On Oct. 1, as we were finishing the last miles of a wonderful three-week trip through the national parks and monuments of the American Southwest, we witnessed park rangers locking the gates on those parks.
It was a gut-wrenching sight. I couldn’t help but reflect on our own trip, but at the same time think of all of the tourists who had planned their trips for months, or even years, only to be met with a locked gate. Then there are the park rangers, gate attendants, guides and support personnel in the parks. The nearby motels, restaurants, trading posts all employ people who in turn support their small communities. According to a local news program, there are also hundreds of weddings planned in the parks.
The people suffer. And for what? So our “representatives” can posture and act more like children than adults. “It’s not my fault,” we hear from both sides. This “crisis” is self-inflicted.
Our “representatives” are protected by the Constitution from losing any pay no matter how they vote, but they are not prevented from voluntarily giving up their pay (as our Island County Commissioners did a few years ago and as you have reported some of Washington’s delegation have done). I want them all to “share the pain” and would like to see a campaign started via all of our email contact lists to do just that.
Write your own letter to friends. Encourage them to continue the “Share the pain” campaign. Help get the word out.