Recently, the government re-opened its doors after being shut down for sixteen days. And, unlike a Monty Python interlude in Holy Grail, there was NOT much rejoicing.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t notice that the government had gone fishin’. At least, I didn’t notice in any kind of negative way. Here’s what I did notice:

  • The term ‘bully pulpit,’ really got a whole new meaning.
  • Don’t screw with parks and monuments, unless you like to take beatings from 90-year-old veterans.
  • I’m sorry, did someone say ‘wolf’? I couldn’t quite make that out. Oh well.

In its inglorious 225-plus year history, the government has not been shut down enough. Over the past 37 years, there have been 17 blessed government hiatuses. This one was different because people are tired of the government’s whining and stuttering. And the government knows this. You’ll notice I’m not saying ‘the administration,’ ‘Republicans,’ or ‘Democrats.’ I have opted for the more inclusive ‘the government,’ because this shameful gaggle of blustering blowhards is, for once, a truly bipartisan effort.

The government, knowing that people don’t take it very seriously anymore, decided to do what any good ineffective and impotent group would do: make a lot of noise and jump up and down until someone notices. The government did this with this shutdown go-round by closing national parks and monuments.

Many of these locations are out in the open, and you can walk right up. By trying to deny access to these locations during the shutdown, the government was being a bully. Like that kid in 5th grade who won’t let you onto the jungle gym because he wants to stand in front of it to get some attention. That kid hasn’t taken into account two things. First, there are a lot more access points to the jungle gym than the one he is standing in front of. Second, there are a lot more kids than there are stupid bullies standing in front of jungle gyms. And, if the bully has done this before, he should also consider that those usually well-behaved children will reach a breaking point.

And, we did get fed up.

Why were 90-year-old veterans jumping barriers in front of monuments? Because it’s their monument? Yes, of course. More so, the pictures you saw of veterans and others removing the ill-conceived barriers in front of monuments and parks was emblematic of the foul taste we all have in our mouths from the government trying to shove garbage down our throats.

The way the government decided to let you know it was shutdown most recently, was purposely meant to be uncomfortable and rude. At this point, regardless of party affiliation, there is cannot be a single thinking person who believes that the government is a good steward of our trust.

The Lockean thinking, on which our government is based, is that governments are formed to protect property rights of individuals, not to keep us from our property. We have private property, like our homes and personal possessions, and we have publicly held interests, like national parks, as well. The government held up its collective middle finger when it walled off open air monuments. It threw in a “neener-neener,” for good measure. The government said, “we know this belongs to everyone, but you can’t have it.”

Why was the government shut down? They can’t figure out how to spend money. Whose money? Ours and our posterity’s. Have they spent our money well to this point? No. How did they try and prove they would be good stewards of our financial trust and mental trust? By spending more effort blocking us from our collective property than trying to find a real solution.

They wanted us to notice, and we did. We noticed that the government is really good at abusing its power and our trust. We noticed that there are more of us than there are of them. We noticed their threats are empty and absurd. We noticed that this government is so far off track, not just from founding ideals, but from being anything close to useful. And if the government would like to do any noticing, it should notice that those flimsy barricades didn’t scare us, and they can be moved easily. If we are willing to remove barricades to our monuments and parks, we will be willing to remove those obstructions, and obstructionists, blocking individuals and the nation from realizing the burning vision of liberty that forged this nation into existence and continues makes it exceptional and a light to the world.

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