At a time where newspapers are attacked regularly for their inability to objectively analyze news events and issues that polarize the populace, we do take great strides to include comments from as many people as we can while under the constant pressure of deadline and timeliness. Our only objective is to find truth in whatever subject we happen to be covering, or tell a story through the lens of a perspective you may not have considered.
All that being said, we’re really not sure how to get inside the mind of somebody who still believes this prolonged government shutdown is a good thing, or thinks it is a prime example of how to forward an agenda in Washington.
Just to recap. When President Donald Trump was campaigning for president in 2016, he repeatedly touted his border wall between us and Mexico as a crucial pillar of his platform. We could argue with the legitimacy of that priority, given the country’s crumbling infrastructure, growing drug and incarceration problems and our educational and healthcare quagmires that only grow more troublesome with each passing year – but it’s his platform and his prerogative as president.
While touting that goal, however, Donald Trump repeatedly –enthusiastically we might add – explained that the wall would be an expense paid for by the Mexican government. He was never big on details about how that would happen, but that didn’t stop him from using it as a pump-up tactic for his rallies and saying it to news cameras over and over again.
Either his negotiating skills weren’t up to the level that he said they were, or there was no way that was ever going to happen in the first place. One thing is clear, though, and it’s that if anybody is going to pay for a border wall – and what exactly even that means, is not exactly apparent even at this point – it is going to be the American taxpayer. We can say with certainty because, well, we already are, even without a single centimeter of wall being constructed at this point.
By deciding, and publicly declaring no less, that he is willing and happy to let the government come to a halt unless he gets $5.7 billion to build some scaled down version of his wall – a figure that constitutes a tiny fraction of what an actual “border wall” would cost in the way that many Trump supporters envision one (with high-tech equipment that would prevent people from just digging under it or climbing over it, for example) – Trump has nakedly displayed his disregard for those who exemplify what makes this country truly great.
We are referring to the people – regular people who work federal jobs like FAA air traffic controllers and 800,000 of their federally employed colleagues – who are working for no pay while their bills and obligations continue to pile up, while the president and Congressional employees continue to get paid despite literally not doing their job; to pass a budget and keep the country operating.
This selfishness on the part of the president is made even more unforgivable by the fact that Congressional Democrats have extended an olive branch consisting of a specialized funding bill that would re-open most of the government but leave the door open to discuss funding for border security. The president walked out of a meeting to discuss ways to come to a compromise. As one federal union head put it during a press conference Monday, Trump has picked up the ball and went home rather than continue to play a game he is losing.
We shouldn’t have to say that such behavior for the president of the United States – a post that includes some of the most extraordinary men in recorded history – is unacceptable. Even more inexcusable, Trump has now tried to deny that he ever said Mexico would pay for the wall, despite mountains of video clips of him saying exactly that. To believe such a shameless lie would be to surrender yourself from the realm of reality and enter a world where you no longer choose your own thoughts. We will await the inevitable word of such individuals in our online comment section.
The simple fact of the matter as this shutdown continues is that every day 800,000 federal workers – and potentially millions of regular Americans who rely on the services provided by those federal employees – are suffering because of it. While unpaid workers may be made whole once the shutdown ends, it does nothing to help them as they work for nearly a month with no compensation. How many of Trump’s supporters would work a month without pay, we wonder.
Fortunately, a recent poll showed that about two-thirds of Americans do support the bill that would reopen most of the government, which shows that a good majority of the country sees through this ruse for what it really is – a political game of attrition. One that demonstrates clearly, for those who are willing to see it, how little everyday citizens are considered by certain individuals in the Federal State House and the Oval Office.