Ezra -ez- Nugroho’s blog

USA Goes Blue Screen

Posted on | October 2, 2013 | No Comments

Day 2 of US Government Shutdown.

I came to the US back in 1997 not knowing much about anything. Coming from a country with a corrupt government, that crashed into a massive crisis in 1998, I had the perception that the US government was the ideal one, the role model of democratic leadership.

I am probably quite a bit more cynical now. The little bit of knowledge that I picked up here and there resulted in some degradation of the idealism that a younger me once had.

I was shocked when I first discovered that the participation rate of various elections, including presidential ones, are often less than 50%. With all the political noise that is constantly in the air, how come that most people do not care? It’s a bit of a contrast with election climate of the Indonesian government that I grew up with (i.e. pre 1998 crash). Election participation rates were probably always close to 100%, we’d all vote for representatives from 3 parties, and all the party would nominate the incumbent as our next president! It was brilliant, everyone knew the result before the election, but everyone went to vote anyway.

Now I guess I have the idea bubbling in my head (actually it’s been a while), that our votes in the US don’t mater much either. Maybe they do sometimes, maybe.

Another bit of insight I picked up from parenting, something that I’ve been doing in the past 2 years. I noticed that often parents fight in the name of their children, blaming each other, while so doing, completely neglecting their children.

That is exactly the picture I have about the US government now. Democrats and Republicans bitterly fight advocating their perspectives of citizen rights, and then they shut the government down if they don’t get what they want. It’s like fighting for which brand of diapers to buy, and then finally refusing to change diapers all together. Guess who is the looser?

Can we all just grow up and stive to be better parents, in homes and in The House? Or is that brand of diapers, who backed you up in the past election, matter too much?


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