Every time I think of the government shutdown, I can’t help but picture John Candy in his park security uniform as the hapless Griswolds try to get into Wally World. “Sorry, government’s closed. Moose out front should have told you.”
But how is that possible? My mail was delivered, late as usual. The Interstate system did not crumble. The dollar is no more worthless than it was yesterday, and China did not invade U.S. soil. Hospitals did not close. Schools are open. FEMA is still fubar, and Homeland Security still thinks veterans are terrorists.
Don’t take my sunny disposition to mean I think it’s a good that the morons in D.C. aren’t talking to each other. That putting politics ahead of duty is an American value. Or that the idiots currently loafing in the halls of power can, or even want, to fix this problem. It is their mess after all. (With no mess to clean up, why would we even need them in Washington?)
I’ve spent the last few days racking my brain trying to think of what we, regular, working-class citizens, can do to bring this stalemate to an end. I came up with a long list of actions we could take if we desire. Trouble is, we don’t desire. We, like the scalawags who represent us, would rather watch football.
So I present Rick’s List of All-American Ways to End The Government Shutdown.
Point Your Finger Nothing works better at diverting responsibility, or solving truly complex problems better than blaming the other guy for the predicament you’re in. It makes no matter if you were part of the party that failed to produce a budget for seven years, or the party which allowed governance without said budget. It’s clear that you are doing your best and have presented several viable plans to save the earth from peril, if only everyone else would realize that and row the boat in the same direction. Besides, when it comes right down to it, if you didn’t cause this mess, how can you be expected to fix it?
Sing and Dance Unlike pointing your finger, this method requires a modicum of exertion. It’s not heavy lifting, mind you. You won’t actually be solving anything, merely pretending you are hard at work tackling the weighty issues that confront us. You may want to practice your furrowed brow and angry squint before employing this method. And of course make sure there is lots of Chloraseptic on hand. You wouldn’t want to strain your voice in a shouting match.
Whine By far, the easiest and most successful of all stratagem for solving any problem is to whine about it. . . A lot. While requiring very little thought or effort, complaining about the problem can be both fun and productive. Nothing greases the wheels of compromise better than incessant bellyaching about the evils someone else has foisted upon you. Shouting “tyranny” at your oppressors is far better than mobilizing to effect a change in leadership.
Vote the Bastards Out. Every Last One of Them Of course, this would require us to stop pointing fingers, singing, dancing, and whining, and actually take responsibility for the mess we allowed our leaders to produce. But who has time for all that work when there’s football on TV?