What about 9 million socially conscious and unified citizens all just stepping up and doing their part?

The title of my post is from the movie The Other Guys starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. It is a great movie with some interesting facts at the end. The reason I chose this as my title is because it sums up my political views pretty well. It is why I align myself as a socialist: I really believe that if every citizen did their part we could create an amazing world to live in.

And right now, the MN legislators are NOT doing their part. Unbelievably, 70% of the legislators are continuing to take their pay even though the government has shut down. It kind of reflects how our society works: the people making the most money will continue to make it even when times are tough but the people making the least are the first ones to lose their income. Now, I know I am a crazy liberal, I totally get that, but I cannot understand how politicians, the servants of the people, can continue being paid while not serving the people.

This is one of those times I hope the good people of MN become socially conscious and unified. Instead of balancing the budget, making compromises, legislators are asking for “lights on” sessions to pass more legislation, they want to add policy to the bill (on abortion and gay rights), and are still taking their pay for doing nothing! Unbelievable. Please MN voters, do not let these people back into office, create a bill that says if the state shuts down again due to an unbalanced budget we reserve the right to remove our current legislators from office and put in people willing to make compromises, cut the pay to legislators, instill term limits, or do ANYTHING to help ensure this does not happen again. The people of MN need to have a long memory with this and create more checks to hold politicians accountable to the people.

The cynic in me knows that if this shut down keeps going strong, the first place where “necessary” money will run out is in welfare and schools– places where we should have a bigger cushion and we don’t. I am sure the last place our tax money will run out is with legislator’s pay.

People need to set aside their partisan ideas and really work together to find a solution that is best for most people without marginalizing others. In a government where the governor is Democratic and the congress is Republican, both sides need to understand that they will not get everything they want or satisfy all their promises to the people. Compromise needs to happen, and not compromise that suits their needs, but real compromise that does what is best.

I don’t often right politically motivated blogs– I just don’t feel like I know enough to have a real opinion. I am a social worker and my beliefs are filtered through that lens and through my experiences working with the least in our society. I often come off liberal, judgmental, and, often, righteous, and all this without having much experience in political science or law. I am just so upset with the state of MN and the people’s, apparent, lack of engagement. There are many way we could affect the shut down: legislators still receive mail (i think?) or send it UPS, start a petition, start a group on Facebook, go march on the capital, do ANYTHING to get the attention of our politicians and show them that we do not believe what they are doing is right. Tell them that we want the state to run and that we, the people, are willing to make compromises to do that.

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