Saturday, October 12, 2013

Day 69 of 365: A Word or Two About the Shutdown

I don't consider myself a political person -- in that I feel like what I do should be the general baseline for continued citizenship. I think every person should be aware of what's going on and speak out when things aren't going properly. It doesn't matter if you're a capitalist, a socialist, a libertarian, a liberal...fiscally conservative, fiscally liberal...discourse and debate is what keeps things from falling into the status quo. Few things irk me like those who brush off those who keep up with and have opinions on political matters, saying things as dismissive as, "I didn't know everyone suddenly got their degree in political science." You don't need to dedicate your life to the ins and outs of every bill and law (and personal life of politicians) to care about how your country is run.

We are now in the heart of Week 2 of the shutdown. Most likely, we will see a Week 3. And a Week 4. Maybe even more. I honestly don't see it resolving anytime soon, and I honestly don't see the resolution being something that would actually help America.

And I haven't talked about it until now because...I'm exhausted by it. To be honest, how anyone can watch the news and not feel this nagging, nihilistic, depressive voice ring loud in your ears is beyond me. One of my friends calls it GFS: Government Fatigue Syndrome. When you have been bombarded with all these near-crises and empty threats and each side calling the other a nazi or a communist and you just end up numb.

Because, really, if I thought about it, I would get angry. I would get more than angry. I would be infuriated. Look at what these essentially-toddlers are doing to our country. Look at how they are destroying our international reputation (like it was in such a great position since 2004 anyway). Look at how they are driving nearly a million people out of their jobs, simply because they had the audacity to take up a job with the government. Look at how they are cashing in their paychecks while paying military servicemen with IOUs.

And, honestly, I don't care about anyone's feelings on Obamacare/Affordable Care Act. It sets an ugly precedent to hold the nation's budget hostage until an act that has already been passed into law is defunded. It's the little kid who locks himself in his parents' bedroom and threatens to break all the fragile items, unless his parents change their minds about summer school. Even if ACA would be a horrible, horrible, social-life-threatening decision, acting in such a way will almost guarantee that your parents will shove you off to summer school. And maybe military school after that.

But the real thing that bothers me -- the real thing that makes me want to Hulk Rage -- are the people who are shrugging their shoulders are going, "Well, the shutdown doesn't affect me!" Great. Absolutely great. Much like the Japanese Internment Camps didn't affect my grandparents. Just because it doesn't affect you doesn't mean it isn't causing real damage. Because, thanks to the shutdown, Head Start, Meals on Wheels, WIC -- all suspended indefinitely. I've already touched upon the 800,000 people who are either without a job or working for free, all the military people who have been furloughed or continue to risk their lives for a promise of a paycheck (because promises is how you make rent, am I right?) People can't get loans. Our food isn't being inspected (ooooh, doesn't affect you, you say? Enjoy your potentially-food-poisoning-inducing sushi, asshole).

And here is one way it affects you: this is the start of something scary. Lack of bipartisan cooperation has been on the rise for years now -- let's go so far to say for over a decade. This right here is the crowning achievement. And I see two things happening: a government overhaul the likes of which this country has not seen (at least since the Revolutionary War), or a country that collapses economically under its government's own asshattery. One of the two. One of those, I would like to see happen. One of those, I see happening instead. I'll give you a moment to figure out which is which.

And see -- this is why I haven't talked about it until now. It's exhausting, it's frustrating, it makes me rage in a way that I do not like raging. And it gets me no where. Elections aren't for a long while. It's painfully clear that the American voice is being ignored.

So there you have it. My words on the shutdown. And, like Jon Stewart, I think I'm going to stop talking about the shutdown now. Because it really is one of those things that is so inane, so maddening, so disheartening, that any time spent on it is time wasted.

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