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Whose Fault is the Government Shutdown? It's Probably Yours

Imagine this: A criminal takes a hostage, and threatens to shoot that hostage unless the negotiator gives in to their demands. The negotiator immediately refuses those demands and shoots the hostage themselves. To further muddy the mess, the criminal was declaring that they were planning to take a hostage months before doing so, and the negotiator did nothing about it.

That situation describes the current government shutdown.  

In the House of Representatives, the Republicans hold a majority of seats. The party wrote up its own budget plan, which held the Affordable Care Act back from implementation. Obviously, the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, would have none of this. Gridlock ensued and Congress was unable to pass a budget, which led to the shutdown happening today.

When the United States government shut down on October 1, I immediately started writing a big rant on how it was both parties' fault that party politics are so broken today. To me, it was disgusting that something so childish could even happen, and how both parties and their supporters would simply try to play the blame game with one another. There are articles and pieces about how it's the Republicans' fault because they were planning on taking the government hostage by refusing to pass a budget that didn't fund the Democrats' signature legislation, and then there are the ones about how the Democrats shut down government by refusing to negotiate over Obamacare or the debt limit. In all honesty, it was the actions of both parties that caused the shutdown, but there's another person to blame. That person is you.

Or at least, it's your fault if you elected the current Congress, and it's your fault if you support a party name over policy. The party system in America is indeed broken, but American voters are at the heart of the issue, because they are the ones that enable it.  

It's because of those Tea Party types crying out about how the mandate or most other things they have to pay for infringes their "freedoms," and it's because of pretentious New York-Hollywood style "liberals" that'll only pay attention to social issues. What unites these two factions is that they side with a party over the core issues. When this sort of thing happens, you will see a party less focused on issues, and one much more oriented towards just injecting itself into the media.

Think about it, Democrats: How would you react if I told you that when George W. Bush was president, people were detained indefinitely without trial and tortured? I know for certain that the majority of you were livid, but how do you feel about how Obama signed the 2012 NDAA? It's a law that claims that the president has the authority to detain anyone indefinitely, just as Bush once did. Obama might have signed an order against torture by the United States, but he also has utilized rendition of prisoners to nations where they are tortured for information, and has blocked most action against the perpetrators of torture in Guantánamo Bay. He's extended the PATRIOT Act along by ridding it of some of its civil-liberties protections after calling it "plain wrong." Really, the man has plenty of similarities to Bush, and yet you're silent about him. For you Republicans out there, what about the individual mandate supported by leading figures back in 1993 and even before? Even Newt Gingrich was supportive of a mandate until 2008. You guys are making an issue out of what you were supporting 20 years ago.

The fact of the matter is that both parties have flip-flopped and switched up their positions for the sake of winning over voters. This same fight is what caused the current indefinite furlough of over 800,000 people (though both parties just went into damage control mode to retroactively pay those workers and avoid public anger). When voters are practicing blatant partisanship, they are the ones that encourage politicians to keep altering their stances or get away with flat-out lying.

To put it simply, there's no justification for only blaming one party. Both parties are responsible for the shutdown of government through their mutual noncooperation. The practice of blaming one side when it was indeed the work of both is nothing but the standard, tired and worn-thin practice of American partisan rhetoric. When you(any of you) are only willing to recognize one party as responsible, then not only are you being completely dishonest, but you are also further enabling this petty feud. When you vote an individual into office solely because they are a Republican or a Democrat, then you are enabling the two parties to continue acting like children in the future. Only when voters break the partisan barrier and ensure that voter interests are served will any real change be made.

So as someone who's not American, here's my question to you: Will you guys do it?

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