Friday, April 8, 2011

Not shutting down, well, yet anyway

I am relieved. I didn't want a million people to be furloughed, I didn't want vacation plans to be disrupted and passport applications and tax returns to be delayed. I am happy our National Parks will stay open.

But really, I'm happy my husband will continue to be paid.

In 1995 the government was shut down for 21 days. Three weeks with no pay would have deeply affected my family. And I'm relieved.

But I'm also incredibly angry with our government.

I'm angry with the people who claimed on national news that they are "for life" and that they can't support the money that the government gives to Planned Parenthood. What? WHY! You don't want people to get tested for STIs and to get free condoms?

I'm angry with the people who were in power in February of 2010 when this budget was proposed and would not pass the budget because there was a freakin' election coming up and they were too stupid to stand for something that was right and good.

I'm angry with the whole entire system of governance. This is not governance, this is simply the absolute worst of human nature thrown against the worst of human nature and smeared all over tv and internet in a 24 second news cycle.

I know it's not over, this budget issue, but I have been damaged. I used to appreciate our leaders, I used to be proud of my country. Now I'm ashamed. Driving home tonight my skin was crawling with disgust as I passed the strip malls and the darkened houses. These people who live near me believe the things they are told. They buy into the rhetoric and the hate. They do not have the strength to think for themselves, much less actually study an issue to understand it.

How is it possible to be a person of faith, a person that believes that each among us is worthy? How is it possible to raise children amidst this hate and the slinging of blame and deceit? When is it time to throw out the entire system and to begin anew? Is it now?

I wonder.

Let us try to find a square centimeter of common ground on which to build and let us try to come together as a people. And let us reconsider the way we govern ourselves in this land. There is so much potential for good, but this thing we have now--this way of governing ourselves is absolutely not it.

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