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posted: 10/17/2013 12:24 PM

Public must take lead in crisis

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Amid a federal government shutdown and debt ceiling arguments, the effects on the local level are minimized. So long as the status quo remains in balance, the general public is content to go through the motions of everyday life without worry. With much of the system affecting the majority still running, the true effects on the country are neglected.

Is it ignorance? Or is it the lack of a reason to care? The public doesn't seem to grasp the fact that our system is fractured. The effects felt here don't seem to reflect the weight of the issues being argued in Washington, D.C., the land far, far away. To most, the debt is a number, an abstract idea with no relevance to daily obligations in our lives. There are vague calls on Congress or the president to act, but they lack the substance needed for the public to have a specific effect on policy.

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It may be cliché to reference Orwell, but ignorance is bliss. Not realizing the facts or implications of a continued shutdown breeds the belief that all is as it should be. People seem content to toss blame around but neglect to inform themselves and others about how issues could be solved. There are calls to "compromise," but no specific or timely response could possibly be made to such a request.

Congress may be believed to be inept and unresponsive, but where is the massive public movement needed to pressure our lawmakers into making the necessary decisions? If enough of the public could stray from its own beloved status quo to emphasize a universal call to action, then the voice could not be ignored. Unfortunately, the public is likely to maintain its place as the ignorant and the ignored.

Kelsey Loar

Mundelein

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