Huffpost UK Politics uk
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

James Mahon Headshot

The Clock Ticks On: The US Shutdown, A Southern View

Posted: Updated:

Political suicide or protecting your own corner. This is what the American shutdown boils down to for many here in the southern states, including British and Irish workers from textiles to finance.

As an elected official, whether you be north or south of the Mason Dixon Line, the fight against and for change has come to a point where as usual the taxpaying public suffer.

Here in Tennessee, a stronghold of the Republican party, Universal Health Care was never an option, the Volunteer state has opted to deal with health care themselves. Support for Barack Obama never rose above 30% in significant number of areas across the American south.

For many regular folk in Tennessee and Georgia the shut down is justified, it's their party and their elected officials using the system to protect their values.

But in reality there will be no winners or losers in this fight. The dollar is weakening, the current economic recovery that has shown US property prices rising in recent months may slow or even retract. Stocks are going to be affected.

The roles that a two house political system can play is limited and has previously led to lock outs. It's a pity that when things seemed to be on the mend many here in Tennessee felt "The Syrian Invasion" was never needed while others felt "we have enough problems here never mind trying to solve those of others" and now this.

These problems are becoming more and more apparent, division and lack of cohesion and willing to compromise from either side is now leaving the fate of this country in no-mans-land.

The right to have health care does not ring home with those who already oppose labor and trade unions. Conflict has raged over Volkswagen's desires to provide union support in the south. Universal Health Care is just seen by many as another socialist ideal imposed on many who don't or need to be told what to do.

For others, including a Tennessee-based Gulf War veteran, he feels it's just a lot of bickering: "Where are the educated tools in argument, its like a bunch of children arguing in a sandbox with temper tantrum."

One Tennessean is stranded in a state park in Arizona right now, as his cabin has been shut down while vacationing with family and he is struggling to get home. Once again the corridors of DC do not fully grasp the suffering that is caused by their own inability to compromise.

Cars and the role of motor vehicles is essential to regions in the south that have limited or no public transport. The department of motor vehicles will be one area that shall be affected while fortunately airports will continue to function effectively. This is a major thumbs up to the European and many British based industries in the south that channel the resources of having Atlanta on their doorstep.

For many in rural America the suspension of a million government workers may not even fully hit home until it has almost passed. In this peculiar situation millions of Americans in non government jobs are so concerned about trying to keep their jobs and put their kids through college that the bickering of those privileged few, hundreds of miles away in DC is just something else to avoid as the American Dream fades further and further away into corridors of cold hard marble.