What shutdown? Congress has been off for a while

Zach McCarthy, Staff Writer

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When the Democrat’s Facebook page flashed a well-timed boast about how the shutdown was “all of the Republicans’ fault,” I can not tell you how much, in all of my liberal, blue-coated, free healthcare supporting heart, wanted to agree with them. How badly I wanted to click that “Like” button to send some blame the Republican party’s way.

But I couldn’t. I couldn’t pin that status to one side. The government has been labeled to a frightening “shutdown” status, memorials have been closed, public projects have been defunded and workers are being unpaid, yet overall, I feel no different than before. Nothing feels changed about what has become a backward, bureaucratic, retrograde system.

No bills going through? I can’t remember the last time a substantial one made it to the president’s desk.

Republicans and Democrats gridlocking? Well, what haven’t they disagreed on?

Over 13 years, according to Pew Research Center, Congress has gone from passing 463 laws to 24  this year. Yes, there are issues to disagree on, but democracy is built on pragmatism. Pragmatism occurs during times where the public is scared and lost, so they rely on people they represented to give to them.

 

And yet recently, the approval rating on our government hasn’t inched past 10%. Even an authoritarian despot could see what’s wrong with that picture. I feel so out of touch with the people that lead me that I can barely participate in a friendly debate anymore, knowing that either party I pick isn’t willing to change its opinion one bit.

Right now, both parties are debating over the benefit of the American people while causing the suffering they’re talking about. Really, this embodies what has been happening for years now. 800,000 workers have lost valuable hours of service since Tuesday. But how many people have gone without health care since this gridlock started? How many people have lost jobs because there hasn’t been any financial reform? How many schools have closed because there’s been no decisions on education? And all because two parties, locked in one room, cannot give up clout to agree with each other.

So, with all that said, I’m not holding my breath for Congress to open for business again.

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