US partisan wrangling leaves public interest unattended

By Liu Lulu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/22 23:13:39

The US government shutdown continued into the working week after a Sunday session of the Senate yielded no agreement between Republicans and Democrats on immigration and spending.

This farce has far-reaching effects overseas. The US Embassy in Beijing announced on Monday that its website and social media account will no longer be updated regularly owing to the government closure. This is undeniably a disgrace to the US as a major power.

Demonstrators surged into the streets across the country in opposition to US President Donald Trump this week, but the public can only play a limited role in changing the status quo.

After all, it is American politicians that decide, not the people.

No one can figure out what's gone wrong with US politics, but an increasing number of people have started watching this Washington reality show for kicks: What craziness will happen next and who will emerge champion in the end? It astonishes the world that the political system of the world's leading power has descended into tantrums and name-calling.

This is not the first government shutdown in US history. Partisan duel seems to have become the most prominent feature of US politics. Political divergences are common in countries all across the world, but interestingly, the US resorts to government shutdown each time in the face of divergence.

Worse still, there have been aggravated wrangles within the Republican Party. The closure is especially unusual this time as it takes place when Republicans control both the House and the Senate, and only one year after Trump took office.

From climate change through Obamacare reform to border regulation, Washington has seen intensified political rifts both outside and inside the parties. Splits between the White House and pro-establishment forces are clearly observed.

Ostensibly, the government shutdown is a result of the Republican-Democratic impasse on spending and immigration. But in essence, it is a reflection of aggravated political polarization in Washington.

The American public expects a decisive government that can fight for their interests, but Congress has become a club of empty talk where politicians care more about their private gains than the public interest. Political polarization is a major issue that the US needs to address and all sides need to try harder.

Posted in: OBSERVER

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