Government shutdowns are hard for families who rely on the federal government for their livelihood and live paycheck to paycheck. For many of us, however, the government shutdown has minimal to no impact on our daily lives. Many people don’t give the shutdown two minutes of thought. Sure, it gives a few non-affected people something to complain about, but most people see Washington DC as a place where the well-protected, beautiful people live on our dime, divorced from reality. Over the last 23 years we have become conditioned to their antics.
Most people care about the things they interact with on a daily basis. As an example, people have the most interaction with their local and state governments, so it’s no wonder most people shrug off the federal shutdown.
The mainstream media would have us believe we are living in an episode of the “Walking Dead,” where the whole of human existence hangs in the balance if the federal government doesn’t reopen. Every media account about the shutdown is a sad story about a government agency or a biased news story against the Republicans. These blame games happen every time the federal government shuts down so the finger point has become old hat.
I don’t know what is more exhausting, the fake outrage over the shutdown or politicians who refuse to compromise in order to reopen the federal government. In any case, here are some ways Culpeper residents can ignore the fake outrage and the federal government shut down.
1. Turn off the TV.
2. Shop our local stores and restaurants. Try a new one.
3. Attend church and/or spend time with family.
4. Visit a friend or make some new ones in the nursing home.
5. Go for a hike in the mountains.
6. Visit a state park or battlefield.
7. Take a neighbor a dessert.
8. Attend a board of supervisors, town council or school board meeting; see how government is supposed to function.
Do some of these listed items seem like things you normally do? That’s kind of the point. Being neighborly is a great way to keep our minds on the important things. Pop culture and media would have us at each other’s throats threatening the next great American Civil War. Most people care more about their families and neighbors than seeing two New Yorkers and a Californian wag their fingers at each other on prime time national TV.
I know there will be some people who say the polls don’t back up my statements and that everyone is outraged. I would just remind them that the polling during the 2016 presidential race wasn’t really accurate either. Some people will also say I am missing the downstream effects of the shutdown on the economy. This argument has some merit, but most people know the economy as a whole is bigger than the government and hopefully will remain so.
I am cynical about government but optimistic about life. I predict President Trump will get most of the border wall and the democrats will get their government programs opened again and together they will kick the can down the road on the debt and deficit for another 6 months. Let’s just hold on a little while longer until both sides get what they want in negotiation. Let’s look out for our neighbors while we wait patiently for the government to re-open.