My fellow American: you may be asking yourself, “What does the federal government shutdown mean to me?” Or you may be wondering if there are any good new TV dramas previewing this Fall. Either way, I’m here with answers, because I am concerned about you.
The government shutdown means the approval rating of members of Congress—who will continue to collect a paycheck throughout this fiasco—has taken something of a turn for the worse.
Let me explain. If you asked a cross-section of Americans what professions they most respect, the highest ranking would go to teachers, firefighters, writers, nurses, engineers, and harmonica players.
Further down the list you might professions such as bankers, business executives, and guitarists, and way down the list would be stock brokers, car salespeople, and drummers.
It used to be that members of Congress were rated just above car salespeople. No more. After an extraordinary number of years of not accomplishing anything, the approval rating of Congress has fallen all the way to the bottom the list, well below totalitarian dictator and just above serial killer—unless the serial killer is Dexter. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dexter turned down a chance to run for Congress.
I feel this is somewhat unfair to the members of Congress. Many of them are hardworking, patriotic Americans who could be earning a lot of money in the private sector as serial killers, but have chosen instead to earn boatloads of money and garner huge amounts of power in the halls of Congress. Sometimes they even go into the chamber itself and vote on stuff.
But what does the shutdown mean for your everyday life? It means no government, the ramifications of which are far reaching. Step outside your door right now and take a look around. The United States has no government. Think about that, but not for too long, because it’s time to par-tay! You can break the law, because there is no law anymore! You don’t have to pay your taxes! You can wear anything you want. In fact, you can just walk around naked, though at formal occasions you should wear white socks and patent leather shoes.
The shutdown means you don’t have to go to work. Students, you can cut class. Park anywhere you want. Pull your car up to the front door of Walmart, or just drive right into the building. There’s no government. It’s your country, now.
The shutdown may also mean we are once again part of the British, French, and Spanish empires, or possibly that the whole continent reverts to the descendants of the people who were here before the Europeans arrived. We’ll need a ruling from the Supreme Court.
I do think it’s interesting that Congress will continue to get paid during the shutdown. I mean, if anyone ever deserved to have their pay docked, it would be Congress. Not only should they not get paid, but they should all have to take a timeout on the steps of the Capitol Building. Every single one of them. No, whining, no saying “But they did it”—they should just all have one big time out. Dexter can be in charge of discipline.
As for good television shows—Homeland is back. And my guilty pleasure is The Good Wife. People get things done in in these shows. Not necessarily good things, but at least something happens. Which is a lot more than you can say for Congress.