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Government Shutdowns…

By Donald “Braveheart” Stewart

As I sit in my Kailyard I wonder often about the future.

I am not going to lie. I don’t always get it…

Government shutdowns?

Do you notice them?

A facetious point, I am sure because I have little doubt that those on the poverty line, on welfare and struggling to make ends meet, feel them more than anyone else.

Is this why they tend to happen quite often, I suppose, and the delay in opening up government again appears to be a real one. The dispossessed, the powerless are unable to object in a Congress vote. They must look on at the people and power and fail to see one of them with the ability to cast their vote.

It has led in some countries to the rise of “populism”. From what I can gather this is a prejudiced political movement which preys upon the fears and worries it stokes to gain some form of power. It could be a majority parliament, a single-issue win or the ultimate prize – the top job. And so, we see in Hungary with Orban, Brexit in Britain and Trump in the US the examples of how that “populism” manifests itself. It is an entirely political philosophy because they exploit opinion polls, the voting mechanisms and the way in which people view the world to make their choice their only options. It is for many people sickening, because it is a narrow populism. Built on the ideals of being against or frightened of the alternate it leaves us all flailing with unpopular democratic choices.

Until we dump them – if we even can…

And so, when you see Democrats fighting over whether they can vote for their own policies and now it looks like there shall be the option of closing government it makes little sense to us in the UK. We simply don’t quite understand how it is possible to shut the government.

Shutting the government up, we get, there is after all frequent elections to do that but being in the position where political power can be wielded to stop the function of the state?
But then again, we have two different traditions.

Perhaps epitomized by the reaction to COVID, the UK with the spirit of World Wars and the common good we espouse in the Welfare State created in its shadow and aftermath we can comply with what the damn government tells us because we had to so do before.

In the US, founded upon the ideals of the Boston Tea Party and revolution against an oppressor, Britain, the freedom of the individual is almost sacrosanct. It appears that the pushing of your shoulder to the common wheel is anathema to some.

And so, Congress have voted to keep the government open. I remember times when it was shut down and we all in the UK wondered what that actually meant. Was there rubbish and trash in the streets? Did welfare checks not get sent? Did people who wanted to report crime not have the chance to? Were public sector workers working for no pay?

It all seems very draconian, very dramatic, and then it all gets sorted, the crisis is averted, and people get back to what they do best – argue about the next big thing.

And what was the latest argument all about? The next big welfare thing and how to fund the revival… An infrastructure program designed to sort the issues around recovery from the COVID thing. It is all about what is next for the country as it tries to rebuild but rebuild into what?

It’s a decent enough argument to have.

It needs reasoned debate and the new administration and the new feeling of warmth in the White House should not be lost amongst the progressives versus the centrist.

Show us the way guys – the leadership of the Free World was an unfilled post for four years. Perhaps now is the time to apply to show others how to work in a bipartisan manner but also to put radical new ways of doing, in the center of our new way of thinking…

Wha d’y’all think?

A view from the new Kailyard or, how you look over there, from over here…

(kailyard n. a genre of sentimental Scottish literature turned into effective invective comment from one Donald worth reading…)

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