Washington GridlockSeptember 30, 2013 2 Comments
I have been thinking about today’s post for days. But, with the possible shutdown of the federal government, I wanted to raise a few questions and concerns. We have a (theoretically) representative form of government, which begs the question whose interests are actually being represented by the gridlock in Washington?
Surely not the most vulnerable people in our society for whom government serves as a vital safety net; not the millions of people who perform important public services (planning to visit a national park? get a visa? apply for an FHA loan?-just to name a few services); not the military personnel who are sent into harm’s way whether or not they would have chosen their specific mission; probably not even the small business leaders on whose behalf some of the delayers claim to be speaking. It makes me wonder what it will take to transform our system such that the peoples’ interests are reflected and protected by those who’ve been elected to do the people’s business.
I just got a message from my beloved niece. She is wondering if TV and radio will be shut down tomorrow. I had to explain that, while the public owns the airwaves, most TV and radio stations are privately owned. My niece is intelligent and interested in the world. Yet she has had so little experience having a say in the systems that affect her life most directly, she cannot tell which one’s belong to her.
Sadly, I think a lot of people don’t have a sense of just how much useful and necessary stuff government does–so far from the unflattering caricatures of waste, fraud, abuse and sloth among our public servants!