Unlike some, this whole idea of a government shutdown hasn't really affected me emotionally... at least, not yet. The arena of civil discourse is clearly long gone, and most people today speak without knowing anything about which they speak.
The American public, as a whole, isn't as curious, intelligent, or as passionate as one would hope (and I include myself in that.) I haven't really trusted "the American People", or the government, since the "Moral Majority" claimed ownership and did great evil in the name of Jesus (a man I respect and of whom I see little of in today's self-described "Christians.")
In our not-so-distant past, a great many Republicans believed that the rights of actual living, breathing women were not as important as the rights of fetal cells. In our not-so-distant past, a great many Republicans believed that aiding the wealthy through tax cuts and letting it somehow "trickle down" was the best way to help the poorest among us, who likely didn't survive until and if it did trickle down.
In our not-so-distant past, at the time of the 50th Anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr., March on Washington (August 2013), a great many Republicans viewed the civil rights era as having made "a lot" of improvement in racial relations, whereas more Democrats saw, instead, "a lot of work remains to be done."
In our not-so-distant past, a great many Republicans viewed fellow Americans living with HIV/AIDS as pariahs, while choosing to view those who contracted the exact same disease in Africa as helpless victims. In our not-so-distant past, a great many Republicans, who typically support capitalism, handily rejected the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have ensured that everyone has the right to work (regardless of gender identity.)
In our not-so-distant past, a great many of capitalism-focused Republicans again voted against increasing the minimum wage, and despite the economic issues our country faces, the currently-Republican-controlled House of Representatives still will not even bring it up for a vote.
In our not-so-distant past, a great many Republicans rejected science, choosing instead to believe in strict creationism, as if we humans only evolved, as is, through the hand of God over the last 10,000 years. In our not-so-distant past, a great many Republicans again chose to ignore science, choosing instead to laugh at Al Gore, his team of scientists, and actual data on Climate Change. (It's happening, people.)
In our not-so-distant past, a great many Republicans scorned the idea of marriage equality and, even if supportive of LGBT people, preferred we be relegated to "civil unions" instead of a state as equally worthy, "marriage." In our not-so-distant past, a great many Republicans, while wanting more effective gun control, like the Democrats, remained silent as their desires were shut out by the ultra-conservative lobbyists of the NRA.
In our not-so-distant past, I had many friends who would describe themselves as "politically moderate." They stood with the GOP for purely financial reasons, not anything to do with "moral" issues - or so they claimed.
Well, my friends, that politically moderate bus has left the Republican station. It has abandoned you, preferring the country as a whole be launched out into the abyss, stock market and economic recovery be damned, simply because they don't like one piece of legislation that was legally passed.
So, where do you stand now, my moderate friends? Where is the middle ground? The ultra-right wing has hijacked your party, as you likely knew all along that it would. So what do you do? Do you complain? Again make excuses for them? Do you jump ship, and become - gasp! - a Democrat?
Or do you again remain silent, simply because, whether you're willing to admit it or not, you don't like the black guy?