The Writing Is On The Wall

David Collins, Co-Editor in Chief

As I write this, the United States government has been shut down for more than two weeks with no end in sight. Visiting a national park is being described as going to the “Wild West,” since unscrupulous citizens are trashing the parks while the rangers are home searching for part-time jobs. TSA agents are calling in sick, since they see no point in working without pay. The agents who are opting to work are neglecting to even scan backpacks since they’re not getting paid to do it. Many low-to-middle class federal workers are struggling to put food on their tables in the wealthiest, most powerful nation on Earth, since they haven’t had a paycheck in more than two weeks. America’s greatness is fading as the shutdown is surging.

There is a singular cause for the government shutdown: President Trump’s method of coercion to build a wall along the southern border of the United States. It was a major goal of his during the 2016 campaign, and this may be his final push, as the Democrats almost unanimously oppose this wall, and future bills will not pass in the House because of this. Critics were quick to point out that President Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall in order to repay debt owed to the U.S., despite the then-President of Mexico saying that he would not pay for it (with the current President reaffirming this). The Trump administration requested $5 billion from Congress for the wall, meaning that American taxpayers will need to pay for it (instead of Mexico).

In mid-December, the Senate passed a continuing resolution that would have funded the government, voting 100-0 in favor of the bill, but the President refused to sign it. He took ownership of the shutdown before it occurred, saying “I will own the shutdown. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame [Senator Schumer and the Democrats] for the shutdown.”

The government shutdown has sparked a major debate about the current allocation of funds to various federal programs. Many people have pointed out that with $5 billion, drinking water could be fixed in Flint, Michigan, every homeless veteran, along with thousands of additional homeless people, could be given some form of housing, and grants could be given to schools to help them educate the next generation of Americans.

The principles behind the wall are fundamentally un-American. This country is composed of immigrants who have all added something to our economy, our democracy and our culture. By investing in legal immigration that would allow for Central and Southern Americans to enter our country in a controlled and peaceful manner, we could end the immigration crisis once and for all. Our country should focus on internal improvement by investing in infrastructure and in its citizens, not in a barrier that will not work in the long run. Just ask the Mongols, the Manchus and the White Walkers!

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” – Emma Lazarus “The New Colossus”