The Government is Back Open, But I Am Still Sad

By

Published January 30, 2019
A A A Share
The Montclarion
A crowd of protestors demand the government be reopened. Photo courtesy of Keith Ellison via Flickr

Remember when you were a kid and you would put together enough spare change to get a pack of Skittles or something like that. Then you would head over on the hippity-hop and the kid who had those cool shoes that lit up when you stomped them would say, “Hey! Gimme a Skittle!” Very reasonably, you would reply, “If I give you a Skittle, I have to give everyone a Skittle,” and then the Draco Malfoy-looking kid would throw a fit and be like, “I am shutting down the hippity-hop.”

Well, for over a month, that was the government of the United States of America.

The longest government shutdown in American history lasted 34 days, left nearly 500,000 federal workers without paychecks and cost the U.S. economy overall $11 billion. With $11 billion, you could buy the Tampa Bay Rays a dozen times.

The whole debacle began when President Donald Trump refused to approve a federal budget that did not include at least $5.7 billion for a wall on the U.S. and Mexico border. The Democratic controlled House of Representatives rejected the request, so Yogi and Boo-Boo didn’t have to deal with those damn tourists for a month. Lucky for them.

I do not believe this historic shutdown occurred due to Democrats and Republicans doing what they believed was best for the American people. I believe it occurred due to the horrific but amusing state of American politics today: A person on that team wants this so we have to do whatever it takes to accomplish the complete opposite.

The shutdown was only one example of how polarizing the two-party system has become and how nothing more than pettiness can lead to people working for no money.

Mike DeWine, the new governor of Ohio, announced he would sign the “heartbeat” abortion bill former Gov. John Kasich had vetoed, which would prohibit abortions from taking place after a heartbeat is detected inside the womb — the strictest anti-abortion legislation in the country.

Heartbeats of fetuses become detectable six weeks into pregnancy or before most women even know they are pregnant. The only example a male like myself can use to relate to that is when I want to return a product I bought, but instead of a refund, I am given store credit. Sure, that is not at all the same thing, but damn those bastards over at TJ Maxx.

This sharp polarization has caused the U.S. government to be rendered inefficient over the past two decades. Former Democratic President Barack Obama resorted many executive orders due to a non-cooperative Republican Congress, and now Trump is facing the same issues since Democrats took back the House.

This divide has caused riots across the country, some resulting in murders, the destruction of entire neighborhoods and admittedly, a few spicy memes.

This problem does not seem to have an end in sight as Democrats are proposing electing a candidate that is the total opposite of Trump, which would only add fuel to the fire.

Third party candidates have never been taken seriously, but the power of social media outreach and implementation of strategies, such as ranked choice voting, can finally challenge the two-party system.

The first independent candidate to announce their 2020 presidential run is former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. As much as I believe it’s time to break the two-party system, I do find it difficult to trust a man to run the free world who made drink sizes confusing.

 

This satirical piece is written by Brian Rooney, a comedy writer for The Montclarion.

Join the Conversation