This will hopefully be my one and only government-related post on this site. I wasn't sure whether it was appropriate, but considering that fingers are pointing in every direction, this is definitely a time when people are not 'being here now.'
I agree that a certain small percentage of the government created an impasse that has led to this shutdown. I get that. But I can't blame them. Why? Because they were voted in to power by THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
Blame the primary system, blame partisan politics, blame mudslinging, whatever. But while you're at it, blame yourself, too. I blame myself. And I resolve to action.
Here's the thing, during the primaries, and polls show this, only a very small percentage of poeple get out and vote. And those people tend to be hardliners and extremists. When radical politicians are able to claim a spot in elections for national seats, well, then party politics begin to play in. Republicans (as a whole) can't make themselves vote for a Democratic candidate--no matter how moderate, and vice versa. It's just not going to happen on a large enough scale (the one very notable exception I can think of is the stunning defeat of Sen. Richard Lugar in the primary election. The resulting Republican candidate, Richard Mourdock was the guy who came out and said something along the lines of pregnancy resulting from rape was something God intended to happen. Needless to say, that enraged enough people that he lost to the Democratic challenger.
In that case, an extreme candidate did not make it to the National floor. But in many other cases, that doesn't happen. The extreme candidate does make it. And often, the extreme candidate is not who a majority of their parties constituents would have voted for if there was a better choice. The rub here is that there WAS a better choice. But he or she was ousted in the primary.
What am I getting at here? It's about VOTING. Every official in government got there because she or he rallied enough people to get out and vote. And not just in the big elections, but in the small ones. In the primaries for state government, in the primaries for the House of Representatives, and the Senate.
BUT, why should we have to be rallied? I implore you, as American people, to take this seriously. Our government is SHUT DOWN. The United States of America does not currently have a fully functioning government. Think about that.
When WE don't care enough to get out and learn about the people who would represent our interests and then cast a vote for or against, we cannot complain later. We just can't.
Get educated. Get to voting.