It is now week number two and there is no end in sight.
As this issue goes to press, some 800,000 federal government employees are still in the dark, either forced to work without pay or made to go on furlough for the duration of the shutdown.
They did not have a very merry Christmas nor did they have a happy new year.
President Donald Trump is blaming the Democrats for the impasse when in fact he is completely to blame. No ifs, no buts. He said he would own the shutdown when it takes place, and he cannot erase that claim made before a TV audience of millions.
Everytime he says that the Democrats are at fault, the news media only has to replay his brazen statement.
In the meantime, he has no worries about where to find the money to pay this month’s rent, this week’s meals, or this day’s allowance for the children of the federal employees.
Mr. Trump has turned the shutdown into a pissing contest against Speaker Nancy Pelosi. This is one contest that he will almost surely lose, if he hasn’t already. The majority of affected workers and their families are angry at the President and not the newly re-installed Speaker of the House or the Democrats.
There is only one word to describe the president’s attitude: cruel.
That he rejected a compromise that would have ended the shutdown and which was approved by all Republicans and Democrats says it all. He simply does not give a whit about the suffering American workers.
Having been born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth and having lived his entire life never having to worry about bills to pay, Mr. Trump has no idea of the misery he has caused.
He claims without proof that he enjoys massive support for standing his ground and insisting on getting $5 billion to build the wall that most experts say will do little to prevent the entry of illegal immigrants.
Most of all, he wants everyone to forget his campaign promise that not only would the wall be built, but that Mexico would pay for it.
The White House isn’t mentioning Mexico too often these days, is it?
Let us be clear. No one is against improving border security. All Republicans, Democrats and ordinary citizens agree with this. The entry of illegal drugs – not undocumented immigrants from troubled countries from the south — must be stemmed at all cost. But a wall is simply not the right solution since the drugs are almost always smuggled through legal channels or through low flying planes that no wall could every block.
The late President Ronald Reagan will always be remembered for one statement he said to the then leader of the Soviet Union: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
Here we have the president insisting on building a wall to separate the US from Mexico, which Mr. Trump must be reminded is not only the country’s closest neighbor, it is also a trusted ally and friend.
To the POTUS we say, Mr. Trump, forget about the wall. End the shutdown now.