Well, it's official. We are in the midst of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. It's not a record which anyone, well almost anyone, wanted to break, but here we are. 800,000 federal went without their first paycheck last Friday, even though 420,000 of those employees are still being required to report for work.
Last week I floated the idea that democrats should give in to Trump's demands in order to get people back to work.
- I was concerned about federal employees not being able to buy groceries for their families.
- I was appalled at the idea families are having to return their Christmas gifts in order to pay rent.
- I was disgusted by the fact that hard working public servants are having to choose between buying food or buying medications.
Even more appalling was Trump's statement that workers would have to, "adjust their spending." He obviously does not understand, or care about, the kind of hardships he's causing.
Taking the number of people suffering into account, I suggested that congress may as well give in. I reasoned that even he if he got the money tomorrow, private landowners would keep the project tied up in court battles for twenty years. However, I was corrected on my flawed logic. Multiple readers contacted me via Facebook and politely pointed out that, if congress gives in now, President Trump will be able to hold workers hostage everytime he wants something. Our country would become a functional dictatorship.
As badly as I feel for those who are caught in the middle, through no fault of their own, we can't give into Trump's demands for the same reason that law enforcement can not negotiate with kidnappers. Congress must draw a line in the sand and hold firm.
I don't know how this will all end. I hope that Senate Majority Leader McConnell will allow a bipartisan bill to be voted on by the senate. Once both houses pass a bill I believe they can override a veto. Short of such an override, I don't see a way out for our country.