(SNN) - Well, we’re in Daley Plaza, in downtown Chicago, during the morning rush hour, to find out.
“The most powerful country in the world, being shutdown by a senseless squabble?” one woman commented to this man-on-the-street reporter, as she hurried by, then added over her shoulder, “I think they should be ashamed of themselves.”
A dozen other passers-by grunted their agreement.
“For a democracy to work,” a man uttered, stopping for a moment, “both sides have to compromise, which the President is steadfastly refusing to do.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” a female passerby said, also stopping. “The shutdown is just the Republican’s forty-third attempt to kill Obamacare. There’s nothing to compromise about.”
A dozen passersby hung back a moment, to agree with her.
“Look what happened on the first day of the so-called exchanges,” the man blurted out, then he lectured her and all the others, “All the websites either crashed or took hours to get any info out of.”
“The demand was so high,” the woman shot back, miffed, “it overwhelmed the system.”
“And it’s symbolic,” he continued, unabated, “of how big a disaster it’s going to be for this country.”
Even more people stopped to voice their objections.
“Stop interrupting,” he shouted at them, outraged. “I’m practicing my First Amendment rights, here. And what I want to say is, let me be the first to say I told you so?”
At that point, a shouting match broke out between twenty people, with even more stopping by to see what was going on, so this reporter had to move on to a quieter part of the Plaza.
“Plus, you people are getting all worked up over nothing,” a woman yelled back, to another gathering group of a hundred commuters, minutes later. “Only non-essential governmental services are being shut down.”
Various people shot back, “Like the CDC.” “Food inspections.” “The FDA.” “The IRS,” “Food assistance for the poor.”
“She’s right,” said a man, joining her. “Someone has got to do something about government spending.”
‘The President is using the term ‘government shutdown’,” ranted yet another man, squeezing through the crowd to join the other two supporters of the shutdown, “to sucker you people into sending him donations.” Then he shouted over the objections, “But all it really is, is a much-needed downsizing of the government. And finally, finally, the Republicans have come up with a way to do, what we sent them there to do, in the first place.”
“And what about the poor?” shouted back a dozen people in the crowd.
The first woman stated, “This is the most generous country in the world, so they’ll be fine.” And over the roaring boo, she screamed her explanation, “The problem with socialism is that it thwarts the freedom of millions of citizens from helping their fellowman – assuming those misfortunate aren’t lazy bastards, who refuse to get off their asses and get a job.”
Her colleagues cheered their whole-hearted agreement.
A young lady, in the front, called out, “So, the poor can count on you people, to give them a helping hand, right?”
“I would take great personal pleasure in helping the unfortunate, and will,” the first man yelled at the woman. “Just as soon as Washington cuts my taxes by ninety-percent.”
Again, a shouting and shoving match broke out, and this reporter barely made it out of there unscathed.
“Everyone knows that Obambacare is just a ploy to buy Democratic votes for the next election,” a man standing on a park bench preached to the crowd, that was pouring into the street, behind him, stopping traffic. He pointed to the throng on the left, booing and shaking their fist at him. “Everyone except those brainwashed idiots.”
“But all the Affordable Care Act does is help to correct an injustice,” a woman standing on the next park bench shouted, furious that the man was again interrupting her speech. “An injustice that every other developed country in the world has done something about.”
Again, she got a huge cheer and round of applause.
“But the facts of the matter are,” the man shouted back, like it was obvious, “That only God can decide when your time has come.” And over the rousing howls of agreement from his supporters, some of whom were passing out flyers to young people, urging them to boycott the program, he yelled, “And no $163,000, for some so-called miracle cancer cure – that comes out of our pockets - or will ever change that.” Then he followed it with a so-there gesture to the woman.
“And the question is,” the woman continued in a hoarse voice, rubbing her nose with her middle finger, “are we a nation who cares about each other, or are we a country in which the rich have everything, including access to readily available medical treatments.”
Again, she got a cheer and hundreds of her supporters also rubbed their noses with their middle finger, at the man, “And it’s incumbent that we Republicans stand behind our leaders in Washington,” the man harangued the crowd. “If we can’t stop Obamacare, how are we going to stop immigration reform, that the Democrats are going to bring up next, to buy Mexican votes.”
Then to stop the women from continuing, he led his supporters in a chant. “Give me Medical liberty or give me death.”
Well, shortly thereafter, everything for blocks around came to a stand still. And like everyone else, this reporter had to watch the action on his smartphone, via live YouTube.
“Let me tell you what’s really going on in Washington.” a man standing on the top of some limo somewhere, said, trying to out-shout some woman. “Obamacare is the most diabolical plot ever conceived by man. Obama has conned millions into thinking that something that will really be a disaster for the country, is the greatest thing ever devised by man; all for the sole purpose of permanently destroying the Republican Party, by making it look like it’s full of nuts.” And over his supporter’s roaring cheer, he added, “Plus, the real motive behind his refusal to compromise is to make sure the stock market crashes.” Then he howled at the top of his lungs, “By making sure our Wall Street backers lose trillions of dollars.”
“Everyone’s going to suffer from this shutdown,” a woman shouted, seething, from the roof of some taxi, somewhere, “but that A-hole's buddies in Washington.” Then to try again to get the upper hand, she roared, “And as a stock broker, I have it on good authority that all the Tea Party representatives in the House, have taken every last dime they have and bought “shorts,” betting against the American economy.” She punched the air and howled, “And they won’t end the shutdown, until market crash bottoms out, and have made a killing.”
Her supporters cracked up, loving it.
The man on the limo got even more anrgy and yelled, “A million, overpaid, furloughed government workers are pouring into Washington, at this very minute, hell-bent on killing the idea of limited government, once and for all.” He held up a defiant fist. “And I urge all of my fellow true Americans, around the country, to grab their guns, go to Washington and use their 2nd Amendment rights, by protecting the House from insurrection.”
Well, about then, a massive police presence began emptying the Plaza. And for some inexplicable reason, this reporter ended up getting arrested for inciting a riot!
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