Here we are on day 25 with a new record – the longest government shutdown in US history. Federal workers are working without pay. Some are not working at all. Various government services have shut down completely. Though I have yet to feel the effects of the shutdown, I know many who have been impacted tremendously. However, it seems the ones who started this are the only ones still getting paid… Hmmmm…
Historically, these government shutdowns arise when Congress and the President don’t see eye to eye, and a shutdown is used as a bargaining chip to get what they want. Give me what I want or the country will suffer – the usual bipartisan approach that prevents progress and just ends up harming citizens. Both parties are holding us hostage.
But this case is different, because it involves…
- Something irrational.
- Someone irrational.
- Lots of lies.
Okay, I guess the previous government shutdowns (should be called “showdowns”) were also bipartisan and about posturing. But this mix is unique in that our President wants to do something that a majority of the country does not support, and he keeps trying to bolster support with lies and fear.
President Trump and some of his supporters want to build a border wall to keep out illegal immigrants. Trump claims there is a “crisis,” and believes we are close to a “national emergency.” During a recent speech, he stated, “all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled, illegal immigration.” Fact: illegal border crossings are down and are expected to continue a downward trend over the next few years. Why build a wall for a crisis that is not really a crisis, and seems to be already improving on its own?
The building of a wall across the border between the US and Mexico does not make sense. The sheer magnitude of such an endeavor is estimated to cost $5.6 billion. I can think of many better uses for all of this money, one of which includes investing in education and services for unemployed and disadvantaged Americans.
Will the President’s wall even work? Tunnels already exist underneath current, smaller walls. People found ways around the walls and will continue to do so in the future. The wall will not deter nor stop those who really want to get across the border.
Is this the image of America we want to project? An image of no longer welcoming the tired, weary and hungry? Do we want a gigantic, expensive wall stretched across our border, in effect closing ourselves off from the reality that is the rest of the world? People’s lives in many of these places are beyond horrific. We should be helping them and welcoming them, not shutting them out.
Trump made a campaign promise to build the wall, and damn it, he wants to fulfill his promise, regardless of the financial and political costs. A while back, he said that Mexico would pay for the wall. President Vincente of Mexico replied, “We are not paying for that stupid wall.” Now Trump wants US taxpayers to pay, and the Democrats in Congress are standing up to him. A stalemate, but one that is worth the battle. Better not to let an irrational someone make delusional decisions.
Trump is appealing to Americans’ fear, not facts. Those that support the wall feel that illegal immigrants are taking advantage of US taxpayers without ever contributing financially. They take jobs away from Americans and legal residents. Some also feel that “illegals are criminals.” However, I see some very big contributions by illegals that most Americans seem to ignore. The jobs they do once they come to America, benefit many, including those complaining about them being here. There are jobs in the US that many of our legal residents just don’t seem to want to take. So the illegals have taken over in many of those areas. Why is this? A lot of them involve manual labor. Is it that many Trump supporters simply don’t want to do these jobs? There is always a need to fill them. Some businesses cannot find workers quickly enough.
These jobs are done by some who are illegal immigrants and most are from Spanish speaking countries, to our south. Like it or not, that is a fact. Yes, they are not high paying jobs, but they generate income for people who need the money. Why haven’t any Trump supporters applied for these jobs? Some of them pay more than fast food restaurants.
Before complaining that illegal immigrants are taking over Americans’ jobs, those Trump supporters that feel at a disadvantage should remember that the opportunities are there and they need to go and get them. That’s what the American spirit is all about – fighting for success, not complaining. It appears that the illegal immigrants are fighting a lot harder for their success than the average anti-immigrant Trump supporter who complains about jobs being taken away.
Lies, Lies and More Lies.
In his effort to build the wall, presumably so he can look for a “win” in his political endeavors, Trump has (is anyone surprised at this??) done a bit of “stretching of the truth” (OK, lying!) Here are some examples:
- Lie: Illegal immigration across the southern border is an “invasion,” people are “flooding our country,”and it’s a crisis.
Truth: Crossings of illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border are at their lowest level since the early 1970s, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol statistics.
- Lie: Most crimes are committed by Mexicans and Central American immigrants.
Truth: In truth, illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans(about 56% fewer convictions, according to the Cato Institute).
- Lie: Trump tweeted that only criminals would oppose a border wall.
Truth: Polls have consistently shown that a majority of Americans oppose the wall.
- Lie: Trump said that some of his predecessors have “told me that we should have” built the wall.
Truth: All four former living presidents have denied telling him that.
And finally, the most infamous one, funding:
- Lie: Mexico will pay for a border wall.
Truth: Mexico has consistently said that it would never pay for such a wall.
Some of us already know these things about number 45 and know they are just Trump’s “normal.”We accept his psychopathic, narcissist personality and are feverishly praying that he is soon impeached. Unbelievable that he is still in power, that his lies and abnormal behavior are accepted by many Americans. But to cause a government show/shutdown, for something that makes no sense, is completely irresponsible. Government workers need their income, and the citizens need their services. So, “President” Trump, it’s time to do the right thing and back down…crickets…of course.