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Lowman Henry
Lowman Henry

Lincoln Blog

by Lowman S. Henry

Shutdown Protests

October 11, 2013

As the partial federal government shutdown enters yet another weekend with President Obama refusing to negotiate with congress over a wide range of fiscal policy issues, average Americans are poised to take matters into their own hands.

Beginning today, truckers are planning to clog the beltway around Washington, D.C. by arriving en masse and driving slowly to tie up the lanes. Of course anyone who has driven on the D.C. beltway knows bumper-to-bumper traffic is the norm, so it might be a while before anybody notices.

Veterans are organizing a march on the memorials surrounding the capitol mall. World War II vets made news the first day of the partial shutdown by removing "barrycades" and paying their respects at the World War II memorial in defiance of the closure.

Locally, a Facebook group is organizing a march on the Gettysburg battlefield. Like the national mall memorials, the battlefield at Gettysburg is open space which does not require federal employees to monitor admission.

While there is considerable underlying anger among the electorate over the stalemate that has resulted in the partial shutdown, outrage has ensued over the manner in which it has been handled. The Obama Administration has sought to make the most painful cuts and closures possible in an effort to provoke pressure on congress.

In the end though, voters themselves are responsible for the gridlock in Washington.
The fact is the nation is deeply and evenly divided over the future course of the republic. Two consecutive presidential election cycles have elected a Democrat president and U.S. Senate, and one ‘off-year" cycle has produced a Republican House. This is in fact representative of the nation as a whole. All of the above are simply doing what the folks who elected them sent them to Washington to do.

If we as an electorate can't arrive at consensus, how then are we to expect are elected representatives to do so?

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