On Saturday, our presidency reached another historic milestone; this administration is responsible for the longest government shutdown in American history.
We the people are now approaching a month without federal public assistance and we can no longer afford it.
There exists a discursive difference between being politically liberal leaning and being a leftist. The first is a rough framework, the second, a position that is capable of overriding any remorse for the little people left in the balance in a quest to make the world more principled, more left leaning.
Our actions will never occur in a vacuum, there will be implications for everything we do and don’t do in our political decision-making. The shutdown has been going on long enough. Federal workers, including prison guards and border patrol agents, are without pay, running counter-productive to President Donald Trump’s notion of increasing national security. CNBC reports that over 50,000 border patrol agents will go without pay in addition to more than 420,000 other federal employees including FBI and Homeland Security agents, forest service firefighters and 3,600 weather forecasters from the National Weather Service.
So many of Trump’s highly lauded everyday heroes are going without pay because of his temper tantrum. A government shutdown hurts everyone except him. He gets his wish of flooding the media with images of blame for Democrats to flush the news cycle of images of his indiscretions.
For most people, going to our jobs doesn’t elicit pleasure, it’s something we must do in order to live our dreams and sustain ourselves.
Working hard for no pay is being advertised as something for the good of society that principled Americans who love their country would gladly do. But in this capitalist society, we have been pitted against each other. There is no room for cooperation in a game where the instructions state that it is every man for themselves.
As of Wednesday, as reported by CNN, food has not been inspected since the shutdown was announced before Christmas. Think of all the major E. coli outbreaks that have happened while the FDA was actually working to earn their living.
Another key portion of the FDA no longer in operation is the management and accreditation of medicinal clinical trials, which for many of its participants is the only option available to extend and improve the quality of their lives. This shutdown means clinical trials and medical innovation are suspended indefinitely.
Congress Democrats need to understand that three weeks into a government shutdown no one is a winner, and it’s time to stop white-knuckling their privileged notion and understanding of what it means to vote with principles. Principles and how far one is willing to take them, are defined largely by socioeconomics. In context, more than half of Congress members were millionaires before they ever took office. The everyday member makes $174,000 a year and the Speaker of the House makes nearly $225,000; none of the 529 member’s salaries are being affected by the shutdown in anyway.
It’s so easy then, for our government to be so one-sided in their quest for “equality” and challenging racism, that they cannot fathom that their righteous act to not fund the wall is hurting not just asylum seekers, but the everyday Americans they pledged to protect and help. Yes, it could be perceived as giving in to Trump’s tantrum, but he’s still our president and holds a substantial number of the cards. In ignoring his request, Democrats aren’t actually challenging white supremacy and systemic racism; its being exasperated at the expense of our most vulnerable members.
Stop voting along party lines, and vote for people and values who will best support your quest for life, liberty and freedom. We aren’t destined to be Republican or Democrat, black or white, good or bad; we are all human underneath the labels and it’s time to treat each other as such.