By Joe Rector
Okay, let’s try to sort things out. The House of Representatives Republicans don’t like Obamacare. They want to defund it, delay it, or do anything else to stop its implementation. So, they refuse to fund the budget with a continuing resolution unless provisions to kill the law are included. Democrats in the Senate refuse to act on any bills sent to them by the House. The president refuses to budge since he declares that the Affordable Care Act is law that has been passed and declared okay by the U.S. Supreme Court.
What’s now left is a “mell of a hess!” Like most Americans, I’m tired of the endless drama that plays in our nation’s governmental halls. Right now, national parks are closed. Folks who’ve traveled to the nation’s capital to soak in some of the great history of the country are turned away at the gates. I think of the impact on children not being allowed to walk up to the Lincoln Monument or on veterans not being allowed to pay tribute to their fallen brethren at the World War II Memorial or the Vietnam Wall.
Millions of folks are seeing the impact of this shutdown on their lives. Furloughs for government workers and layoffs in the private sector hit as the wheels of production come to a screeching halt. Families of fallen soldiers are left waiting for death benefits that the government won’t pay. People still have house payments or rent due, and they still have to provide food for families. The worry about meeting bills is once again present, just as it was in 2008 when the bottom fell out of the economy. Isn’t it ironic that the very ones who have caused this debacle are receiving their paychecks?
Some representatives are playing a game of chicken about the national debt. Let’s be clear: the issue in question deals with debts that have already been incurred. Our country simply cannot renege on its bills. If we default, the effects won’t ripple through the world economy; they will crash through it. Sure, the budget needs a serious perusal to find waste that should be cut. However, what folks must be willing to do is give up some of the services that our government provides if the cuts are to be made. That’s what makes all of us hedge because we don’t want to lose anything.
I’m thinking that most Americans are just about over partisan politics that paralyze the country. We’ll continue to have two parties because not everyone has the same take on what is best for our country and its citizens. What the overwhelming majority of people are sick and disgusted with are those individuals who are more interested in ideology than country. That comes from both the far right and the far left. The fringe groups should not be dictating the course of our country.
Democracy is built upon the basis of “majority rule.” At present, a small minority is running the show, and they are doing one poor job of it. Extremism, whether it comes from terrorists from abroad or from citizens of the U.S., never has in mind what is best for the whole. It works at tearing apart the fabric of a great country and reduces it to a malfunctioning machine.
America needs elected officials who are leaders, not destroyers. We are ready for those we choose to work to make this country better, not to cripple it. An old saying might put it best: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way!” That’s sound advice for all politicians. The time has come for them to find ways to fix things, and yes, that means compromising and, above all, using God-given common sense.
Pictures of several national buildings show them encased in scaffolding. The Washington Monument and the Supreme Court Building are under repair. Perhaps we need to rustle up every member of Congress and the executive branch and do a bit of renovation on them. Either these individuals begin to perform the jobs for which they were elected, or they can be replaced with others who hold the country’s interests above their own.