Some day a definitive book, perhaps a play or a movie, will be written about this time in our nation’s history. Will it be a “comedy” or a “tragedy”?
Presently our country is still being held hostage by President Trump, the deadline for an agreement being February 15. For 35 days, 800,000 federal workers found themselves furloughed or working without pay. This brought to light the realization that 78% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Suddenly workers found themselves at risk of losing their homes and unable to pay for food and medication.
“Compromise” does not always provide a solution to a problem. Sometimes choice is a matter of “right and wrong.” Federal workers did nothing to incur this punishment. How did they become pawns, their lives disrupted for a political purpose?
Democrats and Republicans agree that we need border security. The president, who persists in creating his own version of reality, fails to see that the “wall” is not a practical solution to keep criminals out of our country. Americans entrust their Representatives with their tax money hoping they will make wise choices. Occasionally these officials get derailed by their personal interests. The “shut-down” is estimated to have cost 11 billion dollars.
Republicans have pushed over the years for “smaller” government. There is at the core of this reasoning a lack of information as to the hundreds of services performed to meet our needs. The shutdown brought an awareness of all the jobs workers do and how much we depend on them.
While the president proclaims that this wall will keep us safe, he was willing to put our country in jeopardy for 35 days as workers in charge of homeland security were sent home or asked to work without pay. It is further hard to have confidence in the judgment of the president who appears to rely on advice from Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter in matters of national security while dismissing advice from his Intelligence committee.
Somewhere in the mix, in the “negotiations,” the DACA issue lurks. Again, it is wrong to use the members of DACA as bargaining chips for political gain. Their fate should be decided in a separate bill.
The State of the Union speech was scheduled for Tuesday, February 5. When you read this, this bit of entertainment will be relegated to the past.
The path ahead, the next two years, are shrouded in mystery. We do well to revisit the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…” and ending with, “Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it and – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”