- Posted October 5, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Shutdown over: What next?
Furlough – Day 4 – Letter to our Leaders
As you stand your ground your country is suffering. The people you have sworn to protect are scared, hurt, and feel voiceless. In the interest of a few you have shut down government services and taken us to the brink of default. As a result Americans now question the form and function of their government. Yet as much as we hear people saying our government has failed and this is worst bi-partisanship we have ever seen, history would say otherwise.
On September 17th, 1787, thirty-eight state delegates signed the United States constitution. The oldest written constitution still in operation in the world, this document almost did not happen. A hard battle was waged between the states for a system of checks and balances that would allow for a government run by the people and for the people. The arguments, which were many, often focused on the concern of equal representation and proportional legislation. Even though the document was initially signed in 1787, it was not until the middle of the following year that the document was ratified.
The debates and controversy that erupted through the process of designing and developing our country’s constitution were volcanic. So many voices with different interests, needs, and ideas were forced to come together to find a single path and shared vision for our country. It was not simply two-three parties embroiled in the process, but multiple states and colonies.
You carry upon your shoulders this legacy. You carry over 200 years of arguments, angst, and raised voices. You carry the legacy of a country whose complex path of government and policy have never been paved with a smooth road of ease. More than anything you carry innumerable lessons of the past, of which, sadly, few have been learned from.
Today, you have been given the job of funding your government and ensuring our country does not default on its spending. An easy task compared to what our forefathers had to deal with in the 1780s. For the last 17 years you have been able to keep the government open for business, albeit we have been under continuing resolutions numerous times. Why have you failed now?
Look to your own history. So many times the egos and line drawing of our leaders has led us down the wrong road. From civil wars to unjust laws, our country has seen its share of strife and heartache. Each time no one has won and the American people suffered. Learn from this past and step forward.
Now, battling over health care, you have furloughed your own servants, made a mockery of our legislative system, and, once again, tainted the spirit of the country. For what? The people? The people do not want this. Your pride? Is that even a viable reason? God? God does not smile down upon this type of action.
Step beyond the rhetoric and election speeches. Find the strength of those who declared independence, wrote the first articles, would not let our country go without a constitution, and completed the first amendments that became our bill of rights. Find the voice that your nation needs. Be our leaders.