Stop it, America. STAHP. I love you, I do. I could not be more proud to be an American than if I were Lee Greenwood himself. I mean this most sincerely. I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy. But this week? This week has been a struggle emotionally for me as I watch my national government tantrum like a child. I’m lost. The fed has partially shut down, and I’m wondering if this means I’m now responsible for spying on myself.
The politics that have been played since Monday’s shutdown are angrying up my blood. Lots of Americans are angry: left, right, and center. I am not alone in my impatience and indignant, I know. The majority of us are relatively reasonable people. But there is a section of society that is trying my patience, and it’s required a focused effort this week not to, say, toss a masonry brick through my television during the evening news.
So what’s a citizen to do when all she or he wants to do is to smack a Congressman (or Congresswoman, for that matter; these people are definitely equal-opportunity when it comes to obnoxiousness)? How indeed does a civic-minded individual who thinks and feels cope with the lunacy that keeps coming out of Washington? America’s like the world’s drunk uncle that falls in his plate at Thanksgiving. It would be nice to go a week without being embarrassed by my country’s government.
It’s time like these that I have to turn off the television and start applying some sanity-supporting cognitive trickery in order to cope with those stressors which I cannot change. Like Nancy Pelosi’s face. Or John Boehner’s skin tone. Or the stupid, stupid things that come out of the mouths of people whose salaries I pay who claim they are moderately educated. Thus: Eliska’s Handy Guide to Surviving the Shutdown With Minimal Emotional Scarring.
Three words: Shutdown Drinking Game! Take a shot every time you hear a politician say “Obamacare,” “It’s them that won’t compromise,” “We’re willing to compromise,” or the phrase “job killer.” Drink every time a reporter interrupts a politician. If you are inconvenienced by park closures, take two shots. Drink every time any politician says their party is “winning.” Take a shot if Boehner cries. Another if Harry Reid calls Boehner a name. Drain the bottle when you hear “debt ceiling.”
Realize that this “crisis” is a Crisis du jour. There’s no doubt we must love this permanent state of emergency we enjoy in America. After all, we’ve survived the Benghazi Crisis, the IRS Crisis, and the NSA Crisis. Before that it was the Budget Emergencies of 2011 and 2010. There was the Bailout Crisis, and the Immigration Reform Crisis and the Energy Policy Crisis and the Gun Control Crisis and the Social Security Crisis and the Medicare Crisis and who can forget The Defense of Marriage Crisis? There was the Election Crisis and the Birth Certificate Crisis and well, hell, I forget, it’s all such a blur.
Finally and best of all, this government shutdown just may be the diaper this King Baby called Congress fills that is stinky enough for us voters to make the change: in representation. Perhaps the antics of this week will encourage more rational citizens to realize: Congress? Well, they’re just not that us. Join me in a guided imagery, if you will, where we go to our happy places and laws are actually agreed on and passed there and no politician drinks on the job.
So hang in there, my fellow Americans! We are bigger than this crisis. We still have the Kardashians, the cronut, and NASCAR. This, too, shall pass, and a new news cycle will begin. A celebrity will gain weight or forget her underwear. An elected official will tweet pictures of his unmentionables to a Hooters’ waitress. Perhaps, and just perhaps, more people will reluctantly agree keeping formula available for America’s hungry babies and being able to get a service veteran a loan for his house is just as important as winning. We are America, people, and so hope springs eternal.