Government's Return Comes With An IOU To U.S. Public

Western Ag Vignettes

Infighting washed into the soul of American patriotism.

Published on: October 22, 2013

To begin with, true patriotism to one's nation should be a never-compromised iron-clad contract.

But the political game-playing that came to a head with a shutdown of our government has been a tax on even the most dedicated citizen. I have talked with some who feel the whole closure was a symptom of deep disturbances in the nation's fundamental foundation.

Whether we have become a nation based on political whims remains a concern. Will the next shut-down be the result of some senator from California not getting support for a new law restricting the number of bathrooms in floating homes in Sausalito.

Taking hostages for your particular kind of legislation is a vile action. Closing down the government is tantamount to treason. We did to ourselves what the cleverest terrorist could not do. Did I hear laughter from the caves of Al-Qaeda?

I believe in the democratic right to protest with all my heart, but is the closure of government a step beyond simple disagreements? Isn't it a threat to Homeland Security? And, what is the cost in terms of this nation's international leadership. I have heard some caustic remarks from foreign dignitaries, and I think we may just have lost traction globally.

Thanks, people, for diminishing our reputation abroad, for causing Americans to curse their government, and for furloughing hard-working folks just to get your agenda in the spotlight.

I, for one, have joined the ranks represented by my father who simply put it: "They're all jerks."

Hate to admit that, but what goes around … (sorry, Dad, for all those times I argued with you defending the integrity of our representatives).

So, what now is the outlook for a post-shut-down U.S.? Certainly, this hurt will not be mended easily or quickly, and it will stay deeply with us.

Often, I have wondered if there should be punitive laws to be filed against those in government who do not keep the doors open. Some, I have heard, are talking of recalls – lots of recalls.

My problem is that when I look far into the forest of leadership timber, I find no alternative improvements. That, all by itself, is very, very sad, and comes with a threat of voter disillusionment and apathy – the fundamentals of profound social unrest.

It is an age when superheroes are popular in the movies, and perhaps that is because we are all looking for a Captain America to rescue us from ourselves.

Whenever I think this nation is troubled, I wonder what George Washington or John Adams would think if they could see us now.

I know they would be astonished at the size of the federal government, which is something both Rev-War gents wanted to play only a fringe role in our lives. Ironically, after reading lots of period history about their epic moment, I am not sure that they would be surprised that our elected  representatives closed the government. There were some bitter, caustic fights in our government during their time as well.

But I do believe the price we are paying in diminished citizenry faith in government would give them pause, and cause even old honest Abe to wonder if fighting the Civil War was worth the effort.

Truly, we have reached a wrenching crossroad decision in our history. Truly, we may improve the way, but it will be a long and difficult journey, and one that requires a legendary statesman.