In the wake of the government shutdown, much of politics has reduced to pointing fingers at the opposite side. Republicans blame the senate for not passing their bill, while Democrats blame the Republican led house for not passing a “clean Continuing Resolution.” As a conservative, admittedly, I can place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Republican party for attempting to pass a politically motivated bill that had no chance of clearing the senate or ever being signed into law by the president. But, perhaps blame is the wrong word?
Across social media platforms, my feeds are littered with individuals applauding the shutdown. Some view government as corrupt or broken, and are happy to see the system come crashing to a halt. There are some that applaud the shutdown because they view government as successful when it does the least, and shutdown is the epitome of this viewpoint in their praise of government ineptitude.
How did it come to this though? How is our government so inept? How is it so difficult for the United States to accomplish any task, while the European Union manages to get things done even in the face of mandatory unanimous consent? The answer is fairly clear.
Our government was designed to be terrible, and we have only made it worse.
The founding fathers were terrified of government becoming what they had just so recently fought against. They were terrified of King George’s ability to make unilateral decisions at the snap of a finger. They designed our government, with its separation of powers, to be as inefficient as humanly possible.
It was only made worse when we imposed party politics on this already inefficient system that we can see the building blocks for today’s government shutdown begin to take place. But, it isn’t merely party politics that led the this government meltdown. We have operated fairly successfully until now, with the exception of 30 days in the 1990’s. So what is it? What is the driving factor?
The answer, at least it seems to me, is the two party political system we have today. There isn’t much of an issue when it comes to the Democrat’s side of the isle, though it is clearly to broad to supposedly represent one-half of the nations population, but begins to become more clear when examining the “Republican” party.
Today’s “Republican” party isn’t titled very descriptively. It does in fact represent republicans. These are your typical conservatives. However, it represents two other fairly large movements within it. The Republican party also houses the Tea Party and Libertarians. The range that this one party spans is so vast that cornerstone Republicans, like John McCain, call members of their own party “wacko birds.” There would have been more than enough votes in the House to pass a clean Continuing Resolution, but the more right wing conservatives, who are called republicans though they clearly are not, prevented this measure from ever coming to a vote. Instead of the two sides debating on what should be done, the “Republican Party” can’t even agree on what to debate. Disagreement leads to ineptitude, which is what some of these politicians desired anyways.
Here, though, is the main point I would like to bring up. Have you taken the time to consider the people impacted first by this shutdown? Sure, you may not like government, but what did the guy that picks up trash at your local National Park do? Are you angry at him. Is he the “cynic” or “tyrant” you despise about your government. What about the single mother that works at NIH? Surely she is to blame? No, but surely Smithsonian museums, and all of their employees are the bane of this nation’s existence.
Clearly not. We must take the time to discern between government workers and career politicians. I assure you the latter is least affected by the shutdown. Maybe government is too big, but this is clearly not the way to handle the “problem.” In the long run this will hurt the republican party. The media, and common sense will place the blame on Republicans, and the general population will begin to turn on them. Consider me one of the ones who turned.