dangerous combat zones, go without pay. I don’t think it’s a good or intelligent plan to distract our men and women serving to protect our freedoms by creating a situation where they are stuck half a world away wondering if their kids are getting enough to eat, or if they are going to lose their house.
We can’t throw too many stones at the White House, because we, the American people, elected these spoiled, self-serving officials. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve met a few government officials in my time – good people trying to operate within a system riddled with problems and power struggles. Trouble is, we elect inept, pompous, agenda-thumping, close-minded people around them, thus placing obstacles in their way. Washington chews up these good people and spits them out and we enable that every election day.
I wish more good men and women, particularly those who haven’t forgotten that governing is about the people they serve and not serving themselves, would run for office. I also wish more American people would enter a voting booth and not just vote their party or the most popular candidate, but would vote informed, making wiser choices.
What good is a government that accomplishes nothing, especially a government more concerned with their party’s agenda than the good of the people?
We have an opportunity to make changes in Washington. We can encourage those who would govern well to run for office and support them. At the very least, we have the right to vote – a freedom protected by all those people who weren’t going to get paid because of our inept government.
John F. Kennedy died years before I was born, but he left us a great thought to ponder, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” I agree that we can do one thing for our country – get involved and elect a government for the people – and it is time to ask what our country can do for us. After all, it is their job to do for us. It is their job to budget, make laws, enforce laws, and WORK TOGETHER for the good of the people. If the officials currently in office cannot do that job, it is time for America to speak with their votes.