I woke up on Tuesday morning to many angry and confused statuses on Facebook. You know how it is – when things get political, Facebook is like the equivalent of your parents after you told them you got a tattoo just because you “were bored”. Or you got married to a stranger you met on a train, and now your bank account is mysteriously empty. Or you jumped off a bridge, just because your friend did. When politics and Facebook get mixed together, you’ll immediately feel like everyone’s hasty rants – whether researched or not, right or wrong – are telling you that you should just know better, America. It’s a polarizing feeling.
Eventually (and quickly, might I add) I figured out why: The Government shut down! This is a big deal, because the last time this happened was in the mid-90′s. Back then, over 75% of those who were polled figured that Clinton would settle things to avoid the consequences of the shutdown. This time, about 45% predicted this fate by saying an agreement would not be reached. So, morale is a tad bit lower.
What are they fighting about? Well- you’ve heard the term ObamaCare before, right? President Obama is fighting for everyone to have the access to cheaper health insurance, which could be very useful. When people tell you they have a “new job with benefits”, those benefits are pretty much health care. (And not “an endless supply of candy”, which also could be defined as “a benefit”.) If you get hit by a car tomorrow, insurance will make sure the hospital bill doesn’t leave you homeless and sleeping in a tent outside your parent’s house all night. Some people avoid going to the doctor because they don’t have insurance, and if you’ve ever suffered from two solid weeks of bronchitis, you’ll realize why this isn’t the greatest situation to be in.
Obama said the shutdown is intended to hinder government efforts to provide health insurance to 15% of the U.S. population that doesn’t have coverage, adding it was “strange that one party would make keeping people uninsured the centerpiece of their agenda.” The House and the Senate, both primarily of opposing parties, both refuse to budge from their visions for the budget and the health care reform. The shutdown is causing a lot of people to be out of work. Like, a lot. To be exact, it’s around 800,000 people.
Hopefully this will pass – especially since people in our country deserve a right to be as healthy as they can be, and have access to the doctors they need to see without having to risk bankruptcy. Also, while some people are being paid during all of this, plenty aren’t. NASA actually celebrated its 55th anniversary on Tuesday, and had to tell 97% of their employees that they’d be out of work for the duration of the shutdown.
To see this situation in a lighthearted way, and to spend some time trying to think optimistically before this all sorts itself out, let’s think of some other reasons that probably caused the shutdown. (In short – smiling at even one of these will help take your mind of all the bad things we don’t have too much control over at the moment.)
1. Grand Theft Auto 5 DID Just Come Out. I mean, it’s the most talked-about game this week! And so controversial, too. Quite possibly, someone thought they were doing some people a favor by having an “extended vacation” from “working” to “improve things”. (Funny enough, it’s been reported that the game has a bunch of glitches as well. You can’t win, Government!)
2. Someone Finally Got a Tip-Off From Ron Swanson. I mean, Nick Offerman just released a book, and the character he’s so famous for is pretty well known for being anti-government. Wherever Ron may be right now, he must be smiling. And he’s probably eating a Turf ‘N Turf in celebration.
3. Miley Cyrus paid someone to shut down the government, in hopes that people will finally get over that twerking incident/the foam hand gestures/her Wrecking Ball video/her breakup with Liam/her foot tattoos. Next to a government shut-down, sticking your tongue out and making lewd gestures with a foam hand (America’s national treasure, after all) seem like nothing. Maybe she just wants to be like a complete unknown. Like a rolling $tone.
4. Someone Was Just Acting Up. Remember when you and your brother or sister were arguing in the car during a mandatory trip to the grocery store? And your Dad turned and threatened to “Turn This Car Around”? That. “Kids, I’m going to shut this Government down if you don’t shut up!” The question is – who? (My bet is on Bo Obama. He seems like he might have some secret, un-addressed behavioral issues.)
5. Someone is hoping that a brief “break up” will cause Taylor Swift to write a killer new album. We love Taylor Swift, but this is a perfect way for her to write the break-up anthems we adore, dedicated to someone/something much more important than Joe Jonas. Or John Mayer. Or whoever the heck else she dated.
6 The Government’s Facebook feed was getting too boring. I mean, everyone’s having babies these days. But does The Government really need to see an album of 57 pictures of babies just laying there? Sure – maybe the baby was smiling, but they got the point after image #5. Also, what’s the deal with Jenny posting all of her wedding pictures again? She got married two years ago. Know what’s even worse? Tyler keeps posting text message screen caps with his girlfriend. The Government gets it, Tyler. You two are in love. What else is new? (Congrats, Government: See Paragraph #1. Your plan worked!)
So – yes. While this news really stinks, and other countries are even wondering what the heck is happening over here, let’s all try to think positively. Hopefully everyone can be able to get the health care they really need, people will get back to work, and eventually we can all focus on Miley Cyrus again.
Wait. That’s not what I meant to say. We don’t want that at all.
Image Credit: quora.com (featured),