As lawmakers on both sides of the aisle feverishly pass the buck regarding responsibility for the current federal government shutdown, at least one representative is able to see merit in the interruption.
During a recent interview, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) pointed out that the U.S. government has been here before — 17 other times since 1976. He also indicated that the cause behind the current stalemate is far more noble than that during previous shutdowns.
The crux of the issue, he said, is a willingness to fight for a belief. In this case, that battle involves targeting an unpopular law he said would force individuals to violate their own religious values.
“My perspective is this,” he explained, “how long is too long to fight for something that you think is really, really important?”
Going beyond the standard Republican criticism that ObamaCare is too expensive and its mandates too onerous, Gowdy touched on a deeper effect the legislation would have. By forcing Americans to purchase healthcare plans that include abortifacient drugs and other morally objectionable coverage, this law stands in violation of the First Amendment.
“Can we not last a week on something as important as religious liberty and treating people equally?” he asked.
Gowdy explained that the federal government has shut down for a lot less in the not-too-distant past.
“For 12 days in 1979 this government shut down,” he noted, indicating that the root cause was a “pay increase for Congress.”
He also pointed out the inconvenient fact that, in most of the recent shutdowns, the Democrat party was in power.
“But for whatever reason,” he added, “Republicans are always blamed for the shutdown; and our colleagues are understandably worried that we’re going to be blamed this time.”
Though it can be easy for conservatives to become despondent in the midst of our current political climate, strong voices such as Gowdy’s can go a long way in restoring our faith. Even when a victory seems untenable, it is reassuring to know that at least some of our elected officials will still show up to fight.
–Western Journalism staff writer
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