I’m still seeing post-“shutdown” stories, mostly blaming the Republicans (especially those terribly evil Tea Party bastards), or the petty dictator we all know and (don’t) love, 0bama. And during a long rant about how capricious the list of what is essential (wars, domestic spying, the congressional gym) and non-essential (cancer research, low-income children’s food, domestic violence shelters) and who’s to blame (in the end, it was ALL the Rethglican’s fault because they don’t want more taxes), I came to a clear answer of why I was agreeing with most of the article.
For the answer, let’s look at some examples from the article (which doesn’t become shit until the end), as well as a few examples I can think of.
Things that were “essential” include funding overseas war operations (partially because they’re already there), maintaining the spying program, maintaining services for Congress and the President (because how else can they all go play golf together), the 0bamacare site rollout disaster (because if that gets shut down, the GOP gets a win), the IRS, the TSA (although there were probably instructions to make the lines longer).
Now with the exception of the rec choices of our “leaders” (who would never go without. NEVER!), everything deemed essential gives the government power by staying open for business.
On the “non=essential” list is things that cause maximum pain to the most vulnerable and maximum indignation to key 0bama constituencies: the nutrition for kids, cancer research, domestic violence shelters. You also get the usual shuttering of the truly non-essential that mostly pisses off tourists, plus the dick move of armed thugs and Barrycades in many locations.
Now in this, I’m not worried about who ordered what (although I am leading toward the Dick-in-Chief). The point is that the shutdown became a tool to lord the power of government over people. A living display of how much we have to suck the tit of the federal pig for our daily sustenance. How it’s not just a bunch of federal workers (who were rightly deemed non-essential) who have to juggle their finances until they get the back pay for their forced vacation, it ALL OF US!!!!!!!!!!11!!!! ! 1 !!
Thankfully, I didn’t really notice the horrors of the shutdown on the homefront, because I do my best to not be dependent on the government for everything (although circumstances do force me to rely on Medicaid right now).
The real lesson of the shutdown should be clear here. We are a nation that is becoming increasingly dependent on government. Whether it be examples of chaos from the shutdown, the government entitlements that are most responsible for bankrupting us (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and (coming soon if they ever fix the fucking site) 0bamacare), or anything where a person’s daily survival is reliant on a government check (see any time the food stamp cards don’t work), a disruption means reams of stories about how the system fails, with the requisite claim that something can fix it.
But we are talking about dependence here. You cannot fix things which breed dependence. You can only work toward independence to fix these problems. This is not to say that all dependence and help from others is automatically bad, but that when someone is given something rather than trading value for value, there’s no sense of appreciation. Charity may be necessary for some. But each day it becomes a way of life (i.e. a government program) for another person, we lose that which made us great. And we lose that which ensures our future.