The Shutdown is a Sign of American Greatness

The government shutdown is ultimately a feature, not a bug, of a very robust republic balancing competing interests.

I keep reading how people are so horrified and embarrassed by the government shutdown. You shouldn't be. It is a sign of our greatness. So many people have bought into the notion that authoritarianism is running amuck across the land, and here is your proof that is not the case.

The United States is a country that endows united, large minorities with the power to obstruct the will of the majority. It is kind of funny now watching a bunch of liberals who championed the minority that supported gay rights being able to dominate the majority that did not. But now they seem to have forgotten all that and are wondering why the GOP can't reopen the Senate without Democrat votes.

It is because our founders were wise men who knew that the unchecked power of a majority could be as ruthless as a dictator. So the checks and balances within our system operate even within one half of one institution within our system. A minority of Democrats in the Senate can keep the government shut down because their minority is almost a majority. The filibuster serves a good purpose here.

China can laugh and ridicule all they want, but the Chinese are communist dictators who ruthlessly jail and exterminate dissidents. Here, the dissidents march in the street calling Donald Trump an authoritarian. There is no better proof that he is not than that they can do this.

The perfectly run trains on time in China may make some wish for better here, but that is actually a flaw of the Chinese system. That perfection masks a lack of rights, liberty, and freedom. Here, the government can shutdown because the balance of power must be mediated through both institutions and competing concerns of voters.

It is far messier and can appear far more dysfunctional, but that is why you get to march in the streets and protest. As the nation teeters at 50-50 between the parties, the parties are more apt to play for keeps to acquire power and, as a result, we get more dysfunction. But that is just the way our republic processes and sorts itself out. It is a feature, not a bug -- a feature of a 200+ year old system that masterfully forces parties to compete, check, and balance one another and, in the process, keeps those parties out of our hair.

I don't care whether you support or oppose the shutdown itself. But the fact that it can be shutdown is a good thing. It's not that we should be more like China. Other countries should be more like us.

Comments
No. 1-23
etbass
etbass

I will agree that Congress should get their pay cut also. I also disagreed the last time when Obama tried to make it as painful as possible to the American people, intentionally. I understand why you don't like it and I wouldn't either, if I were in your shoes. The reason we are in this mess is that Congress won't provide long term budgets. Then the actual issue here has nothing to do with budgets, but the Democrats and progressive Republicans holding the country hostage to try and get a deal on DACA. At least the shutdown over Obamacare had significant ties to the financial stability of the country. DACA is most clerical in the near future. I do wonder why federal government employees should be exempt from the same issues that other people face, such as labor disputes for factory and union workers, weather preventing construction crews from working, economic downturn forcing companies to scale back hours and implement unpaid furloughs. I get why you don't like. I just think it is important to point out that federal employees are not the only people that find themselves without pay for a period of time, through no fault of their own.

etbass
etbass

Government shutdowns are good. It reminds people just how little most of us need the federal government on a daily basis. Obviously, there are things that would create major problems if they just ended (military, Social Security, etc.). However, a whole lot of what the federal government does could be completely ended without making that much of a wave. The local and state governments would step up and people would adjust. There are some government workers that would definitely be impacted by losing their jobs. However, that is a consequences that happens all the time as companies are forced out of business by technology and innovation, by competition and by government regulation. Government policy has to be what is best for the country as a whole, even if that means bad results for a few people. Not being willing to do that, is why our government is trillions in debt and growing everyday.

NWRED
NWRED

The shutdown is good until the Republicans cave. The key question is, have the American people seen through the Democrat and media lies? The people have to realize that a majority is sixty percent not fifty.

Concerned American
Concerned American

And please note the back pay was for actual days worked , if your furloughed your not working soooo no pay!

Concerned American
Concerned American

We had to get the Union's involved and we all fought hard to get that back pay! P.S. I'm not even a Union guy.