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Thomas D. Fiebiger, Fargo, Published October 06 2013

Letter: Is this the nation Americans want?

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, reads Dr. Seuss to his children from the Senate floor in a mock filibuster – to defund the Affordable Care Act as a requirement of allowing the government to continue to pay its bills. Congressman Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., lifts up the rare abuse of the SNAP program and lifts up his Christian faith as legitimate reasons to reduce the SNAP program in significant ways that will make it harder for our most vulnerable children and elderly to eat. The House votes 40-plus times to defund the Affordable Care Act when they know full well it will never happen.

The emperor has no clothes on! If we did our jobs this way ... well, we’d be fired. So we wring our hands and talk about how screwed up Washington is. We write letters. But there is gerrymandering of congressional districts and access to money for incumbents – the people making the laws, that prevents substantive and meaningful change. How will it come from Washington, D.C.? I do not see the political posturing changing anytime soon.

Is this the type of justice or America we believe in? Is this the America we want to leave to our children and grandchildren? No. So what do we do? Throw up our hands and say our country is irretrievably broken and focus on our own stuff? Compulsively check our cellphones and add more Facebook friends? We appear to be heading that way.

I saw a bumper sticker that made me smile the other day and actually seemed prophetic. It said “Stop Bitching and Start the Revolution.” Maybe that’s where we are at. Perhaps we can learn something from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s where the people of this country united and mobilized, with help from religious leaders and people of all backgrounds, and said “enough.” One thing is clear, real change must come from outside Washington and we are all responsible, as citizens, for what happens next.