The right wing of the Repubican Party is trying to shut down the U.S. government this week. They might succeed. Oh, they say they are not - but that is like a kidnapper telling parents that they, not he, will be responsible for the death of their child if they do not fulfill his demands. The right wingers want to bring government to its knees.
They have sought this day for over 50 years - since the early days of this current brand of extreme conservatism began when Kennedy was running for president. I was there. I shook hands with John Kennedy and was scorned by my fellow conservatives. In time I realized that the uber right lacked a heart and lacked a sense of the common good. They understood only power and property rights. Today they seek to destroy government serving the common good. They think they are close to their goal.
I hope they are unsuccessful. But today, two days before they succeed or fail, all of America is holding its breath - either in support of the shutdown or in fear of it.
So, with deference to Gordon Gekko, here is my perspective.
Government, the group effort for common needs, is good. Government is noble. Government serves. Government is our shared effort to provide basic services for civilized living. Government, in all of its forms; government for country, for states, for counties, cities and towns has marked the civilizing path of humans - and government, history has shown, provides the common basics we need to realize our individual dreams and nurture our families.