The Norman Transcript

October 6, 2013

Legislators should work together to end government shutdown

By Bill Huntington
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — George Washington, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson and the other fathers of our country understood that their job was to work together to accomplish what would be best for the infant United States of America.

Time and time again, they set aside politics and ideologies to build our country. They understood the value of communication, collaboration and cooperation for the greater good by coming together to reach a workable compromise.

For the first 200 years or so, our nation was blessed with leaders who, for the most part, abided by the examples set by the Founding Fathers. They found ways to expand our borders from the Atlantic to the Pacific and on to Hawaii, south to the Rio Grande River and north to Alaska.

They found ways to build waterways into the Great Plains, put men in space and bring them back again. They were able to overcome a Great Depression and defeat not one, but two tyrants.

It is obvious that today's leaders have misplaced the ability to put aside personal ideologies to achieve the greater good.

Twice in the last 20 years, our government has been “shut down” because the leaders in Washington could or would not work together to reach a compromise. Many of the idea-logs appear to owe their jobs to an organized minority with a very narrow definition of the job of government.

As a youngster, I learned that when you point a finger at someone, there are at least three fingers pointing back at you. Blaming the tea (or whatever) party for electing a puppet is not really right.

The fact is that a majority of Americans failed to vote in the last presidential, congressional and statewide elections. The fact is that an organized one-third of the people elected a majority of the offices while two-thirds of the people sat on their duffs.

In fall 2014, about a year from now, we the people have an opportunity to do what those who elected Washington, Adams and Jefferson did: participate.

Go be a part of the nominating and primary process; work in your neighborhood for the candidate of your choice, then go vote.

The goal is to elect people who can work together to get things done to move our country forward. Of course, that is my opinion; I could be wrong.

Bill Huntington lives in Norman.