Are we all wearing Coke bottle glasses with this government shut down?
First, it seems silly to me when reporters ask Americans who is causing the shut down. It’s like, duh, if either party just gave into the other party’s demands, we wouldn’t have the issue. Which means that BOTH parties are causing the shut down.
Second, it seems a lot of folks have forgotten that this is precisely what should happen.
Yes, our government is designed to allow these types of things.
But, John, isn’t that just asinine?
No. It’s not an oversight. I think it’s smart. Even if it causes some pain.
Let me explain what it seems some in the media and elsewhere are forgetting.
This is not a nation that belongs to a government. It’s not a nation owned by some lord or entity. This is a nation of individuals who decided to band together because we thought that banding together would allow us to protect our lives, liberty, and pursuit of happiness better than if we stood alone individually.
This is a nation of individuals who said, you know, we think we can figure things out better together ourselves than having someone dictating to us what we’re going to do. We’ll get together and talk. We’ll argue. We’ll persuade. We’ll try to convince each other of our individual ways of thinking. And when enough of us are convinced that we should do something, we’ll act.
We’ll set up a process for talking and making decisions that ensures everyone can be heard. It would be great if we could get 100% agreement on everything, but we know that’s not realistic. At the same time, we don’t like the idea of forcing our will on others. So we’ll make a compromise; we’ll set up the rules for making decisions so it requires that a good majority of us are in agreement before we can take action, especially on matters that are important to a lot of us.
Finally, we’ll make sure no individual or group can take control and deprive us of this way of living. We did the monarch thing, and we’re done with that. We will not bow to any king ever again. We’re going to be very careful about this one item because a lot of bad things begin to happen when any one person or group gets too much power.
So we set up the rules and started working together this way. And the basic premise under all of this is that we would respect each other’s free will. We’re a land of liberty. We’re a land where we get together and agree on a course of action. Not one where we impose our will on others.
One of the main methods we used to ensure that no individual or group could take control of the rest of us and that a good majority of us must agree before taking a course of governmental action was to distribute the power to make and enforce rules. We did this in a wide variety of ways. We did this because power’s a slippery thing and easily abused. Furthermore, because we knew no system is perfect, we also set up a system of checks and balances so that if one person or group abused their power, we could stop them and force them to remember to respect the freewill that the rest of us have.
So what has caused this shutdown?
It’s very simple.
A lot of Americans do not agree with Obamacare. By most polls, it’s a majority of Americans. They were not listened to when it was being developed. They were not listened to when it was made law. They feel it was passed, not with open discussion, but a lot of chicanery. They feel it’s not some minor regulation, but a very big thing that will infringe on their rights to live how they want to live.
Now, it might be that all their fears are unfounded. It might be that Obamacare is going to usher in utopia. Many signs suggest it’s not going to do anything of the sort. But let’s just say it is the finest piece of legislation ever. Let’s say is a celestial piece of governing.
That isn’t enough.
It’s not nearly enough.
Because this is not a nation that belongs to any group. We are a nation of individuals who have banded together, agreeing that we will talk things out amongst ourselves and only act when a good majority of us agree on a course of action. This is a nation that tries to tread lightly on each other’s liberty.
But many of the folks in Washington back in 2009-2010 forgot this and forced this thing called Obamacare upon the rest of us; in doing so, they violated one of the basic agreements of our compact. If they had followed the underlying intent of our union, they would not have done what they did. They would have crafted legislation that a good majority of us could get behind.
In 2010, those of us who protested this use of power voted in new folks into the House of Representatives to deal with the matter. In fact, when given the chance, Americans (both Republican and Democrat) in the heavily Democratic state of Massachusetts voted Republican Scott Brown into office, hoping to stop this legislation in the Senate before it became law. But Harry Reid didn’t listen. He didn’t care. He and Pelosi and Obama weren’t interested in allowing a full national discussion. He and the others were more concerned with getting their way. And so he used a parliamentary trick to force it through.
This shut down is about one group of people forcing their will on the rest of us. It’s about using the checks and balances designed into the system to correct such errors. It’s about the chickens of some poor decisions coming home to roost.
I know the shut down has caused issues. It’s a partial shutdown; 13% of the government. I think 87% is still funded and running. Still, I know it’s causing some pain.
But none of that pain needs to occur. Everyone wants to fund cancer research. Everyone wants to help poor single mothers. Those things aren’t the issue. The issue is that not everyone agrees with Obamacare.
If you’re a supporter of Obamacare, let me ask you this: if the tables were turned, what would you do?
Would you not stare at the folks trying to force their will on you and say, hey, come on. We’re adults here. We all agreed that we wouldn’t do anything unless a good majority of us were convinced it was the right course of action. Let’s get together and come up with something a good majority of us can get behind.
If you’re an opponent of Obamacare, you too should recognize that a good portion of your fellow citizens are clamoring to change the way things are. They’ve been clamoring for some time. Should you force your will on them? Or should you sit down and listen and try to come up with something that addresses the points we can agree on?
I don’t know if the folks many of us voted to go to Washington will stick to their guns and correct this. I hope they do. And I hope that those on both sides who have forgotten one of the basic tenets of our social compact will wake up and remember we are banded together, not to game the system to get what we want, but to act on only what a good majority of us want.