Posts Tagged democracy

A victory for government, and adulthood

US CapitolNormally, I use this space to rant about things that are wrong with the world; I don’t always follow up when things go right.

I am immensely relieved that the government shutdown is over, and that Democrats were able end it without defacing the Affordable Care Act.

I tend to give less emphasis to these types of events because, right or wrong, I feel like this is simply how things should work.

The Republican healthcare-for-hostages scheme was completely unreasonable; the GOP was trying to block a law that had already been approved by Congress, and vetted by the Supreme Court and the people’s votes for President Obama in last year’s election.

Republicans may not like the law, but that’s not a reason for shutting down the government. Wednesday’s solution was the only logical way for this to end.

I say that not as a supporter of Obamacare gloating over a hard-won victory, but as someone who has faith in the mechanisms of the Federal government.

In a democracy, not everyone will agree 100 percent of the time, but our system of government has always been able to contain those disagreements (with the exception of the Civil War). Over the past couple of weeks, that system was tested by a group that simply wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, and it passed.

The American people passed the test too.

We stood up for that system of government, not letting concepts of “fairness” or “compromise” become transmuted into a tyranny of the minority, realizing that adults need to be able to handle not getting their way.

Many people assume that constant fighting is an inherent part of how Washington works, but the government shutdown has shown that obstruction by a few shouldn’t be misconstrued with overall incompetence.

Now that we’ve gotten a taste of how government is supposed to work, maybe we’ll be less lenient the next time Republicans conjure up a crisis to advance their agenda.

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Election overload

I Voted stickerIn the beginning, Senators were chosen by state legislatures, not the people. Lawmakers reasoned that people weren’t informed enough to make those decisions. Not anymore: today Congressional candidates feel like telemarketers. Thank God the primaries are almost over.

If a politician or their representative calls you several times a day, does that make you want to vote for them? It’s no wonder they don’t get anything done: they spend all their time campaigning, and telling people what they plan on doing.

On the other hand, maybe the blitz of phone calls and junk mail is a response to low voter turnout. People will be motivated to vote if it makes the voices go away, and it’s not like they’ll forget what day the primary is.

It doesn’t stop either. I went to the polling place and filled in the circles on the official piece of paper (when did voting become the same as the SATs?) hours ago, but they’re still calling. Maybe things will quiet down when the polls close (I’m writing this at about 7:00 EST Tuesday night), but I doubt it. On to the general election!

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