With a little under an hour left before the deadline deciding whether or not the US Government shuts itself down for a couple of weeks, the twitterverse is overwhelmed with angry, ignorant ranting propaganda posts from both sides. In an era of government run by the least common denominator kept in power only through their ability to make you hate their opponents, its crucial that they get you filled with all that rage and keep you at each others throats so you don’t realize one very important truth.
It’s a giant smoke screen.
1: The Government Won’t Actually “Shut Down”
The words “Shut Down” implies that there will be no function at all. It evokes the imagery of turning off a computer. That is exactly what they want you to envision. The government ceasing to work and going into some form of inert suspension, ready to pop back up and take over again when it finally has some money.
In reality, it doesn’t work that way. Basically a government shutdown translates into an extended National Holiday. It does this 10 times a year anyway and the only thing that bothers you about it is no mail and the banks close. Actually, this won’t even be that inconvenient for you because the post office and banks will still be open.
Hell, most of these things are done automatically by computers these days anyway.
2: The More Politicians Fight, the less Damage They Do
Color me a cynical prick, but the purpose of Government is to screw over people not in government. You can try to debate this all you want, but every law created is there to make the lives of the people in power better and damn the rest of you. Even without that bleak view on Government, people benefit from arguments and fights in Congress. We are diverse and opinionated people. The more sides of that brought to the forefront, the better represented we are.
3: It’s Not Going to Happen Anyway
Obama needs this win, so he’ll dig his heels in pretty hard, but Boehner doesn’t. If we get to a complete shut down, it will be because of Boehner’s ego refusing to give an inch. I don’t think it will get that far. The Freshman republicans got into Congress on a “We’ll make money happen for everone” lie, so they can’t shut down the government and cause the unemployment rate to go up. The fact that he picked the fight with no chances of winning shows you exactly how inexperienced and ignorant he really is. Older Republicans need to reign his dumb ass in.
Why You Should Worry:
It isn’t the economic slowdown the shutdown brings, really 1% less growth isn’t going to hurt us. It isn’t even really the threat of China poised to conquer us while are pants are down. They’ve already bought and paid for us anyway. No, the real impact is how much it will fuel the culture war in the US right now. The only people that benefit from that are the war profiteers and the top 1% of the nation’s wealthy.
A Government Shutdown now, sets the pace for the next 2 years of bickering and arguing in Washington. It means that instead of being able to reach the compromise and get things done, we’ll fight to a standstill on each point until deciding if we use pink packet artificial sweetener or blue packet artificial sweetener in our coffee is appropriate. There is no way to win in a world where no one makes a decision.
I hate to say it, but Bush had a point when he said, “I am the decider.” Dumb as he was, at least he got things done.