border wall

The current government shutdown is the longest in our nation’s history. Around 800,000 federal employees went home without a paycheck last week because our elected officials have failed us once again. Something needs to change.

Instead of behaving like an immature child who plays the “blame game,” we need to offer a solution that would prevent government shutdowns from ever happening again. If our elected officials cannot agree on a solution, and in turn, cause a government shutdown, we the people should be allowed to vote on the issue.

When a mother sees her children fighting, her first instinct is not to take a side. Her instinct is to stop the children from fighting. We need to stop being deadbeat parents and remind our children why fighting will not be tolerated. Children, after all, are a reflection of their parents.

Although we did not give birth to the politicians in office, we did elect them to serve in their position. We as citizens need to remind our politicians who they work for and whose best interests they are supposed to represent.

There are going to be citizens who claim they had no role in this government shutdown, but that isn’t exactly true. Nearly 60 percent of eligible voters from Louisiana and across the country voted in the 2016 presidential election, according to a report on

The man who won this election spoke about how he would be proud to shut down the government if his agenda was not fulfilled. In the 2018 midterm elections, only about 20 percent of eligible voters voted. Whether you did or didn’t vote, your decision helped choose who represents us in Congress.

Political party division has gone too far and now leaves a sour taste in many Americans’ mouths. The feeling got worse for me when I read an article published in The Washington Times titled, “George Washington’s views on political parties in America.” In this article by Dennis Jamison, he describes why Washington had valid concerns about political parties forming in America.

“He (Washington) warned of the possibility fearing they (political parties) could distract the government from its required duty to the people and even lead to the eradication of the freedoms established by the founding,” Jamison said. I wonder how many federal employees still feel they have the freedom to earn a paycheck.

The idea of having the American people vote on these types of issues should not be crazy. Why not fix a democratic problem with a democratic solution? One aspect of the Constitution that makes our country great is the system of checks and balances.

Citizens’ role in this system needs to be revised. It took one terrorist attack for the government to make stricter airline rules. It took the actions of a small number of undocumented immigrants for President Donald Trump to demand a border wall. One government shutdown should have been enough to make concrete change and prevent this from happening again.

It’s obvious the country’s political system is broken, but it’s not beyond repair. The best solution is for the people to take responsibility for our nation’s future and not delegate so much of it to someone else. Politicians need to know they have failed the people. As a gamer might say, “It’s time to pass the sticks.”

Donald Fountain is a 21-year-old mass communication sophomore from Saint Francisville, Louisiana.

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