Why We Should All Want The Government Shutdown To End

The Government Shutdown: Why We Should Be Rooting For It To End

There are people with families that are now suffering because of what is transpiring on the Hill.

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There has been a lot of debate over what this government shut down means for many as there has been a lot of back and forth on both sides of the aisle. We need to stop and take a look at the bigger picture and ask ourselves, 'Am I really thinking of this as a concerned citizen or am I thinking strictly on my party alliance's agenda?' Now here is something that many of us haven't considered and I'm not one of the many as I've been on the other side employed by the federal government, the government is run by people. Yes, that seems like an elementary concept, but it's not the people like President Trump or Speaker Pelosi you see on the news every day. No, I'm talking about your Tom, Dick, Harry and your Sally and Jane — those who aren't in the public eye all of the time that are working and now some of which aren't getting paid.

There has been a misconception on who is and isn't getting paid, the biggest of which is our armed forces. Here's a shocker for a lot of you. Not all are getting paid. Four of the five branches: the United States Army, the United States Navy, the Air Force, and our beloved Marines are all Department of Defense or DOD for short. These four are in fact drawing a paycheck as of right now. The fifth and most often forgotten about branch the United States Coast Guard is a part of the Department of Homeland Security and our Coastie men and women in blue are not getting paid. How does this happen you ask? The Department of Homeland Security is a lot smaller than the Department of Defense and The DOH was formed after 9/11 as the specific Department for the Coast Guard and your TSA officials- yep, the folks at the airport. That said, this is also one of the first organizations to meet the challenge of not getting paid during the shutdown.

So, on the first and fifteenth government officials normally get paid. The fifteenth of this month just happened and a lot of our Guardians (the last term that I had heard them called before I got out, Semper Paratus readers and my fellow Coasties), woke up to no money from the payment offices. So yeah, they are protecting us as of right now for free. Now they have to take out loans to provide for their families when they have done nothing wrong but defend our freedoms.

I remember not so long ago when I was 21 and in the United States Coast Guard and we were on the verge of a government shutdown. I was in Ketchikan, Alaska, and we were all gathered around the televisions watching the news and eating our dinners at the enlisted club on base holding our breaths because it was last day to go before we weren't getting paid that next paycheck. We were all sitting on pins and needles hoping they would reconvene and that President Obama (at that time) would make sure they would go back to work. We luckily saw that they would. The next day we were paid.

This is something that is bigger than your opinions on the president. It is bigger than your leanings. This is about the livelihoods of those who are doing what they can to serve us and to serve our country. We need to always keep that in mind- that just because there is a shutdown, someone is affected by it in some shape, form, or fashion. This is taking a toll on people's homes, people's livelihoods, their families. I have friends with spouses and children who are now taking out loans and are being punished for something they had nothing to do with. They didn't do anything wrong but their jobs. So, we all need to consider others when we hear the words "shutdown." We need to keep those affected this go around in our thoughts and in our prayers.

This could be any of us and it is a crying shame that people who took the oath of office to protect and defend us and the Constitution of the United States have to suffer because of fighting in the house at the capitol. They deserve better because all they did was care about the country and try to do something better for someone else and now they are being done wrong. Keep them in your thoughts and in your prayers. Hopefully, this will all end soon.

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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