By Robert Fullingim / Staff Writer
By Robert Fullingim / Staff Writer

We need to regain control of our government and we can start by taking control of the elections. Our leaders are holding us hostage with partisan politics and we have to force a choice because they obviously will not.
Our elected officials voluntarily shut down our government because of a disagreement on the appropriation of funds Tuesday, Oct. 1. This was an issue that was already decided three years ago with the passing of the Affordable Care Act.
Democrats blame Republicans, Republicans blame the Tea Partiers, but the truth is all are to blame, and now millions of federal employees and tens of millions of people in the private sector who rely on federal funding have seen their income literally halted overnight, yet our elected officials will still be getting paid for not doing their jobs. Members of Congress are chosen to help run the government, not whine about issues already voted on while the system grinds to a halt.
Congress did nothing. They did not pass any laws to ensure the continued recovery of our struggling economy, they did not pass any laws that would provide for people whom they knew would suffer from their indecision and now house Republicans are trying to leverage an approval to raise the debt ceiling in return for removing funding from “Obamacare” because they failed to get it with the shutdown.
We the people are being used as pawns by our elected officials and both parties are to blame. This is not the first time the federal government has been shut down; this is a never-ending game of congressional attrition in which the current majority party attempts to impose their ideologies onto us and shifting responsibility is the only stance clearly stated while they lie to us to make us believe that anything they have to say is actually sincere.
America is changing. This is a new culturally, socially and globally conscious U.S. that, through technology, is more connected to the world than ever before, but Congress is choosing to fight the progress.
We the people need to bring about the change and our strength is in the midterm elections in 2014. Everyone pays attention to the presidential elections every four years, but the lobbyists are just as bury during the elections for state, house and Senate campaigns. We could start our own movement for change by never voting for an incumbent. True, the decision is not a perfect plan, but it’s a start and it will handicap the influence of lobbyists.
The only way our representatives will listen to us is if they know we are listening and voting is the best way to show them we care.