Government Shutdowns

Well as I watch my government collapse in on itself from 7,000 miles away I can’t help but look around and notice the differences. Of course, democracy is great but things seem pretty great here too. The roads are clean, schools are decent, people have jobs, houses and running water. And Sultan Qaboos gets his picture in the lobby of every building and on the inside cover of every book. Ok so yes the people didn’t choose him as their ruler but he seems to be doing a whole lot better than the politicians we chose to lead us.
When I tried to explain the government shutdown to my host family they were bewildered. It took them awhile to actually understand the concept because things like that just don’t happen here. They asked how the President could have possibly let this happen. Can’t he just make the decision they asked me. Doesn’t he have any power? Well…kind of, but it’s complicated…I answered, embarrassed by the illogical dysfunction.
Don’t get me wrong, I love and value the ability to have a say in who controls my country and the empowering feeling of knowing I can always speak my mind without having to worry about censorship or Anti-Defamation laws.

However, I can’t deny that there are certain benefits to absolute rule. The Sultan has done amazing things for this country, putting it on the map and transforming a handful of scattered villages into a thriving, productive country while still managing to retain traditional aspects of culture. There are no nasty political campaigns here, no educated adults squabbling like children over matters of extreme public importance, no societal divides over extreme party platforms. Things run smoothly and when they don’t the Sultan steps into fix it. Not such a bad way to live. Especially when I see how things are going stateside.
Speaking of which, the government may be in the middle of a shutdown but they are still financing my trip to Dubai this week! More on that when I get back to Oman and don’t have to scavenge for wifi in the closest Starbucks!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brad
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 19:48:37

    I am really enjoying the updates. Keep them coming. Brad

    Reply

  2. Harlan Rena
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 04:35:48

    Somehow I can’t quite imagine you being content overall with an unelected sultan making decisions for the entire country. Yes, democracy is messy, and we’re currently in the process of balancing the extremes, but I am super glad there is recourse of some sort when people don’t like the decisions being made.
    Anyway~ SUPER glad to be reading about your thoughts, life, and adventures! Thanks so much for sharing! Much love and blessings~ Rena and the Fur Family

    Reply

  3. harriet lowinger
    Oct 24, 2013 @ 23:29:16

    what a great experience this is for you and for us as well through your blog.
    continue writing and we will continue learning.

    Reply

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