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Burgers, Tacos, and a Government Shutdown

Don’t blame Democrats or Republicans for a government shutdown.

Blame both of them.

During a shutdown, you’ll see both sides work their damnedest to… blame the other side?

Yea, that sentence doesn’t end well. It should end “…solve the problem” but instead, we-the-people’s representatives are usually busy saving their own behinds rather than saving our government — a byproduct of our dysfunctional two-party system. To help you visualize what’s going on here, step in to the Free Wheel Simplification Station.


Alright, here’s a simplified visualization of what happens in our Congress.

Here’s how Congress should operate:

Two adults are trying to decide what to get for lunch. One, who we’ll call “R”, wants a burger. The other, who we’ll call “D”, wants a taco. After throwing out their first options of Burger King and Taco Bell, respectively, they realize they’re at an impasse. Thus, they compromise, and decide to go to Jack in the Box, which offers both burgers and tacos. Sure, the burger isn’t R’s favorite burger, and the taco doesn’t taste the same as Taco Bell to D, but hey, they got a little bit of what they wanted. Not to mention, their stomachs, the things they’re working for, are happy. They invite P to go along, and after explaining why Jack in the Box is the best deal, P goes with it.

Here’s how our dysfunctional Congress operates:

Two kids are trying to decide what to get for lunch. Same names. R wants, you guessed it, a burger. D wants, yep, a taco. Instead of talking it over, they each throw a temper tantrum. They wont talk to each other, they simply yell what they want. No explanation of why, simply just “Burger!!!”, “Taco!!!” over and over again.

Soon, when their stomachs get more hungry, they start blaming each other.

“D wants a taco because D hates burgers! D’s un-American!”

“R wants a burger because he hates tacos! He thinks they’re a foreign food and he’s a xenophobe!”

Obviously, neither claim is true, both simply want a burger and a taco, but this is their attempt to please their angry stomachs. Both know that if they wait long enough one of them will have to go home because of their parents. So, they sit and wait, and wait, and wait. All the while their stomachs are in tremendous pain.

Here’s how we can fix the situation above:

Go back to where those two kids are about to start blaming each other. Now, before they get to that point imagine a friend named Indy comes over. Indy’s big enough that they’ve got enough sway in the argument, and they recommend going to Jack in the Box. Both R and D are suspicious and attempt to fight for what they want. Indy lets them know that neither will get what they want, because Indy’ll kick them off the playground. At this point, R and D acquiesce. The three of them take the recommendation to P, and they go get Jack in the Box. Stomachs happy once more.


Simplification complete.

Can you guess who “the people” are in the simplification above? You’re right, we’re the stomachs. Do we want to be in pain or happy? If the latter, then we need to make sure Indy (Independents, in case you haven’t caught on) is on the playground until the two-party system gets its act together.

Sure, some will say we’re greatly oversimplifying the legislative process. They do have a point, obviously. However, we argue our “representatives” are oversimplifying their jobs. Their duty is to the voters and to the nation, it should be difficult to find the best solution to issues. Instead of working hard towards that goal, they know they can simply find the solution that keeps their party happy, thus keeping the funding, and purchased votes, flowing.

Bottom line, both R and D are ridiculous. Both are to blame for the failure to go get a sensible lunch. Our duty as voters, the ultimate check and balance on our government, is to get Indy on the playground.


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