Government shutdown Ends Finally

Since the house and senate finally got to pass legislation that stops the government shutdown that has been in effect for almost two weeks, there has been a lot of glad handing and back slapping that is precipitous at best. It is understood that there would be some degree of satisfaction derived from avoiding a complete financial disaster by extending the debt ceiling so that the United States does not wind up in default and the resulting economic chaos does not negatively impact global markets. So yes I get that much. However the fix as it were is only temporary as it just pushes the issue down a few months where we get to do this new brand of negotiations again, where one political party threatens the stability and standing of an entire nation just to get what THEY want. A telling part of this is that there still is no sign of remorse and even during the vote in the house and senate Republican legislators voted AGAINST the bill to end the shutdown.  This is not an omen of anything good instead a reminder that this can and most likely will happen again when the debt ceiling issue comes up in the house.

WE have seen the enemy and he is us

This government shutdown has given the entire world a view into the underlying issues that are literally jeopardizing the so called democracy that this country is supposed to be founded on. The lame excuses and reasoning that was put forward by the GOP as supposed “issues to be negotiated” were totally bogus and leads one to look at what else could invoke a response where a group of politicians can threaten to take down the entire economy of a country based on outright lies and falsehoods. Worse that during this little hostage drama, elements of a dark and disturbing racial element begin to be displayed by the very people that they represent. It all goes to show how deeply divided this country is and no matter how the pundits want to spin it, this is real.

government-shutdown-ends-finally1There is a major divide in this country that has been ignored for so long that  the sore has been fully infected and the pus is running out all over the place. Some of that managed to show up in front of the White House this past weekend as a group of  Tea Party Protestors decided to set up shop in front of the  White House and  one of their group thought it would be a good idea to start waving a confederate flag in front of the  White House in a very threatening manner. One of the speakers at this “Million Vet March” Larry Klaman, went as far as to demand that the President of the United States come OUT of the White House with  his hands up and leave town immediately.

Definitely NOT Post Racial

The irony of the march being branded as a million vet march with reference to the original Million Man March conceived by Minister Louis Farrakhan back in 1995 and was a march that was focused on civil rights just doesn’t get much higher. The fact that this individual was allowed to speak treason and is not in jail today is another one of those things that make you go hmmm.  More importantly is the fact that this event was attended by many of the same politicians behind the government shut down in the first place. Birds of a feather and such, it’s very telling the company that people keep and who they choose to align themselves with.

Three Is a Magic Number

While yes the government shut down is over there are lessons that need to be learned in a hurry and things that need to take place to ensure that a coup d’état like this never happens again. There are three important things that going forward we the PEOPLE need to work on to effect change on.

Campaign Finance

SCOTUS did such a tremendous disservice to the American people by allowing Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission to remove restrictions to corporations donating to political campaigns. This was seen heavily in the last presidential election and during the government shut down. The people of this country are not being represented by their elected officials when those same officials owe their soul to the company store. There needs to be legislation that addresses this and limits the amount that corporations and wealthy individuals can donate to anyone running for political office.  These people are elected to represent EVERYONE in their respective districts NOT JUST the wealthy donors.

Gerrymandered Districts

There are so many people walking around right now that don’t even know what gerrymander means. So this is for you:

ger·ry·man·der

  1. 1.

manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class.

The republican party has used this to establish districts across this country in many states where candidates are basically guaranteed a win and they have been allowed to do this as well as mount campaigns to implement restrictive voter registration legislation so as to effectively create scenarios where they will pretty much win any elections in their districts. This definitely needs to stop – the playing field needs to be level and anyone elected to office should do so in an environment where both sides or ideologies are represented. A win should represent the majority  out of both not a manufactured majority.

Racism

There is a long history of racism in this country that has been allowed to sit and fester for entirely too long.  That elephant has been in the room so long it has died and turned to fossilized bones. There is no national dialog on the issue. Utilizing the ignorance of low information people to cultivate racist beliefs and reactions is the absolutely most irresponsible thing that can happen. Yet this is exactly what the GOP and their sub group Tea Party have done. They need to be called out on this immediately. This needs to be recognized for what it is and you white folks that sit by and watch them do this and say nothing you are just as bad if not worse. Until this country has meaningful dialog on the subject of race, until there is a substantive move or shift to eradicate discrimination on any level NOTHING this country does is ultimately of much consequence in the global community.  The so called American Exceptionalism is instead the equivalent of a movie back lot where the façade shows beautiful lovely buildings but walk through the door and there’s nothing behind it.

So with all the high fiving and celebrations going on the day after the government shutdown ended, there needs to be a new resolve by the rational and sane people of this country to work towards having a government that is truly By the people and FOR the people.

For those of you who don’t remember or don’t know these words ring truer today than they did when they were first spoken:

Gettysburg Address

Four score and several years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great Civil War, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus so far nobly advanced. It is rather for to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead – we take increased devotion to that cause for that last full measure of devotion that we here highly resolve that these dead have not died in vain. That this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom  – and that a government of the people by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.

The battleground has changed from being local to being nationwide and he was completely wrong about one thing. The words said on that day will always be remembered especially now when they are so incredibly relevant.