Sunday, October 06, 2013

An Open Letter to the U.S. Congress

A CNN headline today reads "Cruz: GOP will win"

I wish you politicians would stop treating governing a country as a freaking game! It's NOT! Not to us Americans, anyway. Not to the people you have SWORN to represent to the best of your ability. Your "game" is toying with the jobs and livelihoods of nearly a million government workers alone, nevermind all the people who work for businesses that support the government: suppliers of equipment, parts, materials, even office products; local businesses, stores, restaurants, coffee shops, lunch places normally patronized by govt. workers or the workers from ancillary businesses. Even local mass transit systems are suffering. Millions of people are being hurt, financially and emotionally, by your pettiness. 

If you can't find it in your hearts, assuming you have them, to do your jobs for the people you represent, do it to protect the reputation of this great country. We are losing all kinds of respect from members of the international community. And not just respect, but faith. And money/business. This loss of business is creating a domino effect in some other countries as foreign suppliers of goods and raw materials to the U.S. government see their companies suffering losses, forcing them to layoff or fire their own employees. 

Yes, in case you haven't forgotten, we are part of a GLOBAL economy. We are, or at least we have been, a large part of that economy. And we are still, for now, anyways, the most powerful country in the world. We are the world leader in the eyes of many. But you politicians are chipping away at our power, our standing, our very reputation all in the name of gamesmanship.

It is about time for you to put aside your petty differences, to stop trying to fool us, your constituents, into thinking that somehow the government shutdown has been caused by the implementation of the ACA. We are not as stupid as you seem to think we are. We KNOW the budget and debt ceiling and a Continual Resolution are all tied to your inability to pass a budget and to agree on funding the government. The ACA, "Obamacare," is a program that is already taking effect. IT IS LAW. It has been upheld by the Supreme Court. It is NOT a bargaining chip to be used by politicians. The budget is not, in any way, tied to the ACA. This is pork-barrel politics at its worst. The time for you to express opposition to "Obamacare" has passed.  If you feel the need to make changes to the program, there are procedures in place to do so. Holding the government hostage is not one of them. It is not a reasonable or valid means to solving any situation. It is merely a childish, expensive, and dangerous ploy. 

Congress MUST stop holding our government, nay our COUNTRY!, and us, the people, hostage to their petty political games. Congress MUST recognize the need to keep our government processes running smoothly, without disruption. Congress MUST recognize, accept, and act on its duty to work together to find an agreeable and equitable solution to the budget crisis, to compromise where need be, to set aside partisanship and instead embrace their (YOUR!) duty to represent ALL Americans and to enact legislation that keeps our government functioning. 

Congress needs to act, and ACT NOW to return our government to a fully functioning entity. Congress needs to ACT NOW to restore our faith that our governing bodies have our and our country's best interests in mind. Congress needs to ACT NOW to get our government employees back to work, to get our government programs fully up and running properly again. Congress must ACT NOW to help America's businesses, some large, many small, who have been hurt by a loss of business due to the government shutdown. 

Congress must ACT NOW to do the job they were elected to do. Congress must ACT NOW to keep America at the forefront in world leadership, and to restore faith in the U.S. from the international community, faith that we will not self-destruct and in so doing cause the collapse of the world economy, resulting in unrest, civil disobedience, violent uprisings and complete and utter chaos at home and abroad. That sounds like an exaggeration, but that IS where we are headed if Congress continues to play its games unchecked. It is fast becoming a dangerous game with serious, deadly consequences. Especially in these days of unprecedented use of social media to quickly gather groups intent on making their wishes known in supporting a cause, and the equal ability of opposition groups to form as quickly in the same place at the same time. Eventually there will be violent clashes between these groups and law enforcement will be brought in to try and regain control. This is how rioting starts. And it will spread to other communities, metropolitan, suburban, even rural. And seeing such violent unrest in our country will cause concern and, in reaction, unrest in other countries. Again, yes, it will be dangerous, and yes it will be deadly. In the US and elsewhere it may even lead to martial law. But inside the hallowed halls of our Capitol Building, our Representatives and Senators will watch the violent destruction on television screens, under the protective eyes of the few security officers still working during the government shutdown. And they will continue to roll the dice and play their games, refusing to call to an end this ridiculous charade of running a government when what they are doing is throwing sand at others in the sandbox, bullying each other, and destroying people's lives in the process.

It all comes down to this- to paraphrase a recently popularized satire of a children's bedtime storybook: "Go the FUCK to Work!"

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