It’s Worse Than You Think: Why the Administration Must Make the Shutdown Hurt

The word is out, no thanks to the unmanned drones who run the “legitimate media.” This administration is purposely trying to make the government shutdown as painful as possible. You’ve got to give them credit for creativity in this: With only 17% of the monstrosity being closed, you really have to search for ways this is hurting anybody.

Even the federal worker trotted out on NPR this morning, who has been relegated to building toy block castles with his young son during the days of furlough, will almost certainly get back pay to cover it all when it’s over. His time off is not a true layoff, but paid time off, with the timing of the payment the only thing still up in the air. Not only so, but it may be a learning experience for him, as the building of temporary castles is at least the production of something, which government workers generally know nothing about. See? Silver linings everywhere.

But whence cometh this desire to make it hurt?

Sheer spite? No doubt.

Or is it the gaining of political advantage, as the pain of the shutdown will cause the unwashed masses to rise up and demand that the House of Representatives give the President everything he wants? That’s a part of it, certainly.

But right here is where conservatives and Constitutionalists get bitten. We’re betrayed by our own failure to think as long-term as the Marxists think. We think the present battle is the be-all and end-all of what’s going on in our opponents’ heads. The articles and radio talk shows that prove this assertion are legion. Conservatives are incensed because the libs are pulling a cheap, crass, and even cruel political stunt. How dare they!

Don’t be fooled. It’s deeper than that.

“Making sure it hurts” is the bald assertion of authority. We will, because we can, and you unelected folks out there need to be reminded of it.

Like when we were kids, assuming you were raised before civilization had evolved so high that it came up with neat, humane options like the dreaded Time Out, I remember sassing my Mom one day as we both stood at the kitchen sink. Before the final syllable of my clever comment had stopped resounding in the air, her hand shot out and lifted me a few inches off the ground with a loud smack. Lovingly, of course. But there was an unmistakable message in that staccato “Pow!” That message was, “I think you’ve forgotten who you are in relation to me, son. I’m going to help you recall that information.”

That’s what we’re really supposed to hear from Daddy O and Uncle Harry when they make sure it hurts. Discipline that doesn’t hurt will not be effective.

They are hoping to remind us all, even if it’s subtle for now, that they are always right and we really don’t get a say in the matter.

Rushdoony pointed out in his classic little work Law and Liberty that all socialistic or otherwise dictatorial governments must of necessity always be at war with some segment of its own citizenry. This is because those governments must, at all costs, protect the dictum that “the government is never wrong.”

They are the elites. They know better. About everything. Whatever meager scraps of individualism and free choice they leave you with, well, you oughtta just shut up and be thankful.

So when stuff goes wrong, even as a direct result of their own policies, overweening government must blame someone else. Political opponents are handy for filling this role. (Paging Ted Cruz.) So are outspoken critics, called dissidents and disturbers of the peace.

Someone must be blamed, and that someone must be punished. A truly socialistic paradise therefore is one in which the elites are always on the warpath.

Even as I write this, Fox News is foaming at the mouth about how “unfair” it is that proponents of immigration reform are being allowed to demonstrate on federal land that is closed to everyone else, due to the shutdown. Well, of course it’s unfair, but to protest about that is a grand exercise in Missing the Point.

You don’t think the government knows it’s being unequal in its treatment of citizens? C’mon.

You’re not hearing the message, which is: Agree with Big Brother and your life will go smoothly. Disagree and you will be punished. We’ll make it hurt.

Of course, the corollary to what I’m saying is this. Wage enough war against your own people and they’ll begin to think of you as a foreigner, a usurper who has no right to rule anymore. Not only must a socialist government always be at war with some of its people, but it must also be in constant fear of them. Children eventually grow up, after all, and might get tired of being smacked around.


Check out Gordan Runyan’s book, Resistance to Tyrants: Romans 13 and the Christian Duty to Oppose Wicked Rulers, available in both paperback and Kindle formats.