I’m on the Congress-hating bandwagon, but I’m also on the we-have-no-one-to-blame-but-ourselves bandwagon, up on the roof of it for a while, jumpin’ and shoutin’ (and tweetin’):
- Government shuts down, due to
- Ideological fundamentalism in Congress, due to
- Ideological fundamentalists voted into Congress by the American people, due to
- Dysfunctional, big money, two-party political system generating few election options, due to
- Widespread use of simplistic Plurality Voting system based on single-mark ballots, due to
- It being used when the country was founded and now being ingrained in our culture, due to
- Single-mark ballots being easy to tabulate by hand.
Yes, in 2013, after landing rovers on Mars, sequencing the human genome, and creating a machine than can beat humans on Jeopardy!, Americans still use a simplistic system based on single-mark ballots and plurality voting because historically they were easier to count by hand!
Fortunately the Constitution (and local and state law) can be changed. ;) Do we want to move to more evolved, robust systems, such as Preferential Voting (ranked voting) or Proportional Representation (wherever possible), to create a more representative, satisfactory, efficient government? Or do we want to keep our ‘merican gladiator system that produces ideological meatheads who’d rather fight on camera than solve problems?
NGO worth checking out: http://www.fairvote.org/
Aside from Congress and the American people, I also question Obama’s 2-week absence and the spotty coverage of the mainstream press (our vaunted Fourth Branch of government). Why hadn’t Obama, his minions, or the press been driving attention to concrete consequences, rather than abstractions like “Americans will be hurt”–as much as I care about Americans, I wanted to know the direct affects of The Shutdown TM on me. Over the last two weeks, I’d found very little, and only last night did the deluge of stories about what will and won’t be affected by The Shutdown TM come out. If only there had been an easy-to-use website for a normal guy like me to drive attention to that issue…