Late in day one of the federal government shutdown, I looked at some of the services affected. Here are two that caught my eye:
Still open - The Appalachian Regional Commission. The ARC works to further economic development in Appalachia.
Closed - USDA’s Rural Development.
So, while Congress fiddles, we continue to support economic development in Appalachia but not in rural areas of our own county. Aren’t our elected officials just great?
Don’t answer that just yet. Stop and think, because every time those we send to Washington come home to visit we roll the red carpet out and treat them like our long-lost friends.
Next time they come back for a visit, give them respect, but press them on the issues.
Why isn’t anything being done. On the Farm Bill? With workable solutions to the Affordable Care Act? With meaningful attempts to solve our growing deficit and not just rhetoric?
Note that I said, “give them respect.”
We can be unhappy with their job performance but still respect them for the work they are doing.
It’s that “R” word that has gone by the wayside in today’s politics.
Those people who chose to run for office and sit in those seats deserve our respect, whether you voted for them or not. They also deserve our attention.
But it’s obvious some Republicans have no respect for Democrats, and that some Democrats have no respect of Republicans. Some of the comments being hurled at each other and each party are childish.
I’ve suggested this one before, but I’m more passionate about it now: None of our elected officials get to hold a press conference of any kind until the job is done. They spend more time behind a microphone pontificating than doing what we sent them there to do.
All the hate speech does is impede the effort to solve the problem.
And it trickles down. Even in Nebraska we are seeing more of a dig-my-heels-in-the-sand approach to government at the state and even local level.
Even some darts thrown at those involved in local government are becoming sharper.
If you run for an elected office, you open yourself up to criticism. And the citizenry has a right to be critical when it feels those it elected are not getting the job done.
But being critical doesn’t have to come without some common courtesy.