An open letter to Congress

by Samantha Hirsch

It must have been a pretty tough week for you. First, “Breaking Bad” ended, and then the whole government shutdown happened. I know, I’m still reeling, too—I really loved that show. But I have to tell you, this government shutdown crisis has been weighing pretty heavily on a lot of people’s minds.

I understand both the U.S. House of Representatives Republicans and Senate Democrats attempted to defend their ideological positions regarding the federal budget. While the House demanded any new spending bill contain terms that will defund or compromise “Obamacare,” the Senate rejected this. Neither would compromise. While both parties laid out their conditions, the shutdown was the consequence from the stalemate that was reached while trying to come to a conclusion.

So, uh, aren’t you guys embarrassed? Do you not realize the severity of your immaturity? Because of your stubbornness in trying to come to an agreeable conclusion, the government shut down. You know what else shuts down? Toddlers, when they don’t get their way. Young adults, when they can’t handle relationships. Computers shut down—and livers. These all seem kind of important, right? You’re telling me that the one feature that kept our country together has come to a complete standstill? The major aspect of our nation that regulates citizens is… what, on sabbatical?

Now, to make it clear, in no way am I undermining authority—you have a very difficult job, you really do. However, I want to make it clear that I am fully undermining your authority when I tell you that y’all are seriously acting like a bunch of teenagers. Were you guys too distracted to come to a conclusion regarding bill spending due to the newest episode of “Vampire Diaries?”

Look, I understand it can be difficult to work with others who don’t entirely see eye-to-eye with you. Throughout my many years of schooling, I have been assigned dozens of horrendous group projects by the likes of my satanic professors. Group projects are a gateway drug into thoroughly loathing the human race. But when assigned one, do I curl up in the fetal position and weep for mommy, magically hoping that my PowerPoint presentation on the Rwandan genocide gets completed? No, I suck up my vast hatred for the four apathetic dimwits I was assigned to work with, and begrudgingly get the project done because I’m an adult. And my grade depended on it.

Nevertheless, when it comes to our government, we’re not just simply dealing with letter grades here, people; we’re dealing with a nation, its economy and citizens. Couldn’t, you, oh I don’t know, put aside your differences for the good of the American people? Isn’t that why you decided to work in government in the first place? To help the greater good? Come on, this had to have been on your agenda somewhere, right? You couldn’t be this selfish all the time … right?

Perhaps this isn’t your fault. Maybe Congress is being held hostage by a gaggle of teenagers? And maybe now these teenagers are controlling our government! Think about it. The immaturity, the indecisiveness and the exclusive parties. The fact that your (fore) fathers probably aren’t very proud of you right now.

With that being said, if it really is a bunch of teenagers currently running our government, this just may be the perfect outlet to further my complaints about your adolescent immaturity. To start, could you stop taking pictures of literally anything you see, slapping a filter on it and calling it art? Just because your chili cheese dog looks good with a Walden filter, doesn’t mean that anyone really wants to see a picture of it. And can you explain to me your obsession with fall? You treat this season as if it’s your messiah. Oh look, there’s a slight chill to the air and food has pumpkin flavor added to it—let’s proclaim our love of this via Facebook statuses for the next three months. It just seems like worshiping autumn is trendy, but then again, it’s probably just seasonal. One more thing: Could you please stop saying “I’m so OCD” about any neurosis you have. First of all, if one has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, that doesn’t make them OCD. You are not a disorder; you have a disorder. If someone caught you talking to yourself (as you were talking out a math problem, for example) you wouldn’t defend yourself with, “LOL, I’m so schizophrenic.” Exploiting mental disorders as trendy catchphrases is just as immature as shutting down an entire entity, hindering the lives of millions of citizens.

All tangents of grievances aside, your consensus did not come quick enough. The shutdown made the 2 million federal workers have their paychecks delayed, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s flu program came to a standstill, food and safety operations were halted and, most disturbing of all, children diagnosed with cancer got turned away from clinical trials. As an American, I believe it is my civic duty to hand Congress their asses on a silver platter. So I hope I have done my job, now go do yours.


Samantha Hirsch