Our View: Summary: The government shutdown feels like “politics as usual” as our elected officials fail to compromise due to their ideologies and lack of pressure from the American electorate.

DKS Editors

As we finished up Tuesday’s edition of the Daily Kent Stater, we anxiously awaited the clock to strike midnight. Various countdown clocks ran on the different cable news networks on our televisions. As midnight came and, subsequently, the government shut down, a wave of disappointment washed through our newsroom.

For some reason, we expected things to feel differently after midnight with the shutdown of our federal government. But, much like the coming and going of Y2K, everything seemed the same. Our computers and smart phones still worked. Images of House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama continued to fill our television screens. When we looked out at Summit Street, we saw a few dedicated students presumably returning to their homes instead of an angry horde of protesters causing chaos.

As college students at Kent State, we live in somewhat of a bubble. Our public university hummed along the day following the government shutdown. Unfortunately, not every American citizen is like us. Around 800,000 individuals woke up Tuesday morning without a workplace to report to because of the government shutdown. These employees continue to be furloughed in what simply feels like “politics as usual” as our politicians treat these people as political pawns in hope of their ideology coming out on top.

It is incredibly easy to feel apathy when considering the status quo of our political climate in the U.S. As we spoke to young people in my social circles regarding the government shutdown, we gleaned a few common themes. Many of these individuals were simply OK with chalking this government shutdown as “politics as usual” while really not understanding the repercussions of such an event. Others really did not understand what this government shutdown meant for American citizens.

These conversations were revealing, but not surprising considering how often young people simply do not pay attention to politics. Can we blame them? This government shutdown, a costly political move for our country, only exemplifies the stereotypical politicians who can evoke such an apathetic response from American citizens. As the approval ratings of Congress, and Republicans specifically, continue to plummet, we urge you to remember the men and women who held our country hostage because of their ability to compromise. We will continue to get “politics as usual” if we do not head to the polls on election day this November.