Going to work this Monday, collecting a paycheck on Friday? Not if you’re working for the Department of Commerce, one of the many departments in which employees are going on week 3 without a paycheck or promise of one in the future. Too bad, you say, government employees are riding the bureaucratic train to fat retirements and lucrative pensions, so who really cares if they suffer a job loss?
I care. And maybe you should too. I’m married to a government scientist — a 38-year veteran working out of the outdated, XFile-looking set of buildings along Broadway known as NTIA — a man who’s spent his life measuring all things intangible, so that citizens can enjoy things like clear communication on their cell phones and U.S. Navy ships can operate without interference from random intrusions, keeping our country safe from attack. Like thousands of people working for the U.S. Government, there is VALUE in what my husband does every day he goes into the lab. He did nothing to deserve this abrupt change in being able to support our family, and neither did I.
And yet, here we are — in the throes of a full-fledged temper tantrum thrown by a wanna-be dictator — at the expense of nearly a million Americans — an action he would never be undertaking without the support of his party. The effects of this shutdown are trickling down and will continue to do so — from people unable to pay rent or a mortgage to simply dining out on a Thursday night. Even if you don’t work for the government, you could still be affected by the money people don’t spend at your store or restaurant, because your customers do.
Photo courtesy USFWS…Bear not on government furlough.
We ourselves will be pulling from resources otherwise set aside for the future because the need has arisen for them NOW. We’re canceling plans earlier made, until the elected officials can behave like logical, intelligent adults — our own Senator Cory Gardner included — and end the shutdown, WITHOUT giving in to the insane demands for $5.7 Billion to build an environmentally disastrous and logistically unfeasible wall to separate “Us from Them.”
Like nearly one million Americans and counting affected by this shutdown, we stand ready to defend democracy at our personal expense, because we believe in the integrity of democracy and that this country is America, not Russia. And still one has to ask,
Should any American be held hostage to the whims of a narcissist?