Trump's shutdown is costing the American people

Donald Trump has always had an unconventional approach to politics. But his latest move, a partial government shutdown with no end in sight, is verging on tyrannical. Attempting to force the hand of Congress to provide funding for his long-awaited wall has led to the longest shutdown in US history. The most powerful country in the world has grinded to a halt in the wake of the most powerful man in the world throwing a temper tantrum.

A stalemate has arisen. Trump refuses to back down until the funding for the wall is approved, and the Democrats refuse to vote for a security measure that focuses on an unnecessary wall. Despite the politicians being most directly involved at the front line of the negotiations however, they are not the ones that suffer the most. Hundreds of thousands of government workers are either furloughed or, if deemed essential, forced to work without pay. This places a massive strain on families all across the country. It can be difficult to get unemployment benefits fast enough, and there’s no guarantee that workers will be reimbursed when the government eventually reopens. With this all occurring over the expensive New Year’s period, there will likely be long lasting financial implications for these workers.

With a billionaire potentially starving families to get his way, it is hard to ignore the deeply flawed and almost bully-like aspect he brings to governing. By refusing to end the shutdown, it is setting in a dangerous precedent. If the President can simply shut down the country every time he wants to pass a new law or doesn’t agree with a decision, he has no reason to stop. A President, despite being the leader of the country, is still a servant of the people, and his main role is to serve the best interests of those people. Although the Republican party are quick to blame the Democrats, Trump himself is proud to take credit for this shutdown. He is happily holding the American people to ransom until he receives the funding. Negotiations, or the attempts at them, are going nowhere, as he continues to storm out of meetings without any attempt at diplomacy.

The shutdown has brought many discussions about the wall to the limelight again, with many statements made by Trump over the years being consistently ignored. The funding Trump is so desperately craving, which Mexico was supposed to fit the bill for, comes directly out the tax money the government receives. Demanding billions of taxpayer dollars for a project that most American’s are now against has soured many people’s opinion of him, with people slowly becoming sick of his pathological lying.

With the shutdown stretching on indefinitely into the distance, the lasting effects remain to be seen. But until this political catfight can be settled, it will not be the high-ranking politicians battling it out who hold the largest stake in the game. It will be the American people whose lives have been indefinitely halted by a man who can’t accept a compromise.

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First published in 1965, InQuire is the University of Kent student newspaper.

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