The Government was recently shutdown via executive order. Although I’m not necessarily a proponent of executive orders because they in many ways bypass the system that our Democracy/Republic was founded on, I’m not entirely against them either. Sometimes stuff just needs to get done. However shutting down the Government when the Government didn’t even need to be shut down was a total and complete waste of time and money.When somebody a large portion of the population voted for to “fix” the Government shuts it down, and to top it off ,shutting down the government solved nothing, Democracy has certainly been eroded. It’s not wrong to say that executive orders are one of the best ways to erode our Democracy here at home. When somebody can wave a pen around like a magic wand to get what they want, and simultaneously bypass both houses of Congress, without a check or a balance against him/herself then it makes me question the purpose of an executive order.
Beyond an executive order I also wonder why Congress seems hesitant to block executive orders. It seems that Congress being polarized keeps them from doing one of their main jobs and being a check on the most powerful branch of government. A majority of regular Americans were against the shut down, and that alone should say enough, but nearly everybody who was a employee of the federal government was against the shut down too, and their voices weren’t enough to keep Congress from blocking the order. Millions of Americans suffered simply because of a political agenda.
The Government was shut down, not because Democrats or Republicans couldn’t make a deal, but because Democrats and Republicans couldn’t accept a deal. The Government shut down was the executive branches way of throwing a temper tantrum because that particular branch couldn’t get every thing they wanted in the deals that were presented. Deals that a vast majority of Americans would happily agree upon, not only in general, but definitely as a means to keep the Government open. The shutdown accomplished nothing as far as agenda goes, and one of Americas biggest fears is that it could be shut down again. Having a Democracy and going against the will of the people seems very autocratic, and most suspect this wont be the last time that the will of the general public goes ignored. If the first shutdown wasn’t blocked, what’s to stop Congress from stopping the second? Who’s to say that immigration will be the only cause of a Government shutdown under the current executive anyway. Would Congress do anything to prevent another shut down? Highly doubt it!
Every time the government shuts down literally every American is affected in one way or another, and some are a lot worse than others. At the forefront of the issues is people not getting paid, that’s mostly what the news covered when it regarded the shutdown from December 22-January25. Although A few service holders were understanding of this and halted the required payment form customers, most did not, causing an negative impact upon the customers, from power shortages to overdraft fees ect. More serious issues came from Federal agencies that lost funding, agencies designed specifically to protect the American people. It was reported that the FDA delayed nearly 900 inspections, some TSA employees stopped showing up to work and the list goes on and on.
I believe in comparison to the paper cut analogy of eroding Democracy, a Government shut down is a giant gash, not only on American people but on American Democracy as a whole. It’s a more effective way at chipping away at Democracy not only because it undermines the people and institutions but the very foundation of the American way of life.