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Babbling in DC

by Rebecca Stay

“I’m sorry. Are we in high school?” — Jon Stewart, The Daily Show (paraphrased)

I love Jon Stewart. I wish my husband and I could be in his circle of friends. I do. I love his wonderful insights on all things, especially when it pertains to the imbeciles, our dedicated men and women in Washington. Who needs the The NY Times, The Huffington Post (sorry, Arianna), Fox News (just kidding) when I’ve got Jon Stewart? But I digress.

Many famous people I’ve heard interviewed always talk about their family dinners growing up. How their parents challenged them and brought them into the political discussions of the day. It all sounded so picturesque. I compare, because who doesn’t, my childhood dinners to that idyllic scene and long for the same. I wish I’d had that — parents who pushed me to be better, to engage me to do better. And even though I didn’t have the Norman Rockwell upbringing (who did?), it’s no excuse to be lethargic about my country and my community. But I’ve hung onto that excuse with all my might. I had no real drive, because time and time again, I was amongst millions who witnessed all the hypocrisy. It was always the most passionate of politicians that were brought down by one scandal or another. It bored me. I’ll be honest, I shut down and went on with my merry (depending on the year) life. If it doesn’t truly affect me, what do I care?

Now I’m fully grown (I think) and have a child. I still hate politics. To me the politicians are all shams in one way or another, but now I care … a little.

As our government “officially” closed their doors, I felt compelled to take a moment to rant. I can’t hold it in any longer and Jon can’t hear me through the TV.

When he said the above quote, he was referring to the shutdown.

If you don’t mind (insert clearing throat here), I’m now going to speak directly to our politicians. If you do mind, well, it is a free country. You can stop here and move on, but I hope you stay.

Hey, politicians. Listen up. You need to stop lying to each other and yourselves about who you’re looking out for. Hey, if Walter White (Breaking Bad SPOILER ALERT!) can admit he was making and selling meth for himself, I think you fine people running this country can admit your own selfish power-hungry reasons. I can safely guarantee that you are not looking out for my needs. Maybe in an unspoiled time, many years ago, you all started out as idealists, but that time is long gone. I don’t think annnnnny of you would’ve made this move if it meant no paycheck while in shutdown mode. If you stepped your feet into my middle-class shoes for one minute, you would not be behaving the way you are now. It’s time to grow up, people. That sometimes means you have to admit you’re being immature assholes. All of you.

Roll up your sleeves, look beyond your pettiness, and see the good that can come out of looking at all sides and viewpoints. In Hollywood, bad ideas lead to great ones. Imagine that.

You need to start over. My son calls it a “do-over.” And to be clear? My son is in elementary school. He knows more about respect than the House and Senate put together. Sure, there are kids he doesn’t jibe with, but he respects them enough to listen, see their side of things, and find compromise. Clean the slate. Shake hands whether you like one another or not. Just because you wouldn’t hang out with each other in the “quad” doesn’t mean you can’t be mature adults and really listen to both sides.

There’s a difference between hearing and listening. You’re not listening. You’re hearing sounds come out, but waiting for them to stop before you can retaliate with the same babble and nonsense. And we all know what went down at the Tower of Babel.

Grow up. Meet on the black top, shake it off, roll up your sleeves and take a nice deep breath in and then out and call a do-over.

I’m done. Oh wait …

I did want to add one thing. My childhood may not have been filled with dinner guests such as Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow and the likes — and my parents may have bantered and “discussed” what was going on in the world sans me, but I did have a musician Dad that picked up the guitar post dinner to play Name That Tune with us. That was pretty cool.

Okay, now I’m really done.

Rebecca Stay

About Rebecca Stay

Rebecca is a native of So. Cal. A former TV executive, she recently finished a feature spec and is working on her blog, “It’s Rebecca not Becky…Or Is It?” When not busy with her duties as room parent, she’s hanging with her wonderful hubby and nine year old son. You can check out her blog at It’s Rebecca, not Becky . . . Or Is It? and follow her on Twitter @stayrebecca

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