Why are 800,000 people scattered across the country still going without pay because of a partial government shutdown? There is no answer that makes any sense at this point except one - Donald Trump wants things his way or no way. If you can’t pay your rent or mortgage, buy food or put gas in your car, does he really care? It appears not. He must not have read or listened to the stories about the personal impact the shutdown is having on federal worker’s lives, or the ones on how to cook meals on very little money. The big D word, Depression, is being used to put having no money during this time in context. Businesses large and small will feel the trickle down effect as the days go on.
In order to justify his action, the President went on national television to tell us all about a “humanitarian crisis” taking place at our southern border. “A crisis of the heart, and a crisis of the soul”, he said. But whose heart and whose soul and what crisis was he talking about when there was only one ominous reference in his speech to those going without money because of the shutdown he has ordered. The true American humanitarian crisis today is the one he has created at home. Almost a million people who work for our government aren’t getting paid, not because we don’t have the money to pay them, but because they have become pawns in Trump’s political power game. The issues at our southern border need to be resolved, but at what cost?
There are so many parts of this latest Trump episode that come together to create a vivid reality of the man who is a master at diverting attention to get attention. His national address turned a prime time spotlight on once again, but that was it. It was a political speech telling us how bad the Democrats are for not giving him the $5.7 billion dollars he wants to build a wall - part of which is already in place. The shutdown and the speech take momentary attention away from special counsel Robert Mueller’s work, as well as most things Russia and Trump.
This is the first time that Democrats have control of Congress since Trump was elected, and he doesn’t seem to know how to handle it. Or Nancy Pelosi. His fall back in dealing with them has become the one thing he is used to doing when his back is against the wall. Make it an either/or situation. I win. You lose. But our democracy doesn’t work that way.
Democrats have offered $1.3 billion to enhance border security. Trump, the man who is trying to save face for his base, says it’s not enough. Who says that negotiations on border security can’t continue if 800,000 people are brought back to work and get paid? Trump and the slew of Republicans that remain under his spell.
Somehow the administration’s announcements that food stamps would be available to help some people affected by the shutdown just doesn’t do it. If all of Congress was put on mandatory food stamp allocations during this shutdown, how long do you think it would take to reopen the government?
In light of a major partial government shutdown, Donald Trump once again appears to be a little fish trying to swim in a big pond - without any swimming lessons.