There is no urgency in Washington to find a solution to the budget debate. The reason is simple; it doesn’t affect them. They continue to be paid, and nothing changes for them or their families. The government shutdown has resulted in a great many difficulties for the American people, but they don’t care.
80 members of congress are holding the country’s 300-plus million hostage for purely political reasons. For the average American, al-Qaeda is less dangerous than our own government.
The cowardly attacks on September 11, 2001 resulted in the deaths of 2,996 innocent Americans. There is no question that this was the most horrific attack on United States soil in history. The devastation and destruction left the average citizen questioning how this could happen. Resulting investigations have proven that our government failed us. It could have been prevented.
What should we do about the intentional damage caused to Americans by its own government? Should we allow political ambition to supersede the needs and lives of the country’s people?
A losing war in Vietnam, waged by the American government cost the lives of 58,220 men and women. The injuries, both short and long term, are in the hundreds of thousands. Illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the lives of nearly 7,000 men and women, and the toll continues to rise. The injuries are in the tens of thousands.
Deaths of innocent Vietnamese are reported to be in the millions. Iraqi and Afghanistan deaths are in the hundreds of thousands.
All this destruction was not caused by an outside force. It was the result of action by the government of the United States.
The recent government shutdown proves that our government no longer functions. The American people have no representation. While the wealthy, (which includes Congressmen and Senators), have seen their bank accounts rise, the average American has experienced a decline in their own spendable income.
Who should we fear more, the forces of terror, or the reality of those who govern us? The answer is clear. In my 67 years on this planet, I have watched the destruction of America’s government. I have witnessed the quality of the working class diminish.
Unfortunately, our only weapon against our common enemy is our vote. But it rarely counts. Money buys elections. Everyone could do as I have, renounce their membership in either political party. The elimination of ‘red’ and ‘blue’ states would make politicians more accountable. The elimination of the Electoral College would mean your vote would count during presidential elections.
Unfortunately, American voters lack the courage to take back their country from professional politicians.
For the average man and woman, al-Qaeda is far less dangerous than those we have elected. They are far more powerful than any terrorist group. The proof is in their approval rating. With less than ten percent popularity, they continue to do as they please.
I have lived long enough to see something I never could have believed; the end of America as I once knew it.
Commentary by James Turnage