Every few days I end up in part of a conversation with a complete stranger and they ask if the government is shut down and what that means.
Like last week, the lady driving the shuttle to the airport parking asked me if it was really shut down and why. I had about 20 seconds until an older dude was about to get on the shuttle with us, so my reply was because our country is run by stupid, spineless men. She laughed and agreed with me.
Today, I had a doctor appointment and the doctor decided I needed to stop at a blood work lab for some additional tests. (allergist, if anyone remembers my New Year’s Day of allergy crappiness)
At the blood lab, there was a guy around my age (mid 30s) who was asking us in the waiting room for money for bus fare (a couple of us gave him some cash). He was doing employer urine tests I think since he and another guy were talking about starting work in a few days. So, he’s explaining that he’s homeless and he can’t get placed in a good shelter or government housing. And this other lady says something like “I think HUD isn’t getting their money because of the shutdown.” He had no clue. He looked really concerned, turned to me, and said something like “what does this mean for me? I’m homeless and lower middle class and I need help getting somewhere to live...” Me and the lady were like “we don’t know what it means, but federal payments are basically cut off as far as we know.” Then I got called in for my blood work, so I was out of the conversation from that point.
I get why that guy had no clue. He’s essentially disenfranchised. Like how much is he seeing about news, etc?
But then I think, how many people have no clue what’s going on, have no immediate family/acquaintances furloughed or working without pay, etc, and will just believe it’s no big deal because some asshole who loves Trump says people are overreacting and just liberal snowflakes wanting the nanny state to take care of them.