The Government Shutdown: A Line Drawn in the Sand

I think any reasonable person would say that negotiations about the border wall can take place with the government open and operating.  I don’t think any other business runs their company using a business plan that requires the company to shut down operations until a non-crippling problem can be solved.  I say non-crippling because there is security and a wall already in place protecting our borders.  The question of if our border security is enough is the reason for the shutdown.  Looking at the cost of the wall, five billion dollars, the amount is insignificant compared to what we spend as a country.  In fact, the government has already spent more than three billion during the shutdown, because of the shutdown. 

Shutdowns in the past have always been about getting something for something. The something for something, which is also known as negotiating, is the variable that seems to be missing from the current, 2019, shutdown.  Instead of an open door between parties for negotiating, a line has been drawn in the sand with the livelihood of the American people.  I am hypothesizing when I say that one of the goals of a shutdown is to end the shutdown so that the American people aren’t inconvenienced unnecessarily.  If you look at past shutdowns the goal seem to include reopening the government, even if temporary, to limit the impact on the people while negotiations took place.  Still hypothesizing, the people were valued more than the political issues of abortion, water, education, Medicaid, whatever the issue of conflict was at the time.  The goal was to end the shutdown with an agreement and get back to business.  It is worth noting 1) That the current shutdown took place during the changing-of-the-guard for the House 2) It has been verbalized that the shutdown can go on for years if necessary and 3) The American citizen is the only bargaining chip being used during the shutdown to get the something for something.

Why has the government not been reopened to give furloughed workers a breather while negotiations continue?  To make a reasonable assumption, you have to look at the mindset of the people on both sides of the shutdown. 

President Trump often points out that he is a businessman, he understands business, and that he knows how to get a deal done.  His show The Apprentice rewarded those that got the deal down at any cost.  Trump understands the art of the deal.  Sometimes to successfully close a deal you have to play hardball.  An example of President Trump playing hardball is when he purchased a building overlooking Central Park to build luxury condos.  Regarding the negotiations for the Border Wall, President Trump is only doing what he knows to do, close the deal at any cost.  The biggest question I have about the shutdown is why shut down the government now when the House changes over to Democrats?  It seems that a better time to have built the wall was when Republicans controlled the House, Senate, and the Presidency for two years?  Why didn’t President Trump get the wall funded early on or have this politicized battle with the Republicans? Was having a border wall important two years ago?

On the other side of the negotiation table are the Democrats.  Nancy Pelosi has made it clear that the recently installed House is not approving a budget with money for a border wall.  I’m wondering why?  Again, five billion is not a lot of money and people build and rebuild things all the time.  Could it be that President Trump created a monster with his management style versus using a leadership style?  The world has watched President Trump dismantle President Obama’s legislation.  Is it possible that the game of non-negotiation is coming back to bite him and the “American people” in the buttocks?    When McConnell said that his number one goal was to make President Obama a one-term president, was he setting a precedent for how future politics would be handled, Democrats against Republicans, with no regard for the citizens of America?  The old saying “when you are dead and gone this world will still be here” sort of plays out in the McConnell statement.  President Obama is no longer in the White House but the precedence that McConnell set, that politics is not bipartisan, continues.  In a previous post, I reminded readers that the government is of the people, by the people, for the people.  Democrats and Republicans should go back to our roots for government and make country and people first in politics.  There will be political fights.  I say fight the political fights with tenacity and ruthless valor but remember who you are fighting for. 

The faces behind the shutdown have questions about how they are going to pan out during the shutdown.  They want to know if they are tenants living in a building to be torn down for condos or are they valued citizens of the United States of America.  I believe our leaders will come together and do what’s best for our country.  Wall, no wall, it really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things.  There is already a barrier protecting our borders.  If you replace the existing barrier with a wall, there is still a barrier protecting our borders.  The question is, “do our politicians have their priorities and values in order?”  Does it matter to them that the line drawn in the sand is a line drawn with the lives of American people?

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