The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 12, 2013

Shutdown shines spotlight on ineffective government

From the Back Porch By Nerissa Young

— I’m in a seditious mood. It’s time for an American spring.

With both aisles of Congress dug in deeper than the Germans on the Western front in World War I, the nation seriously needs to evaluate its viability.

James Madison, who wrote the Constitution, said that if the new country he and others were designing did not serve the people as it should, the people had an obligation — a duty — to overthrow it and start again.

The strong central government that Madison imagined would protect and serve the masses has turned into a monolith that protects and serves only a few — Congress being chief among them.

I propose that a partial government shutdown is not nearly enough. Shut down the whole dang country.

First, put every elected federal official on Obamacare.

Let representatives and senators clean their own toilets and empty their own trash. Let the overpaid corporate CEOs load their own trucks and answer the switchboards. Let all those who continue to get wealthy on the backs of underpaid American workers see what it’s like from the other side.

Every American worker should walk off the job until greedy corporations provide the benefits that were won with hard-fought labor union battles. It’s time for workers to reorganize and demand to be treated like human beings.

A prime example of how this government is broken is a constitutional interpretation that corporations have the same rights as individual human beings and are thereby deserving of the protections in the Bill of Rights. They are not human, and they should not have those protections.

Analysts say succeeding generations of Americans are likely to be worse off than their forebears. The American dream has died.

That’s because the middle class is nearly dead. The middle class is the buffer zone that prevents anarchy between the rich and the poor. Without them, there will be rioting in the streets. Make no mistake; it is coming.

Greed, corruption and mismanagement have created a country in which every person will be forced to grub and grab for anything he or she can get to survive.

Ronald Reagan won the presidency with his optimism that it was morning in America. Thirty years later, it is dusk and getting dark soon.

America is in decline, and the yahoos in D.C. are literally fiddling while it burns.

I’ve seen mud wrestling matches with more grace and finesse.

I’m still in a seditious mood.

— Young is a Register-Herald columnist. E-mail:

© 2013 by Nerissa Young