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Posted: October 5, 2013 7:30 p.m.

Shutdown is a wakeup call

"Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first, get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’’’

from the movie "Network"

Whether you agree with the Republicans or the Democrats or the president on who is to blame for the current partial shutdown of some government agencies really doesn’t matter. No matter what we say, we doubt we could change your mind one way or the other.

But what we can all agree on is this: The vitriol that is being spouted by our elected leaders is the cruelest and meanest that most of us have experienced in our lifetimes. To call whole groups of our neighbors "terrorists," or to say that one party is on a "jihad" to destroy our country is nothing less than disgusting.

To have our president, who could use his powers to be the country’s great compromiser, become instead the country’s great divider is just not acceptable.

There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that we have representing us the weakest group of politicians that most of us can remember in our lifetimes.

There appears to be a major disconnect among our federal leadership. The so-called "leaders’’ in Washington seem to have the mistaken impression that we work for them, instead of the other way around.

This has happened because the famous "silent majority" in our country and in our communities would rather complain than do something about our general lack of leadership.

When was the last time our two senators cared enough to visit our community, to ask our opinions about anything? Our two Congressman? One of them, a Republican, shows up here at election time. The other, a Democrat, writes columns expressing his viewpoints in the Atlanta paper, not in his own district. This is not what we call representation.

If you are tired of the rhetoric and fed up with the lack of leadership, then get up out of your soft armchairs and get on the phone. Get out and get yourself involved in local politics. Stop thinking that others are going to do it for you; they are not.

If we don’t act and act in a positive, American way, the American dream that we were raised with will no longer exist for our children or our grandchildren,

What a shame that would be, considering the thousands of men and women who have sacrificed their lives to ensure that we still have an American dream, as fleeting as it now seems.

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