As I write, it is Day 31 of the longest government shutdown in the history of our nation.
I tend to think that a much longer, much more permanent, shutdown of a good many regulation-spawning government bureaucracies would be about as detrimental to our nation as a cure for cancer would be to our health.
But life (and government) is neither that simple nor that fair. We actually need many of the services the government is presently not providing. Even if many of those duties could be far more efficiently provided by the private sector, well, when the gears grind to a halt, the sudden stop is jarring. And for workers whose paychecks are stuck in the non-functioning governmental gears, the shutdown is far worse than inconvenient.
I try not to push politics or a partisan position in this column, but if on occasion, I flirt with making folks on both extremes of an issue angry, I’m probably okay with that, so here goes.
I’m intensely frustrated with our nation’s mis-leaders on both sides of the immigration issue which is the excuse for this mess. They all are behaving like immature brats very much in need of a spanking.
Is there any good excuse for the unseemly cesspool in which so many of our politicians float? In a representative form of government, we are, ideally, supposed to elect our “betters,” people we esteem to be wiser, more mature, and with more experience and expertise than ourselves. We are supposed to be represented by folks who are capable, intelligent, well-educated, well-mannered, and who possess a higher than average level of wisdom, prudence, and integrity. Forgive the metaphor, but if the kids can’t trust the parents to behave better than selfish fools, the family is in trouble.
So the voter under my hat blames both sides. They all look terrible. They should have dealt wisely with immigration issues long ago. They should have been willing to reach fair and equitable, albeit imperfect, solutions long ago. And neither side should be allowed to accomplish by holding their breath and throwing tantrums what they could not accomplish by reasonable legislation.
If this goes on, I really think funds to help pay government employees should be deducted from the salaries of the “leading” politicians from both parties, those who have the power to break the stalemate.
I’d personally love to see Trump and Pelosi locked in a room, fed only water and crackers, with reasonable bathroom breaks, but otherwise not allowed to come out or sleep until they play nice and reach a compromise.
Or, maybe better, I’d refer the issue to binding arbitration by a non-partisan group of wise children. I’d suggest nine third-graders chosen from the student body of DeShazo Elementary School in Muleshoe, Texas. Let them choose a teacher they respect to lay before them, in thirty minutes, the main issues at hand. Give Trump and Pelosi twenty minutes each to make their cases. (Flip a coin to see who goes first.) Then let the kids deliberate and come up with a compromise. Third-graders understand “fair.” They recognize “stupid.” The know how to deal with whiners and bullies. I’ll wager they could come up with an equitable compromise, have the government running again before lunch, and not even miss recess.
Isaiah the prophet, and later, Jesus himself, pointed to the real peace found in God’s kingdom and rule, the time when “a little child shall lead them.” If our leaders find leading wisely in this nation too strenuous, perhaps they should be overruled by little children who could provide more mature leadership.
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Copyright 2019 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.