I did not feel Miley Cyrus was worth blogging about.
I did not feel Johnny Manziel was worth blogging about.
But people, this government shutdown has brought out a stupidity like I’ve never seen. I use the word stupidity, but I think what I really mean is ignorance. People are ignorant to what is happening, so they are acting in stupidity. So, really, it’s both.
I’m going to keep my personal political opinions out of this, mostly because you probably already have a pretty good idea what they are. I tend toward a borderline silly, too-laid-back attitude when it comes to politics, and because of this I acknowledge I would be a terrible politician. I hate red tape, I’m impatient, I cannot be fake if you ask me to. I’m telling you all this so you know that in no way do I claim to be the lady with the answers. I don’t because I’m not. I really just want to expose the real problem here: the complete and total loss of sane reaction to the government shutdown.
I began hearing about this impending shut down right after Obama was elected to a second term and discussed his budget and healthcare reform intentions. I spoke to the oldest source of history I know — my parents — about it. They didn’t seem too worried because it had happened several times in their lifetimes, and they have turned out to be what I consider successful. I went about my normal life knowing the shut down was coming eventually. When stubborn people can’t agree, it is hard to reach compromise. I carried on with life like a normal college-educated citizen should — cognizant of the process because of what I had learned in my American Government class. They don’t make us take those basics for nothing, you know.
Well, apparently I was in the minority because I saw this coming. People flipped out. They stayed up to tweet the countdown to shutdown. They cursed the president as the sun rose Tuesday. Freaking sports radio even talked about it. And do you know what I did? I assumed my usual role of calling people back down to the real world and running from ignorance that is too far gone. Whether I was actually able to convince anyone to chill the heck out is yet to be seen, but I felt like a blog post would do some good to calm the storm. So, if you see a little bit of yourself in a few of the following descriptions, I am prescribing a gigantic chill pill….and a 9th grade civics class.
Billy Blamer — This guy cannot seem to make google work for him. Because if he could, he would find a site like this one that explains that a government shutdown is completely the fault of the congress. So, as much as he’d like to blame Obama for the economy, the weather, the Redskins’ terrible season, and the shutdown, not everything is his fault. I know he’s the president, and a lot of things ARE his fault, so Billy can blame him all day long for proposals and policies that are disagreeable, but the shutdown? Not him.
Tara Terrorist — This girl is SCARED. She is scared that the shutdown leaves us, as a nation, more open to terrorist attacks. She is scared that Obama himself is a terrorist and that he allowed the shutdown so his buddies could come hurt us. She is scared the revenue office won’t be open to get her license renewed. She is scared the police won’t come if she has a wreck. She is scared schools will shut down and she’ll have to pay for childcare for her kids while she works. She is scared that some connection between her own job and the government will be found and she’ll be out of work. Here’s what she needs to know: Never in the history of the country has congressmen and women being unproductive had any of the above effects. So, cross that bridge when you get to it, Tara, and know that you’re only closely affected if you work directly for the federal government in a position that’s considered nonessential. (Their own jobs, it’s important to mention, are considered essential. But, that’s for another post.)
Religious Rita — God has told her that he willed the shutdown because of gay people/abortion/marijuana use. I have nothing to say about this except that if God did, in fact, will the shutdown for those reasons, he needs to tell the rest of us too.
Expert Ellie — Does this lady have the answers? Yeah, she does. She could balance the budget, end all wars, straighten out the government, and still make it home in time for Grey’s Anatomy. But here’s the deal with Ellie. She has no poli-sci degree, no experience on the PTA even, much less local, state, or federal government, and no basic idea what she’s talking about. She’s like a mash-up of what she hears on the news and at the beauty salon. Ellie’s arrogance can be really hard to take because we, the reasonable public, realize that none of us are qualified to run the government either. Because if we were, we would be doing it.
Indifferent Ike — When someone brings up the shutdown in casual conversation, this guy says, “Do what?!? They shut down?!? Ok. I guess that isn’t really all that different from their normal level of productivity.” And he’s sadly right. Ike is the happiest of us all.
Admirable Adam — Adam does his research. He makes sure if he speaks he knows what he’s talking about. He contacts his federally employed friends to check on them. He writes his own congressman to plead for some type of compromise. He abstains from Facebook arguments and prays/meditates/sends positive thoughts to our leaders that this will come to a quick resolution and we may begin scrutinizing the dance techniques of former pop stars and the hand gestures of cocky football players again soon.
Here is the great irony of democracy: Even though we are technically ruled “by the people,” we are not a public that is completely well-informed about or qualified for ruling. We have to, at some point, trust in the system even if it’s really scary. This has happened 18 times before under both Republicans and Democrats, and we’ll pull through. Because this is ‘Merica.
Concern is good. Loss of reasonable sanity is not. Please be an Adam, or at the very least an Ike. Believe me, there are enough of the others out there.