Here’s the plan: fire the government. They are not doing their job properly; in fact, they are keeping a lot of folks from properly doing their job or getting paid for the job they do. I cannot believe how the House decided to hold the government hostage to passing a budget. In fact, I find the entire way the government has been running for the last bunch of years completely disgusting. If this were a family, it would be labeled dysfunctional. If it were a business, it would certainly go under. If it were a love relationship, it would end in acrimonious divorce. The fact that they have to hold filibusters, like the tantrums of children, in order to get the attention they want, or, in this case, not pass a budget bill because they don’t like something that’s in it, well, I find it pretty darned embarrassing. Are these responsible adults or children who don’t know how to use their words?
It appears that in Iceland, they actually did fire their government. Being particularly hard hit by the 2008 financial crisis due to privatized banking, the country was in huge debt to the IMF & came up with a plan to make every single person in Iceland pay to cover the debt incurred by an unscrupulous government. Instead, they the people fired their government & re-wrote their constitution:
To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults not belonging to any political party but recommended by at least thirty citizens. This document was not the work of a handful of politicians, but was written on the internet. The constituent’s meetings are streamed on-line, and citizens can send their comments and suggestions, witnessing the document as it takes shape. The constitution that eventually emerges from this participatory democratic process will be submitted to parliament for approval after the next elections.
This is not something we read about in our news: how a small country managed to kick out the IMF & take control of their own government! Here we are in the great U.S.of A., few of us feeling our government truly represents us, watches out for us, cares for us, or even does their job for us. Is it time to make a change in how we do things?
I am not saying that Mr. Obama is Mr. Innocent. It’s hard to tell from out here what actually goes on in the hallways of power. I don’t like a lot of things he’s done in his presidency, even though I voted for him. Many of the things I care dearly about, & I thought he promised, have rarely been mentioned. I’m not even sure I want obamacare since I don’t trust the medical establishment & think insurance companies are one of the banes of existence. Everything I’ve read tells me that it is a law now, that it has passed all the barriers & it’s a law. So how can the House ignore it? Playing hard to get? Waiting for a bribe of something you want even more?
Once we fire the government, including the president & his cabinet, all of Congress &, while we’re at it, let’s fire all the lobbyists as well. Then we can start fresh. We can elect people who have NEVER been a politician. We can elect mothers because they care for children & are usually nice to everyone. We can elect librarians because they are smart & can read. We could even elect small business owners because they know how to do more with less & don’t have to listen to the profit only interests of stock holders. To top it off, let’s elect a mediator or two to assist the others in talking & listening to each other, since that seems to be a major problem in Congress. In fact, we could ask someone like Marshall Rosenberg, Phd., of non-violent compassionate communication fame, to sit down & help these pontificators actually hear what is being said & say what they really want. Marshall would say something like, “Always hear the ‘Yes’ in the ‘No’.” And teach them how to listen better & ask for what they really want rather than sidestepping the issue. If these big-wigs could only work out their problems the way any good family or loving couple does, by sitting down & talking & listening together, & asking assistance when they need it. If only…
Meanwhile, we can send those members of Congress who want to be rehabilitated back to kindergarten, where, as Robert Fulghum points out in his book ALL I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN, they could relearn what they’ve forgotten about being a citizen in a society. The rules:
- 1. Share everything.
- 2. Play fair.
- 3. Don’t hit people.
- 4. Put things back where you found them.
- 5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
- 6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
- 7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
- 8. Wash your hands before you eat.
- 9. Flush.
If the good men & women we’ve elected to Congress would simply remember these few simple rules, they might find themselves able to actually pass a budget. If they would stop thinking they have to raise the level of drama to that of a reality tv show in order to get the attention they want. If they could see that polarizing is not going to bring the left closer to the right; moderation is. Finding middle ground. Realizing we all want what’s best for our family, our nation, each other.
The hardest hit segment of society during this shutdown is not the folks in congress or even the government employees furloughed into an autumn vacation. They probably have some money in their accounts to see them over & when it is, they will get paid. The poor, however, will soon begin to really suffer. School programs that feed low-income children & Meals on Wheels & WIC as well as other social assistance will be out of funding in many states by the end of October. If this lasts, our lower income families will be choosing between food & shelter; a choice no family should have to make. Protections watched over by OSHA, or diseases tracked by the CDC, or inspections by the EPA & USDA are not currently being funded which could very quickly lead to some particularly dangerous possibilities for all of us. (thanks, Sasha Abramsky)
Another interesting feature of this issue is that, because of the shutdown, it’s difficult to get information on what’s happening. Many of the government websites, not to mention national parks & monuments, are closed. I’m sure many people are working together in order to get us past this mess but at the moment we are disappointing many visitors, putting in danger many children & potentially having a devastating effect on our economy (again). My hope is that this is enough of a shock to the U.S. system that we realize we need to make a change. Something in our two party system is broken when we can’t even have a budget to run our country. Ask a housewife or a mother how she runs her household without a budget. She doesn’t. Our government exists to serve us: how is holding our services hostage to avoid paying for healthcare serving us? If they can’t get over themselves, send them home. We don’t need them if they can’t even pass a budget to run all the things government does. Bye bye, boys & girls.