To preface this article, I have to admit a fun-fact about me that could slant my bias on this subject: I’m a pretty hardcore liberal. A blue-state, feminist-ranting, been-compared-to-Hillary-Clinton-and-loved-it liberal.
Last night, after a terrifyingly unsuccessful staring contest between the House and the Senate, where neither blinked, the government entered its first shutdown in nearly 18 years.
All I have to say about it?
Grow up, Congress.
And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. It seems like most of America is fairly displeased with this recent course of events. Displeased, of course, is just me being kind – a recent Politico poll has shown Congress at a 10% approval rating. This is a drop even from when Public Policy Polling recently found Congress to be exceedingly unpopular, more so than even Nickelback. Is that even possible?
And it isn’t like social media hasn’t been all over it. Or maybe it’s just me, because I’m a hyperactively political Junior State of America member, but my newsfeed on Facebook and Twitter alike has been positively plastered with either questions or jokes about the shutdown.
(Yes folks, school will remain open. And no, murder surprisingly isn’t legal during a government shutdown.)
Of course, there are fingers to point and scapegoats to scape. A crowd favorite is Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, increasingly infamous after a strangely comedy-studded 21-hour filibuster. (I was disappointed after hearing about his filibuster to be honest with you: when I saw him speak this summer, he never read us Dr. Seuss, much less imitated Darth Vader. Had he, I probably would have stayed awake!) Another name that tends to pop up is former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, a Republican party leader who urged his party to not “cave” on the shutdown.
I’m just saying, do you notice a trend? (I told you I was a liberal, you can’t get mad now.)
However, I don’t think the moral of this shutdown story is that conservatives are crazed, government-shutdown-causing, unintelligent leaders. (Maybe it is, you decide.)
For the real moral, look to the people the shutdown is effecting.
Roughly 800,000 government employees nationwide have lost their jobs. They will go without pay until the shutdown is ended. These people have families, pets, homes, lives, all of which rely on this pay. While members of Congress will continue receiving their paychecks at the end of the week, the average government employee will be left stranded, told to stay home from work.
Am I the only one who sees a problem here?