Children in Suits
By J.E. McCollough
Honestly, I don’t care who’s fault it is. Republicans, Democrats, Tea Party, Obama. Doesn’t matter. I remember when me and my brothers were fighting in the back seat of the car when we were kids, my mom would keep one hand on the wheel and reach back with the other and smack us. We’d cry and say, ‘But, MOM, HE started it!’ and we’d point at each other. And with intense frustration in her voice she’d say, ‘I don’t care WHO started it, STOP IT!’
We, the American people, have elected children to office.
Any parent knows (or so I’m told) children are primarily selfish. Until they’re taught otherwise they take what they want, lie to their benefit and deflect responsibility for any of their actions – unless it’s something they get approval for. These are the politicians we’ve sent to D.C.
The pundits on CNN and Fox are in a frenzy, some saying the sky will fall and others saying America won’t see any changes with the federal government shut down. I’m not going to tell you the sky will fall, but I can tell you for a fact the US military and intelligence community will be hard-hit.
Sure, active duty uniformed military personnel will continue to be paid. But there are 825,000 civilian federal employees who will not go to work starting October 1st and are not going to get a paycheck.
America is facing crises across the globe, and yet our politicians chose NOW to furlough the very people that spend their lives protecting American lives throughout the world.
Here’s a comment from a good friend of mine, a civilian friend, who is now going to be furloughed while trying to keep his family fed:
“Obama just signed the ‘pay the military act.’ Thanks, man, for trashing my service throughout the Middle East, side by side with the military in war zones. Evidently my service has no value. Fuck you, Congress. Fuck you, Mr. President.”
Another close friend said, more succinctly:
“So much for the value of civil service in this country….”
Sequestration was bad enough, I wrote about sequestration’s impact on the US Intelligence Community in TIME in April. But with a shutdown, I believe, we’re going to start losing the best and brightest of the intelligence community.
But there’s the point. Our politicians don’t really care about protecting Americans, they care about playing politics. The impact of their checkers games (you can’t even call them chess games) on real-world life and death issues are irrelevant to them.
I’m heartbroken and concerned for my friends in the Beltway and stationed abroad.
I’m frightened for my country.
I know we’re more vulnerable.