A Government Shutdown Is a Political Shutdown

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Republicans and Democrats are engaging in a war of words right now, blaming each other for failing to stop an impending government shutdown. The only problem is that this blame is simply rhetoric to disguise their own lack of a better plan. A government shutdown would indeed be a failure: not of a single party but both parties. The parties lack the courage to propose a budget plan that will lose them political support, by imposing widespread government cuts, raising taxes, or engulfing us with even more debt. The options are not going to be easy, but we didn't send our representatives to Washington to make only easy choices for us.

The only way a government shutdown will occur is if talks between the parties break down to a lower level than they are right now. Obstinate representatives, unwilling to budge on their pet projects and extreme partisan ideologies, would rather shut down the government then enact a real budget plan. To the American public, that shouldn't seem very "representative." A government shutdown would be little more than a complete shutdown of our political system. Unwilling to make tough decisions, unwilling to compromise for the common good, and unwilling to take a vote that will hinder the reelection efforts.

A plan to ensure the normal functioning of society, providing services that the public needs and the leadership we deserve, should not be subject to political whims and childish grudges. Ultimately, we need leaders who are going to make the difficult decisions that will bring us out of our budget disaster. And most of all, we need leadership that will prove to us that the public good is not a means to a desired political "good." We need leaders who don't just shut down when times get tough. If no elected official will provide this type of leadership, then perhaps the next thing we need to shut down are incumbent reelection bids.

By Andre Audette