Today, I woke up to a government shutdown. The sun still rose. I still had my morning coffee. I got dressed and went to work. My paycheck is still safe. Heck, the DOW is up! I even made a few extra bucks! And, despite the fact that there will be some backlash, I won’t feel it. I don’t work at the Smithsonian. Why do I care if it’s closed today? Maybe a few (hundred) field trips won’t go as planned. That’s ok. It’s just kids. They’ll forget about it. Eventually. Military checks will be delayed, true. But I’m not in the military. Oh well. And I suppose a bunch of nonessential workers will be furloughed. That won’t affect me either, though, because I’m essential.
I am a Congressman, after all.
Facebook and Twitter are on fire today. The common theme is, of course, the government shutdown. Several friends have reposted the same meme, “May I suggest the first 535 layoffs.” Everyone seems to be on the same page. “Pass a budget,” and “Get back to work.” Lots of fiery rants aimed at members of Congress suggesting they pack their bags.
I’ll believe it when I see it.
Approval ratings for Congress hover right around 17%. I can’t think of the last time even a quarter of the people thought they were doing ok. Yet, these morons keep getting elected. Sixteen current members of Congress have been in office longer than I have been alive. John Dingell (D-MI) is closing in on 58 years! I do believe this is the insanity Albert Einstein was talking about! How do we as voters, as taxpayers, expect different results when we continue to let the same foxes guard the hen house?
I love the passion we have now, today, for what is going on in this country. But where does that passion go when we’re checking off the ballot box in November? Why do we let the same people make piss-poor decisions? Why do we let them put us further and further in debt? Why do we allow them to collect a paycheck for work left undone? Why do we blame one side or the other over and over when they BOTH continue to bankrupt us?
My local, state, and federal representatives know how I feel about them. I’m sure I’m on some list somewhere by now. What I’m about to say is for the people that are really in charge.
If you aren’t registered to vote, you are part of the problem. If you registered, but didn’t bother to vote in the last election, be it for local, state, or national office, you are part of the problem. If you don’t bother to educate yourself because you find politics boring, you are part of the problem. If you elected “that guy” simply because you recognized his name, you are part of the problem. If you elected someone because they have a vagina, you are part of the problem. If you elected someone because they have the same skin tone as you, you are part of the problem. If you continue to wallow in complacency you will continue to be the problem.
Want to avoid another government shutdown? Start voting with your brain. Get educated! This is YOUR country. This is YOUR money. This isn’t a popularity contest or a beauty pageant. The things happening today, in the here and now? They affect real people. Don’t just write a letter or post a twitter rant. DO something more meaningful. Vote these overpaid, spoiled brats out of office!