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Federal staring contest on our dime

Editorial | Government shutdown bogus, but we don’t have to be

Did anyone notice anything different these past two days?

Yeah, neither did we.

Apparently, the people we elected to represent us in the government thought it was in our best interest to, you know, completely shut it down. At the end of the fiasco they were able go home to their warm, well-provided houses, with the comfort of knowing they’d still be getting paid regardless.

But that’s not the same story for the 800,000 federal employees whose job places have been shut down without pay. Even the “excepted” federal employees that will still be working will most likely not be receiving their pay and instead will be reimbursed retroactively.

And it’s all in the name of what President Barack Obama calls a “Republican crusade” against the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare.

Basically, the House Republicans are acting like big babies about funding the ACA and are refusing to do their jobs. Instead, they’re holding the entire government hostage and have been refusing to pass reasonable spending plans without taking advantage of the opportunity to inject their partisan agenda.

And we are pissed.

Yesterday, Google’s iconic logo celebrated the 123rd anniversary of Yosemite National Park, which was sadly on the same day it was closed — along with all other national parks — because of the government shutdown. Yesterday was also NASA’s 55th birthday; a Sept 29 post on their website proclaiming, “Happy birthday to us! NASA turns 55 tomorrow,” is no longer accessible because the website — as well as many other federal sites — have been shut down as well. Even the Statue of Liberty is closed. How symbolic.

Not only do federal workers and Americans that seriously need federal programs have to suffer, but this also makes us look like a total joke on the international stage. Only a few weeks ago, we were talking about going to war with Syria to stop government atrocities abroad, yet we can’t even hash out our own issues at home. Our own government has literally shut down.

This not only calls for us to reevaluate what we want to see in our elected officials — who are federal officials that shouldn’t be getting paid, either — but also to rethink how we perceive our civic role in our society. We’re all pissed. We get it. But what not many people are getting is that this is our government — not just legislature’s. It’s not enough to post a Facebook status about it (we hope the people that should be doing something about this aren’t sitting their butts at a computer to see them.)

Why aren’t people protesting? Why aren’t crowds marching on the capitol? What are we doing about this? We’re college students. The biggest progress in society has historically always sprung from college campuses. Where the youth at?

We’re talking about a democracy that we are inheriting. It doesn’t belong to the people in power, but to the next generation. We’re entitled to preserve it and pick up the slack where our so-called reps are failing us. Now is not the time to forget where the power truly lies.

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