The US government shutdown shows Trump’s incompetence

Graphic by Kash Patel

In 2013, Donald Trump indirectly tweeted then-president Obama, saying “a shutdown falls on the president’s lack of leadership. He can’t even control his party and get people together in a room. A shutdown means the president is weak.”

Oh, the irony. The US government has been shutdown since mid-December; now making it the longest shutdown in US history. And as of Jan. 20, the shutdown reached it’s thirtieth day.

In an interview this past December, Trump said “I am proud to shut down the government for border security … I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.”

It’s kind of interesting how his rhetoric has flipped since then, but I digress.

This shutdown occurred when Trump tried to use $5.7 billion of government funding towards building a US-Mexico border wall, but the deadlock occurred after a Senate vote, with many Democrats questioning and rejecting his use of the funding. This is the second major shutdown during Trump’s presidency.

This government shutdown has already lasted ten days longer than the one Trump referenced in his tweet from 2013, and has cost over $5 billion — about as much money as it would take to build this wall that caused the shutdown.

But this shutdown isn’t all fun and games, if you can even call it that. About 800 000 federal workers have been sent home without pay-checks and just over half of those workers have been required to work without getting paid.

Many federal employees have been furloughed — meaning they have been temporarily laid off, and thus, they are no longer bringing in stable incomes to their families.

The government shutdown is costing citizens more than just funding; it is threatening the security and safety of citizens across the country.

Because the shutdown is affecting federal workers, this directly impacts public safety.

Some now-furloughed federal employees had worked in administrative roles for violence prevention and intervention.

In an interview, Trump said that “there will be a shutdown that will last a very long time” if he doesn’t get his way with the funding of the wall.

Because they are on leaves of absence, their vital work towards violence and domestic abuse prevention has halted, leaving many victims with no resources.

This largely affects women of colour and Indigenous women, who are 80 per cent more likely to experience sexual assault and violence than white women. Further, LGBTQ+, low-income and disabled women are more likely to suffer from this lack of resources as well.

The shutdown is also preventing many citizens with chronic illnesses from getting the medical care they need.

The shutdown has caused a significant delay in these services, and is causing those with medical needs to become especially vulnerable.

Trump’s shutdown is about more than just a debate on the wall.

It is directly harming low-income, disabled, marginalized and Indigenous communities.

It harms the infrastructure as well — and is only intensifying the already dire roads and energy and water systems — because attention is not being paid to such problems.

Funnily enough, the shutdown has frozen the United State’s immigration courts, which has allowed for many undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation orders. Now, immigration courts have become indefinitely backlogged, postponing countless immigration cases as judges have been furloughed.

This shutdown is challenging Trump’s persistent stance on creating a more rational immigration system. He has pretty much ensured that thousands of “illegal” immigrants are getting let off the hook, so to speak.

Just for the record, the likelihood of Trump’s wall being put into fruition was low, even before the deadlock. This shutdown is, in my opinion, nothing more than a political stunt against the Democrats on the Senate who refused to accept his wall.

The longer the shutdown continues, the more citizens will feel it affecting them. Countless families are suffering as a result of Trump’s grandstanding.

In an interview, Trump said that “there will be a shutdown that will last a very long time” if he doesn’t get his way with the funding of the wall.

His uncompromising attitude towards the wall only further proves his incompetence as president. Aren’t leaders supposed to do what is in the best interest of their charges? By shutting the government down and refusing to compromise on funding, he is putting innumerable citizens at risk.

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