United we stand, divided we shut down

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Leading up to the government shutdown last week, and in its aftermath, Americans cried for Congress and the president to do their jobs. The media reported polls of the percent of Americans who thought politicians were acting like “spoiled children” or were acting “childish” and needed to grow up and solve the issue at hand.

Americans are outraged the president and Congress have allowed their parties differences to shut down the government, putting so many people out of work and further hurting our already fragile economy.

Regardless of our political stance on the issues and what party we belong to, without a doubt, politicians need to do their job and find a solution. How long are Americans going to allow their representatives to drag their feet and oppose the other side at every turn?

I don’t care what your political beliefs are, and you probably don’t care about mine. This isn’t about which side is right. This isn’t about the issues on the table. That’s a whole other discussion. This is about the laziness across our government and the way in which issues are dealt.

We elected these people into office. We voted to keep them in office in the last elections. And now they have allowed a government shutdown. This mentality of Congress dragging every bill or decision out, this mentality of each party fighting the others about everything, has been rampant on Capitol Hill for far too long.

If we elect those who will actually work, those who will actually compromise and work with the other party, we will get better results. Perhaps Americans, of all political party affiliations, should take a long, hard look at their representatives. They’ll probably be disgusted at the lack of work and platform promises kept, and next election, they’ll think twice about just voting down the party, race, religious or gender line. Maybe they’ll actually inform themselves on the issues and what a particular politician will actually do in office.

Elected officials run the government. We put them there, but we also have the power to remove them from office. When will Americans have had enough of the childish, stubborn way our government is being run? If we demand more from our representatives and remove from office those who aren’t doing what they are paid an obscene amount to do, we will get better results.

How long will Americans take it? For as long as we are equally lazy.

How lazy are Americans during elections? I know many people whose votes are determined only by party. I know many people whose votes are determined by a candidate’s race or gender because they are “looking out for their own.” Americans are crying that Congress and the president aren’t doing their jobs, but how lazy are the unemployed Americans not even looking for jobs? How lazy are the Americans with their entitlement attitudes, refusing jobs they deem somewhere in their minds as beneath them?

As a society we’ve grown farther and farther apart along party lines. We throw race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and entitlement into every argument. In today’s America, having a differing opinion than the loudest group that day brings on vicious media attacks. We refuse to compromise, seeing it as defeat. We are too proud in our opinions. We feel entitled to success when we’ve done nothing to earn it. Lawmakers tiptoe on egg shells when they try to get anything done. No wonder nothing is getting done in this country.

We need to demand more from our government than acting like a child who hasn’t gotten its way. But first, Americans need to demand more from themselves. As a whole, our nation needs to grow up and stop crying foul at every turn. We have to learn to compromise. We have to understand compromising doesn’t mean we’ve lost. We can stand strong in our values and still work together to run a country successfully. Our Congress and president will stop being stubborn and lazy when we stop being stubborn and lazy and put people in office who are ready to work.