Fast Focus: 'Who do you blame for the recent government shutdown?' It's our own fault

October 27, 2013 

I blame the American people for the recent government shutdown which cost $24 billion. The antics of Congress have made America a global laughingstock and fueled anti-American sentiment among our creditors.

True, only a handful of House Republicans orchestrated the shutdown as an act of terrorism intent on instilling fear and uncertainty in American citizens, but the shutdown is a symptom of a much larger issue.

Americans voted for these terrorists, using the same specious reasoning they've used for decades. The job of our elected representatives is to be our proxy in government to make decisions based on constitutional principles because we all can't be directly involved in the workings of government. They are not sent to Congress to divert federal funds to the home state, they are not supposed to pass legislation protecting negative biases (even those hiding behind "religious freedom"), and campaigning for office should not be construed as a popularity contest. Similarly, the president is not a king, he is not the rudder of the nation. A president is one of the checks in our checks and balances system. He also executes the laws passed by Congress and validated by the court. Everything else we "expect" from our politicians is pointless drama. Our government is not a corporation, the president is not the CEO, and Congress is not a board of trustees.

Life is not a romance or adventure novel. Stop expecting a "great leader" to rise from the ashes of mediocrity. But really, what can we expect from a society that lives on credit, and validates opinions that are based on beliefs that have been discredited by facts and reason? It is no wonder that our government subsists on credit, and that our representatives are self-indulgent ideologues who exempt themselves from the laws they make. Look in the mirror, people. Better yet, stop looking at your 3-inch cellphone screen and look at your fellow Americans. You will see your present government reflected in all of us.

-- MIKE WILSON, Richland

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