I get it.

A handful of reactionary billionaires and former Republican government officials of dubious ethical repute don't like a law, so they decide to shut down the government until that law (passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the president of the United States and upheld by the Supreme Court) is gutted or rescinded. They enlist the enthusiastic support of a handful of elected politicians, most from underpopulated areas of the United States, to help them in this action.

The result is that working people are suddenly without pay, vital medical research is halted, tourism is devastated, children go hungry, veterans are deprived of vital services, and now private industry is responding with additional layoffs.

All this is taking place just as the U.S. is emerging from a devastating recession. No one in this cabal is worried about money as their minions keep pay and lavish health benefits from the very government they shuttered.

The international community is seriously disturbed about all this, and the markets are responding with enormous losses. That means retirees and seniors on the brink of retirement are suffering additional harm.

I get it.

We are somehow supposed to turn our lives over to the stewardship of people whose only goal is to demonstrate that they can do whatever they want just because they believe they possess some transcendent truth — which is to say what they want simply outweighs anything else at all.

And they are destroying the country with great efficiency.

Damn them all.

Ellen B. Cutler, Aberdeen