by Massachusetts National Guard
If you watch the anarchist tirades coming from extremist
Republicans in the House, you'd think they believe that the
government that governs best is a government that doesn't exist at
But behind all the slogans of the Tea Party -- and all the thinly
veiled calls for anarchy in Washington -- is a reality: The
American people don't want a future without government.
When was the last time the anarchy gang called for regulators to go
easier on companies that put lead in children's toys? Or for
inspectors to stop checking whether the meat in our grocery stores
is crawling with deadly bacteria? Or for the FDA to ignore whether
morning sickness drugs will cause horrible deformities in our
When? Never. In fact, whenever the anarchists make any headway in
their quest and cause damage to our government, the opposite
After the sequester kicked in, Republicans immediately turned
around and called on us to protect funding for our national defense
and to keep our air traffic controllers on the job.
And now that the House Republicans have shut down the government --
holding the country hostage because of some imaginary government
"health care boogeyman" -- Republicans almost immediately turned
around and called on us to start reopening parts of our
Why do they do this? Because the boogeyman government in the
alternate universe of their fiery political speeches isn't real. It
Government is real, and it has three basic functions:
- Provide for the national defense.
- Put rules in place rules, like traffic lights and bank
regulations, that are fair and transparent.
- Build the things together that none of us can build alone --
roads, schools, power grids -- the things that give everyone a
chance to succeed.
These things did not appear by magic. In each instance, we made
a choice as a people to come together. We made that choice because
we wanted to be a country with a foundation that would allow anyone
to have a chance to succeed.
The Food and Drug Administration makes sure that the white pills we
take are antibiotics and not baking soda. The National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration oversees crash tests to make sure our
new cars have functioning brakes. The Consumer Product Safety
Commission makes sure that babies' car seats don't collapse in a
crash and that toasters don't explode.
We are alive, we are healthier, we are stronger because of
government. Alive, healthier, stronger because of what we did
We are not a country of anarchists. We are not a country of
pessimists and ideologues whose motto is, "I've got mine, the rest
of you are on your own." We are not a country that tolerates
dangerous drugs, unsafe meat, dirty air, or toxic mortgages.
We are not that nation. We have never been that nation. And we
never will be that nation.
The political minority in the House that condemns government and
begged for this shutdown has its day. But like all the reckless and
extremist factions that have come before it, its day will pass --
and the government will get back to the work we have chosen to do
Thank you for being a part of this,