April 8, 2011

Ideologues and other Myth Makers

This originally appeared on Fictionique.
Ideologues and Other Myth Makers
April 7, 2011By Amy Abbott10.Rate this

Moses’ mother stood in the bulrushes, looking admiringly at her beautiful baby boy in the basket. Now, if I leave him, he’ll be raised by the Pharaoh in a palace with servants, fine food and clothing, and an excellent education. If I don’t leave him, he’ll come home with me and live in our little mud hut. His father and I will make bricks while Moses screams his head off. What should I do?

Our representatives in Washington – who represent the people, mind you – seem to be mired in an electoral muck of their own. Both sides are charging the other with not compromising because of ideology.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. All the clichĂ©s apply here — we did not get into this financial mess overnight and we are not going to fix it overnight.

Despite the best efforts of all concerned, there won’t be another balanced budget until 2040 some pundits say.

Jochebed, Moses’ mother, didn’t let ideology get in the way of what she felt was best for her infant son. Perhaps this is a silly example, but ideology is going to do a lot of damage when the government shuts down. Our economy is like the first jonquils of spring—barely peeking out of the soil.

Ideology will keep military families, who already struggle, from receiving a paycheck. Garbage may sit in piles in the District of Columbia, while needed tax refunds are delayed to thousands of Americans. Tourists are not the only people who use American museums — thousands of college students use the Smithsonian and other facilities are part of their classrooms.

I’m a simple minded person, so perhaps I fail to see the nuances around this budget issue. We’ve made bad decisions in the past — we are currently in three wars, two of which have questionable motives and the third an unending questionable task. A lesson I learned the hard way in my twenties is that if you don’t take care of yourself first, nothing else much matters. That’s why on an airplane the crew tells parents to put the oxygen mask on first, before you help your child. We as a country need to put on our collective oxygen mask, fix our own problems, and maybe then worry about the other guy. Of course our country will continue to support those around the world in desperate need, but we are of no help to anyone if we are unconscious by our own hand.

Listen to me, people in Washington. Find a way to compromise. Ideology doesn’t feed hungry babies.

This entry was posted on April 7, 2011 at 9:17 pm and is filed under Arts and Letters, Dispatches, Opinion.