When you're a kid you can hardly wait to grow up. There are so many more things you can do, there are so many privileges that adulthood bestows. Your life is your own and you are free to choose the what and the when of your life. Of course, one of the major disappointments of being an adult is the realization that your life really ISN'T your own, that decisions are forced on you by the exigencies of life and living. This is a universal truth. It applies to every adult in every country throughout the world. Well, ALMOST everywhere. Apparently this isn't true in Washington D.C.
The impasse that has shut down our government and has caused untold hardships for tens of thousands of people has been caused by our elected "leaders" who have refused to live up to their responsibilities. I'm not going to waste anyone's time by pointing a finger of blame at one side or another. In the end all that would do is send people out looking for false equivalencies that essentially don't apply. I'm sure the TSA's who have been forced to do their job without pay don't care one way or another who's to blame for the fiasco of bad government that caused the shutdown in the first place. The air traffic controllers couldn't be bothered with which side is claiming the moral high ground. All any of the 800,000 government workers who aren't being paid at the moment want is to get a pay check and get on with their lives.
Who's to blame? Ultimately both sides have to take responsibility for the gross mismanagement and bad government that plagues this country at the moment. Democrats and Republicans are both refusing to budge from intransigent positions in order to curry favor with each of their respective political bases. The apparent hang-up for the Democrats is "the wall". Yes, a physical barrier is essentially useless and will hardly guarantee the safety of any American citizen and at some point a determined individual or individuals will be able to go over, around or under any wall or any other physical impediment we can place before them. This doesn't mean we should give up on the idea of securing our borders from illegal entry. Virtually every country in the world has some way of trying to secure the sanctity of their national boundaries. We are no different. The Democrats ought to take this into consideration as they contemplate the disaster that is unfolding before their very eyes.
At the same time, Republicans and their President insist that the ONLY way to insure border security is by building a wall across the length and breadth of our southern border. They refuse to accept the notion that 21st century technology is fully capable of providing the security we need without constructing a gigantic and expensive barrier that would prove to be, at best ineffective, and ultimately self-destructive. And when you get right down to it, this whole contretemps is really more about immigration reform than it is about border security.
People should enter this country legally. But that doesn't mean we don't need to address the whole immigration question in a logical and intelligent manner. For one thing, we still need a steady influx of immigrants to this country. The agriculture industry for one couldn't do without immigrant labor, people who are ready, willing and able to do the back-breaking work necessary to bring crops to harvest. We also need those skilled minds that can take up professions like engineering and medicine. Overall, we know that there are literally millions of undocumented immigrants living in this country, performing valuable services that our economy absolutely depends on. This is not a security problem, it's an immigration problem and one that we must solve eventually. The simple fact is that if Washington lawmakers had acted responsibly with respect to immigration a decade ago we wouldn't be in the crisis we are in today. At some point the impasse will end. When the pain imposed on those millions of people who are either directly or indirectly affected by the shutdown becomes too great for them to bear and their pain exacerbates a weakening economy, you can be sure that our "leaders" in Washington will sit up and take notice. But until that time comes our so-called political "leaders" will continue to act like intransigent children and the only victims of such utter irresponsibility will be the American people. One only hopes that these "leaders" understand that the NEXT election is less than two years away.
Filed under: Politics