The recent government shutdown has led to frustration and outrage throughout the United States. Support for Congress has reached an all-time low. Perhaps rightly so; the shutdown was caused by an inefficient and highly polarized government. The only thing the government can agree upon is that it cannot agree upon anything.
Without a will on either side to compromise, Congress comes to a standstill. From both the government and the media, one hears the blame for this being pointed at someone else. Everyone seems to want to prove this inefficiency and polarization was caused by someone else. It is impossible to follow television news without encountering complaints attempting to persuade the viewer in one direction or another.
Some of the accusations are true; Congress is currently inefficient and highly polarized. However, it can’t be forgotten who elected these current officials. Many tend to vote based on campaign promises made by politicians, and by party affiliation. Or Americans choose not to vote at all. People will not vote, and then complain about issues, candidates, and those elected. How can people complain about something when they have chosen not to take part in the decision being made?
Those who do vote are often, but not always, extreme on the right or left side. Candidates will appeal to these extreme views. There is no moderation left. There is only a polarized Congress that is unable to compromise. This problem has a fairly simple solution. Voters need to make informed decisions. Vote based on facts rather than campaign promises or party loyalty, and appreciate the value that voting holds.
Stalter is a senior at Franklin Central School and is writing this letter for Stephen DeCarlo’s social studies class.