I’m sorry, our government did what?

When I woke up this morning, I had no idea the government had shut down. When my roommate came back from class, he flicked through the channels looking for any coverage of what this could possibly mean. (To no avail at the time. It was no-man’s-land-o’clock for real news coverage.)

I was distracted by other things. I had Work to do, and Work I did, dropping into my writer’s trance for the better part of the day. From 1 to 4, I barely blinked let alone thought about Congress.

But then an email pinged into my inbox. It was from Gina, my boss/editor at the Outdoor Women’s Alliance, for whom I intern. She was looking for an article on the closing of the National Parks due to the government shut down. I almost said no, I’m sorry, I can’t do it today. But then I started reading. Articles from CNN, Fox News, and independent laypeople. I got mad.

So I wrote this: Error 404: National Parks Not Found. Because it’s ridiculous that our government has allowed a shutdown while we are still struggling our collective way out of a crippling recession. Because the only reason I have health insurance right now is because of the changes brought about by Obamacare. Because it’s more than just the National Parks. It’s the people who work there. It’s NASA and the non-military satellites we watch streak through the night sky.

800,000 people sent home from work today. 800,000 people who do not know when they will be going back to work. 401 National Parks closed. How many communities rely on the tourist dollars that pump into parks like Baxter State and Yellowstone?

Geez, guys. Get your shit together. I’m pretty sure you were elected to run our country, not shut it down.

This does, however, make me proud to be a Vermonter. My representatives fought the shutdown. The men and women I elected. That’s pretty damn cool.

Enjoy Error 404. For those immediately effected by the shutdown, my heart is with you. For those not yet effected (because we all will be), take a moment to consider the government. Contact your representatives. Let them know what you think about this. This is our country. We run our country.

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