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The Stories Of The Shutdown

Andrew Sullivan has a popular series of blog posts up in which readers write about how they have been hurt in tangible ways by the federal shutdown. For example:

I’m a federal employee furloughed from my job teaching at one of the military academies. Our academy leadership decided to keep classes running while the 30% of our faculty who are civilian had to stay home. That means not only that civilian faculty like me have no work and no pay, but military faculty are teaching two or three sections of cadets combined. Some upper-level classes have been suspended, and fourth-year cadets who need these classes to graduate may be in danger of not meeting their course requirements for graduation. But pretty soon it will be hard to give them credit for the courses.

This is a small but useful example of how storytelling favors one particular political position, the Democratic one. To read these stories and to empathize with the storyteller is to find oneself moved to agree with them.

As an intellectual exercise in the spirit of my Storylines, Not Party Lines piece, let’s imagine stories that make a good case for the pro-shutdown GOP side. Let’s hear what you have, readers. I’m not looking for snark, and I’m not looking for arguments; I’m looking for stories that make the argument real.

UPDATE: I’m serious about wanting only stories. I’m not going to publish comments, pro or anti shutdown, that are not limited to stories. Not trying to be ugly here, but if you don’t have a narrative that supports the shutdown side, don’t waste your time commenting.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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