Trump’s wall

It’s now becoming a common theme: the closed gates to National parks, the 800,000 out of work, the pay stubs with a total of $0.00. Our country is experiencing yet another government shutdown. As of today, it is day 32, making this the longest government shutdown in American history. And for the American people and its congressional representatives, there is no end in sight.

The question of why our country is in a government shutdown is simple to answer – President Trump and a majority of Republicans asked for $5.7 billion that would go to funding the wall along the USA-Mexico border, and not even in its entirety. Known as the spineless party, Democrats for once seem unwavering to make any compromise. This observation reached a particular crescendo during the Democratic response to Trump’s national address given by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Freshman House member Alexandria o’Casio Cortez tweeted a story of a government worker, despite being furloughed, asking her to stay strong as Democrats must not give in to the Republican demands.

Times like these shed light on a paradox that plagues the legislature. One one hand, it’s the inhibitive impacts of the polarization that spans the liberal-conservative divide. On the other, it’s the glass-mansion that seems to perfectly describe the Republican unity in both branches of Congress. Senator Lisa Murkowski has called for an end to the shutdown while Senator Lindsey Graham, an originally staunch supporter suggested temporarily reopening the government while continuing talks on the wall. But at the end of the day, Senate Majority Leader, the role in charge of bringing the Senate to a vote, has made his unwavering support to Trump clear — no matter the literal or ethical cost.

Trump has announced thoughts of declaring a national emergency at the border in order to receive the funding. Doing so, however, would lack constitutionality and ooze in irony. The true “national emergency” or “humanitarian crisis” is those 800,000 Americans not receiving a paycheck. It should also be considered that the Department of Homeland Security, Agriculture, and Justice are all being affected by the insufficient funds in that something like the FDA, crucial to keeping our food safe, has stopped conducting food checks all together. Or, just take a look at the shutdown’s costliness. If it were to last another two weeks, its cost would be equivalent to the amount Trump wants for the border wall. With this money, you could fix Flint’s water twenty times. You could end homelessness in San Francisco 23 times. You can rid Yemen of its malnourished children 152 times. There is so much more you can do with 5.7 billion dollars rather than build a fraction of a wall.

As the richest and most developed nation, I find us impoverished in terms of leadership and foresight. And sadly this time around, it is not up to us, the American people, to make change. This ability is left in the hands of those who are at fault. It is up to our leaders to fix it.