Letter from the Editor

The Party Crawl

Since 1977 there have been seventeen shut downs in the United States. And they are rarely longer than a few days or even hours.

But, for every day that the government is forced to churn over its budget, vital federal services and eight hundred thousand federal employees cannot function.

Each shut down is bad for the country.

“At midnight last night, for the first time in 17 years, the Republicans in Congress chose to shut down the federal government,” said President Barack Obama in a televised announcement. “Let me be more specific: One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government, all because they did not like one law.”
I agree that Obama should have come out to speak against the shut down. But I don’t agree with him pointing fingers at one specific party. Because there is no one specific party that should bear the burden of fault over the other.

Because both sides are equally to blame.

Democrats and Republicans are stubborn, entrenched and married to the idea that they, and they alone, know how to solve America’s woes. And neither side is willing to talk over matters when they can bluster and blow at one another from their partisan fortresses.

The Democrats have the White House and Senate. The Republicans can whip up enough support to keep things ground to a halt in the House. These are no longer governing bodies that work in tandem with one another; they are separate gears, spinning uselessly and bashing into one another while the machine stands still.

Our government was designed to be ineffective. The two party system was created to make sure not one group held complete sway. But we are now too far into the opposite direction: We are so ineffective that we cannot function, to the detriment and danger of the nation.

And even members of each party are starting to see how dangerous this bluffing contest has become.

“The way to resolve our differences is to sit down and talk,” said Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 House Republican, in an interview with the New York Times. “And as you can see here, there’s no one here on the other side of the table.”

It’s our ability to push against these lawmakers, to cause change. Push them out of their forts. Out of their trenches. Push them to the table. Because action is better than blustering.