For a couple of weeks, I’d planned to take today off. Doctor appointment, work in a few errands and odd jobs around the house, etc.
Now, wild Tea Partiers couldn’t keep me away.
No way I’m going to choose to take a day off when people I know are being forced to stay home, all for the sake of politics, and bad politics at that.
The shutdown of the federal government is an affront to self-government, to the concept of democracy in a republic.
Worse, it will have a real impact on real people. Not just the employees, some of whom are friends who live in my community — West Branch, the birthplace of President Herbert Hoover. Some are employees of the National Park Service, running and maintaining a national park; some work at the Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, part of the National Archives. But it also affects the rest of us. We all benefit from their work, some more directly than others.
Just yesterday on my way to work, I passed one of them working on railings of a bridge that children in our community cross on the way to school. She and some of her co-workers have kids in our schools, or have in the past. Wonder if she’ll be working tomorrow, I thought.
The national parks are, as a friend of mine pointed out this morning, some of the best places our country has to offer and we employ people to maintain them, preserve them and share the stories they hold. These federal employees — like those who preserve our physical and financial security — are routinely assailed by some who portray them as unnecessary and wasteful, among other things.
The portrayals say more about the portrayers than about their targets, the people we hire to do what needs doing.
And what they do needs doing, in practical terms certainly, but also because they remind us more of what unites us than of what divides us.
OK, now I’m off to my doctor’s appointment. But I’ll be back to work afterward, because blowhards in Washington can’t shut all of us down.
Posted by Mike Owen, Executive Director