It seems to Larry Bernstein that all the politicians involved in the government shutdown need to go back to some basic lessons they learned in Kindergarten.
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you.
That about describes are politicians these days and the resulting government shutdown. Wouldn’t you agree?
You may consider yourself right wing. You may consider yourself left wing. Yet, ultimately, we are all stuck in the middle together.
You get that. I get that. Why the hell don’t our politicians get that?
So I will look at this government shutdown as an opportunity to teach children what not to do. Seriously, maybe we should make every politician reread Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.
Here is what the politicians are saying and doing and how I believe parents would advise their children if they behaved in the same way.
I AM NOT NEGOTIATING. This is the mantra of President Obama and Harry Reid and those on the left.
Are you kidding me?
Imagine your child telling you he/she refuses to do something? Pisses you off right? Anyway, you would do your best to calmly explain that this is not what we do. People have to talk and appreciate what the other side is saying. They may have valid points. And besides, we all have to live together. So, we should do our best to try and consider other points of view.
HOT POTATO. You know the game? Well, a brief description courtesy of Wikipedia goes like this, “Hot potato is a party game that involves players gathering in a circle and tossing a small object such as a beanbag or tennis ball to each other while music plays. The player who is holding the “hot potato” when the music stops is out. Play continues until only one player is left.” This was the strategy of House Republicans on Monday night with regards to taking responsibility.
Again, I ask are you kidding me?
Imagine your child telling you it’s not his/her fault. Well, somebody else had/did it last. Might you answer, “So what!!” It’s called responsibility. Don’t blame someone else and make it seem as if you are guiltless. If you were there and you partook in the happenings, you are responsible as well. You need to try to make things right.
PLAYING POLITICS. Left, Right, both sides are doing this. According to freedictionary.com, this term means “Intrigue or maneuvering within a political unit or group in order to gain control or power.”
Once more, join me – are you kidding me?
Imagine your child is power-tripping, and it is hurting others. I think you might tell him/her, “That’s not nice. Even though you may have good intentions, you need to consider that you are hurting people. Figure out a way to do the right thing that does not harm others.”
Yes, I know I am simplifying things, and that there is a deep divide in the country. However, ultimately we are stuck together. So politicians negotiate, don’t play hot potato, and stop playing politics. That’s a way to end the government shutdown.
Even children understand these lessons.