“. . . and that government of the people,
by the people, for the people . . .”
(Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address)
Lucy, one of the family Dachshunds, does not understand the concept of “playing” ball. I throw the ball . . . Lucy chases the ball, catches the ball, and then runs away from me. She does not understand that she is supposed to bring me the ball so that I can throw it for her to chase. No, it more along the lines of her taking the ball, claiming it as her own, and if I want to play her game . . . well, I had better get off my rear end and chase her. I am getting too old to chase a dog around the yard. Basically, Lucy takes the ball and goes home.
We have all encountered those kids while we were growing up who—if they did not like the way the game was going or did not like the rules of the game—would take the ball and go home. By taking the ball and going home those kids pretty much shut down the game . . . ruined the fun for everyone else . . . and, usually got beat up. No, I am kidding about that last part . . . my friends and I never beat anyone up for quitting and taking their ball home . . . but, the idea did cross our minds!
No one likes it when someone takes the ball and goes home, thus ending whatever game or activity is taking place. It has now been well over a week now since our government has shut down for supposedly high-minded political reasons. As the popular and even unpopular media has put it, it is the Republican House’s fault . . . but, the Democratic controlled Senate has done more than stand idly by—they are a part of the blame. Whatever the cause, whoever is to blame, does not matter . . . our nation’s government has shut down leaving a whole lot of people hurting. I imagine that all of us know someone who has been thrown into a crisis thanks to the government’s shut down. It ain’t a pretty picture no matter who is to blame.
As I have had some time to think about the whole mess, it dawned on me earlier in the week that this whole mess has been building up for a long, long time as the two political parties have been waging a game with the lives and livelihoods of the people who call the United States of America their home. I have heard more than a few people express a desire that our politicians grow up and quit playing games. From my perch in Montana it looks like one side decided to quit, take the ball, and go home . . . effectively shutting down the game. The other side has cried foul. Neither side is willing to concede. In the meantime, our nation and its people suffer.
It is silly. It is silly because . . . well, it is not their ball in the first place. The ball does not belong to the Republicans . . . nor does it belong to the Democrats . . . it doesn’t even belong to the White House. The ball, which was being used to play the game, belongs to the people. The ball belongs to the people . . . the very same people who are not being allowed to play the game, but get to suffer all the effects of the game whether it is being played or not.
Ol’ Abe Lincoln said it best in his address to the nation on the battlefield of Gettysburg when he said: “. . . and that government of the people,
by the people, for the people . . .” Whether the individual is a Republican or Democrat or Independent . . . liberal or conservative or moderate . . . that individual was elected to represent the people by the people. Those elected to serve the people were not elected to serve themselves or special interest groups . . . they were elected to serve the people. What the people have witnessed in the recent past does not resemble anything close to what Ol’ Abe was talking about. Nor were those who were elected called upon to assume that the people are too stupid or ignorant to think for themselves . . . to make decisions for themselves . . . the way the government treats the people today is by pulling by the nose to places they never asked to go in the first place. Watching our government in action lately is like watching a bunch of kids playing games . . . there is name calling, finger pointing, taunting, ridicule . . . much nastiness. At least it was until they took the ball and went home.
This is not a political rant against any one party because it seem that everyone is to blame on this one. I just wish that everyone would remember that it wasn’t their ball in the first place . . . it belonged to the people who elected them. It is time for those who have been elected to grow up, serve the people who elected them, and get back to work. People are hurting and we are the laughing stock of the world. What we have now is not a government for the people . . . it is just a bunch of spoiled kids who need to grow up. It ain’t your ball! Give it back to the people!
None of us liked it as kids, and we sure do not like it as adults.