A Shutdown: Government Of The People, For The People, By The People / by marilyn salenger

Gettysburg Address.jpg

President Abraham Lincoln's strong and poignant words delivered in the Gettysburg Address should be ringing across our country as it splinters apart once again. The war we face as Americans today is again an internal war, but this time with the foot soldiers being those whom we elected to represent our country. We have a President and a Republican led Congress who seem to care not for the people as a whole, but choose to challenge our democracy as it was built appealing only to the interests of a few.

President Donald Trump, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan look to lay blame everywhere else but themselves as our government teeters of the edge of a shutdown. Instead, they are the ones to be held responsible for leading the discord and divisions, and the tragedy they have made of politics. The misguided are in control of our government and we the people are paying the price.

While the world watches the disfunction occuring in Washington, D.C., our stability is questioned near and far. Let's be clear. Children are at the core of the battle in Washington. Families are at the core. Republicans appear unable to come together with Democrats on their behalf. A government shut down is an excuse to cover all else.

The GOP cannot agree on the money needed to continue funding the Children's Health Insurance Program, CHIP, which provides care for 9 million children in need. They cannot agree to continue support of the Dreamers Act or of those immigrant children covered by DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals the Dreamer's Act. These acts have protected approximately one million young people who came to this country illegally as children. They have been protected from deportation because they came here through no fault of their own. All of these children and their families are now living day to day with constant heart-wrenching uncertainty that is being needlessly continued by the President, Congress and its captains.

Will a child be able to have a critical medical procedure? Will a child be forcefully removed from the only country they have known? Children are being held hostage by the political idiocy taking place in the White House and on Capitol Hill. And so, it seems, are the rest of us.

The man elected President one year ago has turned to a mean and vengeful way of governing in the name of leadership. The Republican party has too often followed suit. They are playing dangerous games of brinkmanship while showing too little concern for the humanity that makes up our country. It is the antithesis of the government that Lincoln worked so hard to reunite.

President Lincoln's words at Gettysburg remain striking in their reminders today: 

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

The current leaders of our country have strayed too far. They have lost the ability walk in the shoes worn by all citizens and those who came to our shores for a better life.