A Game of Political Chicken & Lost Trust

“From Law to Grace” is proud to publish this guest post by Stephen H. Scott, a 9th Grader at Cloudcroft High School in Cloudcroft, NM. Stephen is the oldest son of Howell and Brenda Scott. The post was written as an assignment for Stephen’s New Mexico History class at school. The opinions contained in this post are the author’s, but the author’s dad is in substantial agreement with the opinions contained herein.

Following Congress’ failure to pass a “clean” continuing resolution to fund the federal government, the first government shutdown since the winter of 1995-96 began on October 1. The short-term effects of the shutdown are already being felt in New Mexico. The long-term effects of the shutdown will not be known for some time. However, the game of political chicken being played by both political parties will further damage the trust that the American people have in their political leaders in Washington, D.C.

The current shutdown reinforces people’s perception that the government is not working. Or, at least not working for them. Leaders in Washington seem to not care about how their failure to act affects ordinary people.

As of 5:00 p.m. on October 1, the first full day of the shutdown, citizens in Otero County, NM were being impacted by this latest game of political chicken. White Sands National Monument was closed to visitors. Over 200 people were turned away within the first 24 hours of the shutdown. As of Wednesday, the Commissary at Holloman Air Force Base was closed, disrupting the daily routine of the families stationed there.

Who is to blame for the shutdown? Some blame President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate. Others pin the blame on Ted Cruz and other Tea Party Republicans.

Most Americans, especially those most directly affected by the government shutdown, want their leaders to stop playing games. They want President Obama and Congress to get their act together. Until that happens, the American people will continue to distrust leaders who fail to lead!


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