Today the government has shut down. Supposedly for the first time in 17 years, all government offices are closed, forcing the nation to realize just how integral it is to our lives. This morning at the bank I sent a Rural Development loan to the USDA for pre-approval. What I received was an automated response: “Federal Government Shutdown - USDA Rural Development Offices are Closed”. Although I was expecting this, the abrupt vagueness of the message emphasized the situation.
We rely on the government whether we like to admit it or not. Our tourism is promoted with national parks, our mail shipped via the Postal Service and the nation defended by the military (to name a few). Although integral offices will remain open, 800,000 of America’s 2.1 million federal workers will indefinitely be out of a job.
Why? It makes no sense that a feud between parties should hold such power over the running of a nation. The main concern of politics should be the well-being of the country over party alliances, but has it ever been this way? In our current times, however, it seems worse. With so much corruption and lobbying ubiquitously making headlines, it seems as though we have turned for the worse.
Now is the time to react. At the turn of the 20th century, many laws we still follow today were passed with the sweeping of Progressivism, then more so in the 1960’s Age of Aquarius. To have experienced such an economic slump as we have should provide further motivation to strive for change. Thomas Jefferson once wrote to James Madison that, “
A little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical...It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government”. He would be astounded to find that little such rebellion has taken place.
Although I- nor anyone really- is sure of the best approach to the situation, I do know that it is time to push over our fences and embrace thy neighbor. We overthrew an entire nation at one point, and it is time to re-kindle that spirit and start anew. (If not, there’s always Canada!)
P.S. I have been to Washington, D.C.! It was an eighth grade trip and my photography skills were clearly just developing. Also, this photo was taken when Congress was actually in session.