Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
Re "Shutdown already making itself felt," Oct. 2
I am a 80-year-old American, and I am ashamed of my country.
In the past I have voted Republican, as I have always have thought self-sufficiency and hard work would make us great. Now, I am leaving my party with the goal of voting out the selfish ideologues who are trying, with little success, to run our country.
Are these people thinking of the thousands of Americans and foreigners around the world who can no longer visit our national parks? What about the many restaurant owners and hotel employees who work near these parks, whose livelihoods are now at risk?
Members of Congress, give up your stupid pride and compromise for once. No one can win, but we the people and the world can lose.
Boehner knows as well as everyone else that if he brings the Senate's "clean" resolution to fund the government to a vote in the Republican-dominated House, it will pass. The president will then sign it, and the shutdown will end.
But Boehner is so afraid of the extremists and so desperate to keep his gavel that he refuses to allow the majority of House members to express its will.
This man is permitting the entire nation to be held hostage by fanatics so bent on destroying this president that they consider real harm to the nation as acceptable collateral damage. I cannot imagine an offense more deserving of removal from office.
I wish the government really would shut down — all of it. I mean no more Medicare payments, Social Security checks, benefits for veterans or mail delivery. All government agencies would be shuttered.
Maybe then, Americans (and Republicans in particular) would realize how invaluable these government services are to our daily lives.
The battle cry for the 2014 midterm elections should be "Remember the shutdown of 2013."