10/08/2013 11:55 am ET Updated Dec 08, 2013

Government 'Slimdown'?

I see with astonishment and disgust that the GOP and its henchmen at FOX News, for example, are now calling the government shutdown a "government slimdown."

"Slimdown" does not begin to address the real impact of this deliberate and catastrophic derailing of our government, affecting millions -- tens of millions -- of people.

By what right or authority can the GOP deny food to hungry children? Withhold medical care from the poor and needy? Interfere with a woman's right to choose, or the right of LGBTI people to love whom we choose and have equal access to equal protection under the law?

As an American, and as a writer, I'm appalled at the deliberate distortion of language in calling the shutdown a "slimdown," as if it were akin to losing a little weight, suggesting that we should look upon this ugly mess as something positive or proactive. It is not.

I remember something that happened in the '60s, when friends and I were out protesting the war in Vietnam. Someone made a petition and very politely tried to get passersby to read it and sign it. The great majority refused, saying it was "too radical." And what was this inflammatory document? It was the Bill of Rights. Just that. No more. The Bill of Rights.

The great comedian and social commentator Will Rogers once said, "If being stupid got us into this mess, how come being stupid won't get us out of it?"

I suggest that only one thing will get us out: Throwing the GOP out of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections. We as a people deserve a government that functions and can take care of our own, especially the needy, the elderly, the marginalized, and the disadvantaged. And no amount of word spinning can alter the reality of what is underway when right-wing types hold our country hostage to their lunatic agenda, offering spurious justifications for causing injury to people who deserve better and were promised better by the founding documents of this nation.

Subscribe to the Politics email.
How will Trump’s administration impact you?