When my girls got home from school today we were hanging around the kitchen eating snacks and discussing the day when one of them asked, “Is the government really shut down?” “Yup”, says I. “But how does that happen?” asked my youngest. Hhhmmm…how to explain this is a way they can understand? I know…musical theater! Of course! How else would someone explain the inner workings of the government machine. Makes sense to me!
So, I jumped to one side of the rug I was standing on and said: “OK, say this rug is the government,” gesturing below my feet. “And over here on this side are all the Republicans. And they are like We’re Republicans and we don’t like Democrats and we will only vote for the things we want. Neh!” And then I jumped to the other side of the rug. “And over here are the Democrats. And they’re like Hey, We’re Democrats and we don’t like you either and we will only vote for things we want. Neh!” I paused and the girls just looked at me. “So, basically,” I say, shrugging my shoulders ” the government is a lot like West Side Story. Just without all the finger snapping.”
Yep…that’s how I chose to describe the hallowed institution of our nation’s democratic government. Except that clearly my version includes songs, dance fights and, of course, finger snapping.