By Evan Nasse
“The Blueberry Party has gone too far this time!” Cries the leader of the Red Apple Party, Red Delicious, pointing his finger accusingly in the direction where the patch of Blueberries are seated.
“You can’t just decide that we’re going to pay for pesticides for all of the produce! This is an outrage and we will not sit idly by. Starting the day of the implementation of the Affordable Pesticide Act we are implementing a Cropwide Closure unless you agree to our demands to defund Obamegranatecare!” Screams the Red Apple Party representative into the microphone.
“You can’t shut down all of the crops just because you disapprove of the bill which has been signed into law, approved by the Supreme Coconut Court and for which President Obamegranate was elected twice. You could damage all of our crops and spoil our entire harvest should you do this, you may even irreparably damage our soil rating.” Replied the Blueberry Party representative.
“Well we’ll just see about that.” Said the Red Delicious, a smug smirk on his face as the majority of the Red Apple Party walked out of the Senate Basket Chambers. Not all Apples agreed with Red Delicious and his associates. Most of the Red Apple Party weren’t even actually Red Apples, a lot of them were quite rich like the Golden Delicious Apples, or conservative like the Granny Smith Apples, even the showy Gala Apple sporting patriotic, three-corner hats appeared to be a nut in fruits clothing.
The Blueberry Party was aghast, each of them voting against the shutdown and attempting at all costs to avoid a shutdown of their precious, multifaceted fruitbasket. How can the party claiming to be the party of fiscal conservatism and fiscal responsibility send us further into a debt crisis which they themselves imposed on the entirety of the United Grapes of America?! They knew such a thing would—and has— cost us billions! If he could see what his party has become today Grapebraham Lincoln would be ashamed!
Although my p(e)arable is a bit tough to chew and leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, it is a very simplified account of how our country currently sits, rotting from the inside out. I apologize for all the puns this topic has forced me to produce. I’m done, I swear! However, explaining it as if relating the story of the “Rotten Apples Spoiling the Bunch” seems—to me, at least—far less ridiculous than the facts. I guess I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself, I’ll allow you to judge for yourselves.
Let us begin by taking a fascinating look at one of our previous Congresses. President Harry Truman nicknamed the 1947-1948 Congress the “Do-Nothing Congress.” A nickname that stuck to the Republican lead house and senate for passing just 906 bills, it was so powerful a buzzword that he used that as his campaign platform rather than refuting his opponent and became reelected with the new session leading to Democratic majority in the house and senate once more. By comparison, the current 113th Congress has passed 24 bills (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/10/31/worst-congress-ever-the-case-in-7-charts/ and on a side note, that website also shows Congress’ current approval rating of 3%; lower than the current approval rating for STD’s, BP during the height of the oil spill, Communism, Hurricane Katrina and more!) so if the “Do-Nothing” Congress passed almost 38 times more bills than todays Congress, what does that make them?
Maybe we should take a look at the shutdown itself. Historically, of the 12 government shutdowns since 1976 when the Budget Act was implemented, each were perpetrated by the Republican Party in one sense or another. Whether it was President Reagan’s 8 government shutdowns in a divided house and senate, or President Clinton in a Republican led house and senate, each instance was a budgetary head-butt from the representatives of “The People’s Party.” This previous shutdown was spearheaded by Texas Senator Ted Cruz and 31 other Republican “US representatives,” (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/10/32-republicans-who-caused-the-government-shutdown/280236/) when they co-signed a letter in August by Rep. Mark Meadows to demand House Speaker Boehner to institute a scheme resulting in a government shutdown should the Affordable Care Act not be defunded by October 1st. The resulting shutdown cost our economy roughly $24 billion dollars (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2013/10/18/how-much-did-the-shutdown-cost-the-economy/). That’s billion with a B, however I rather enjoy my numbers when they’re fully typed out, so I’ll do just that; $24,000,000,000.00. For two weeks worth of failed principle—as an aside, whether or not you are for Obamacare isn’t the discussion—the law is passed and now we follow it, but now I’d like to move on towards the reason these wolves in sheep clothes forced the shutdown.
Obamacare. Or, is it the Affordable Care Act? Or was that Medicare—wait, Medicaid? Confusing? It should be, most of the drivel coming out of those opposed to the ACA are using that confusing language for a reason, piggybacking off of the media spin behind the decision upheld by the Supreme Court. You know it means business when Judges from a Supreme Court make a ruling. Fun fact 1: 30% of the public don’t know what ACA versus 12% when asked about Obamacare, 29% of the public supports Obamacare compared to 22% who support the ACA, and 46% oppose Obamacare and 37% oppose the ACA (http://www.cnbc.com/id/101064954). Fun Fact 2: The Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are the same thing, yet I bet even with those statistics thrown at you you’d feel confused enough not to care or even completely disenfranchised. Unless, of course, you have poor healthcare in the United States. (Fun fact 3: according to the World Health Organization the US is ranked 38 in health systems, just below Costa Rica http://www.who.int/whr/2000/en/whr00_en.pdf)
Now, I would like to take a moment and say that no, I do not believe that the Republican Party is entirely at blame, however they are the party not willing to negotiate at this time. I just hope there isn’t anyone confused about which party led us primarily to our current crises and are unwilling to get us out by using good economic sense. There are some even in their own party that realize the current trend is a mass misrepresentation of what Republicanism truly represents and have even switched parties due to it. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/02/1252488/-Another-Republican-Switches-To-The-Democratic-Party)
Honestly, given all these observations, I’m surprised more people aren’t furious with our government, demanding people step down from their “elected” posts until they do. A doctor would call it an inoperable tumor. So, here we are. We have the laziest, most unpopular, corrupt Congress ever, who eked out a majority control through gerrymandering of the districts and stomping on our economy as if it were literally on fire (unlike the spending power of the US dollar, which is figuratively on fire http://pricedingold.com/us-dollar/) so where do we go? Well, for one I would like to think that the next election season will put a more scrutinizing eye towards the candidates, their policies—past and present—and their virtue rather than their vitriol and buzzwordliness (lockbox, 9/11, abortion, etc and so forth, ad nauseum). I also would like to see more journalistic integrity in those reporting rather than some sort of rabbit chase by news-hounds to find the “juiciest” controversy about a candidate (“Up next: Did the President make a fashion faux pas in his National Address? Found out next on NBC Nightly News”) But most of all I want people to vote, and keep asking questions, rather than become complacent with the answers that they are fed by a paid media, bought Congress, neutered Senate and a President berated by double standards at every turn. Most of all, stay positive—we may yet get out of this next election season spectacle alive with someone representatives who actually want to help our country—wouldn’t that be a real cherry on top? (Technically that last one was an idiom, not a pun.)
[divider]About the Author: Evan Nasse
I am currently a sophomore studying liberal arts with a concentration in writing at APU and a minor in business. My passion is writing screenplays, however I still enjoy the other forms of creative writing such as flash fiction, creative nonfiction and science fiction. I hope to one day be professionally writing scripts for film and/or television.