Partial shutdown does nothing to help real Americans


Taylor Yates, Managing Editor

Most everyone knows that the government has shut down after Congress and President Trump could not agree to pass legislation regarding funding due to disagreements over whether or not a southern border wall should be funded. Trump demanded $5.7 billion for this wall, but this was blocked by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives who want no funding for the wall that Trump has been planning to build.


Both groups refusing to compromise is both frustrating and harmful for the economy and the financial well-being of some government employees (particularly in the TSA and similar departments). However, President Trump has offered some compromises, lowering the amount he wants to go to the wall from $5.7 billion, but congressional Democrats have shown no willingness to allow the wall in any form. Though compromise seems impossible, or at least highly implausible, at this point, one can’t help but hope that either group might give in enough to allow the government to reopen.


Though many cannot feel the effects of the shutdown directly, it is affecting the lives of more Americans than some would like to think. According to CNBC, almost 80% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck, so when they miss a few paychecks, it can uproot their lives. This is what many non-essential government employees are having to deal with after being furloughed or continuing to work without being paid. Even those not working for the federal government are struggling with the falling economy and other financial inconveniences. Small business owners in particular are susceptible, as they may be reliant on one particular project for which they cannot currently be paid. Large companies are not invincible either; Southwest Airlines has been attempting to get clearance to fly to Hawaii for months, but cannot during the shutdown, which takes product from the company and inconveniences their customers. In addition to the financial hardships, the national parks and environments they protect are hurting. Without park rangers managing the parks, guests are littering and breaking rules that were put in place to maintain beauty and stability.


It is clear that the government shutdown is not good for the American people. So why are they having to deal with it? Every group is refusing to compromise, leaving the government in a stagnant state with little progress being made to reopen the government. But it all seems much too political for a simple disagreement. The Republicans had control of the House, Senate and Presidency for years. So why are Trump and his party waiting until now, mere months after Democrats regained control of the House, to try to push through legislature funding a wall that he has been promising since before he won the Presidency? It seems that many politicians are in on it, and they are simply trying to make conflict in order to rally support for their groups; they are trying to make conflict and force Americans into a bad situation so that those Americans will get fired up about trying to fix it.


We are being manipulated. The American people are being forced to suffer for a few elitists’ benefits. Like many, the people who initiated the shutdown did not expect it to be a big deal, and for the most part, normal societal functions can continue without interruption, but it has gone on long enough that people are hurting. Future interruptions like this can only be prevented if the American people hold those whom they vote into office accountable. That is all we can do, but with the current state of the nation, it can be enough. Politicians will always be manipulative, but we as Americans must combat this with vigilance to recognize what is going on and what facts they feed us are raw and true versus altered to fit their views.


Trump promised a southern border wall from the beginning; he should be expected to follow through on that promise, but by waiting until he had opposition, he has proven that doing what he said in his campaign is not his first priority. This cannot be allowed. It does not matter what your views on the necessity of border security are, by refusing to compromise, all groups helping continue this shutdown are demonstrating their blatant disregard for the citizens they claim to represent. They are all putting their own agendas over the wellbeing of other Americans. No one person or group is to blame during this shutdown: all are guilty to an extent. We must prevent this by being thoughtful about our votes and acknowledging the failures of people in power without degrading their views and the people who share them.