At the beginning of this year the federal government was shut down for the longest period in United States history.
Federal employees were not being paid and many lined up at food kitchens to feed their families. It was not a punch line in a joke about dysfunctional bureaucracy. Government was closed as part of a political debate between the two major parties. Neither side was willing to give in, because giving in would mean losing an edge in the next election. The rest of us were bargaining chips for the power players who are chauffeured around Washington in big black cars driven by armed guards on our dime.
There is a sense in middle America that Washington can no longer be looked to - or relied on - as a positive force.
The 2016 presidential election rejected the establishment and installed Donald Trump. He promised to run things professionally like a business. There was plenty of evidence to suggest Trump was not the man to do so, but his election was the clearest signal the voters could possibly send that they had given up hope on their own government. In a way, voters were saying it doesn't really matter who is in charge. Washington has never helped me.
But there is always hope.
© Dean Pagani 2019