The Government Shutdown: Who’s To Blame?

If you are wondering whom to blame for the partial government shutdown, I can help, but first we must change our rhetoric. I try to live by the principle of “No Blame,” so I embrace another word with a comprehensive and expansive meaning—responsibility. Please consider who has the ability to respond to the various challenges that face our nation. The answer, of course, is many people, but many of these individuals are not acting responsibly. Rather than responding, they are reacting, reactingwithout reflection, reactingfor self-interests and reactingwithout the understanding that differing viewpoints can create solutions beyond the horizon of any one person or group of like-minded people. When our leaders surround themselves with people who think like them and only listen to those who parrot their views, creativity suffers.

If you want to know who is responsible for the shutdown, ask yourself who can end it. This person is responsible.

A National Emergency, Really?

It appears that the president and his administration are building a case for a national emergency, so funds can be siphoned from the Department of Defense and/or other departments of government to build a wall. This faux emergency is as dangerous a precedence as I have seen in my many years of observing the working of democracy. Here’s why: Declaring a faux national emergency so funds can be acquired to build a border wall is not just Trump being Trump governing outside the norms of politics. It is an assault on democracy and a failure of leadership. Here’s why.

Our founding fathers created a new form of governing that invites differing viewpoints. When it comes to legislation, leadership in the Senate and House of Representatives are to come together not to compromise, but to create. Circumventing Congress diminishes our way of governing. Ideally, the president and the leadership of the House and Senate work together to find a way through any impasse. In the instance of the shutdown, take note of who is missing—Senator McConnell—who has abdicated his leadership position and deferred to the president. All the players are not in the room!

Where’s The Blame

Some say there is blame enough to go around…No, remember our principle to live by, “No Blame.” The crisis is not migrants, terrorists, criminals, families seeking asylum in the United State or funding. What we are facing is a crisis of leadership. This has always been my greatest concern with Mr. Trump. I see no leadership skills in him, and the president of the United States is the most demanding leadership position on earth.

When you take on the mantle of leadership, you not only take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, you accept and acknowledge your responsibility, your ability to respond with creativity to the challenges that face our nation.

Our leaders are failing us. I do not blame them. I call them out. To each I say, “Let’s pretend that you are in your last term of office and that you will not seek reelection.(Term limits would be nice, wouldn’t they?) Do the right thing. Be the leader you envisioned yourself to be when you ran for office the first time. Be that person, for we need you.”


  1. I like the idea of “responsibility” rather than “blame”. Thanks for your insights.

  2. Very well said, Jim. Thanks!

  3. Rev Suzanne Field Rabb


    I agree with your premise that a leader is needed and we elect our leader to do just that. Bur, Mr. Trump does not want to lead, he just wants notoriety and his own way. He does not care about other people’s needs and wants. He loath people who ask things of him. The world runs about him; I believe he is sick and a dangerous man who had no belief in anyone else but himself. His bragging and lying has become who he is. I question if he even believes hat there is a higher power than himself.

    Let me share with you a prayer I found in a very old hymnal. It is a prayer given to the people by George Washington our first president of the USA

    Washington’s prayer for the Nation: Almighty God, our earnest prayer that Thou will keep the United States in thy Holy protection, that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.

    Grant our supplications, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen

    Written in Newburg June 8, 1783 and sent to Governors of all the States

  4. Excellent commentary! Jim as you know, I was in a very responsible position for many years working as a civil servant for the Federal Government. I have never experienced anything like our current situation. I hope our leaders wake up and turn within for courage and resolve. We need a miracle.

  5. Thank you, Jim for giving us the encouragement to express our thoughts about this political situation we find ourselves in.If we could all walk in the footsteps of these brave federal workers and experience their anxiety and fears, this would quickly become less of a political issue and more of a humanitarian cause, which is the principle our country was founded on. Isn’t that what this is essentially all about anyway? Persecuted families are asking for asylum from vicious corupt gangs and governments.and wanting safety and peace for their children. I refer back to a simple but powerful message…”What would Jesus do?”

    It’s getting harder to use the Law of Attraction to maintain my flow of peace as I age. Pray and meditate for recovery from this strife- .

  6. Well said, Jim.

  7. I was comforted in reading your piece when you inserted your belief of “no blame” and changing the term to “responsibility”. I almost didn’t pursue reading because of the title.
    I agree about your view of what leadership means in terms of the office of President. I frequently find myself questioning how we could possibly have ever thought DT was fit for the job. What energy force was at play when from the point of him contemplating the possibility of running for office years ago in almost a flippant, impulsive manner that we’d get to this point in history?

    The only thing I can that I can think of is God (Source) didn’t grant DT the position. We the people did, one way or another. However, God (Source) energy has leveraged the appointment as a way to wake us up from complacency, working through DT and the Administration to begin questioning our beliefs when we have become comfortable living in times of more abundance than ever before, though many of DT’s followers don’t believe that truth.

    Fear mongering works on our deepest instincts to survive when we cannot take the time to reflect, stand outside our small universe centers to look at the bigger picture-the good of the whole and to be grateful.

    Loving thy neighbor as thy self has limited scope beyond how we view loving ourselves. If there’s a constant distribution of the *lack of enough to go around* rhetoric we can become hoarders of fearfulness versus mindfulness. Until leader’s decisions and actions hit close enough to disrupt our comfort zones, we don’t step up to holding leaders accountable beyond what we as individuals need and want in life, regardless of facts or of the needs and wants of our neighbors.

    My prayer and hope is things don’t get worse before they get better. As is, it’s going to take every ounce of strength and conviction as a whole nation to clean up the messiness of our current circumstances.

    My sensing is this Government shutdown may just be the test of our conviction. As such we may be missing an opportunity to see it as one very uncomfortable situation, dwelling on awful-izing the discomforts rather than doing whatever it takes to take a united front stand to hold leaders responsible. By not doing so now, by not calling DT’s bluff now, we may lose much more of the freedoms our founding fathers envisioned for “the great experiment” called the USA.

    As in science, hundreds of experiments lead to more knowledge. It’s the static of science that allows for growth. Imagine scientists stopping at one way of thinking on an experiment that becomes the only way. We can all take it as truth for just so long. Our souls know better and looks for all kinds of ways to express themselves in spite of ourselves. Perversion happens. Subversion breeds. Our fears become our selfish-
    fulfilling prophecy.

    How are we living our best lives and supporting each other’s best lives, creating heaven on earth, when we keep quiet about the abomination we’re involved in here in the US and rippling our into the world? Is it going to take a bloody revolution? Or, does it behoove us to tap into our unique gifts and talents then co-create a better world as God/Source intended?

    Thank you for your article. As you can see by this lengthy response, it got me thinking. ?

    • Thank you for your reply. You should have your own blog. So well written and great thoughts. You are a force for change. Many Blessings, Jim

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.