The primitive mind of Donald Trump has, in classic form, declared that the government shutdown is just one more sortie in a black and white, simplistic, tribal war.
Have the Democrats finally realized that we desperately need Border Security and a Wall on the Southern Border. Need to stop Drugs, Human Trafficking,Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our Country. Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2018
Don’t adjust your TVs folks, that is the president of the United States seemingly suggesting that the issue of federal workers not getting paid during the shutdown he engineered doesn’t matter because they’re playing for the other team. (Incidentally, two days prior, Trump insisted that “many” federal employees “want the wall” and have said to him or otherwise communicated that he should hold out until he gets the funding.)
“This is outrageous,” Senator Mark Warner tweeted in response to the president’s latest baseless claim. “Federal employees don’t go to work wearing red or blue jerseys. They’re public servants. And the President is treating them like poker chips at one of his failed casinos.” Senator Amy Klobuchar wrote: “These shutdown workers work for the FBI & TSA (not GOP or DNC). They signed up to protect us & work for America regardless of party.”
If you go to the federal workers and ask them, not a one is supporting Trump’s idiotic notions of keeping the government shut down, and them without a pay check, until the Democrats approve a racist, politically driven expenditure of $5Bil to fund an unnecessary wall. New York Daily News:
The American Federation of Government Employees — which represents more than 700,000 federal employees and ranks as the country’s largest federal workers’ union — asserted there “should be no confusion” about whether its members want the government to reopen.
“They are eager to get back to work,” AFGE President Jeffrey David Cox Sr. said in a statement, as the shutdown entered its fifth day. “They unequivocally oppose using shutdowns as a means of resolving policy disputes. This is not about a wall, this is about 800,000 real people with real families and real bills to pay.”
Nine Cabinet departments — including Justice, State and Homeland Security — as well as dozens of federal agencies are closed because of the shutdown, forcing some 420,000 employees to work without pay and putting another 380,000 workers out of work.
The problem here, and it is a big one, is that Donald Trump has never lived in the real world. He was a millionaire at age 8, because his rich father decided he would be. The vast majority of us do not have a wealthy relative or a convenient back door to go out of when the going gets rough. We’re just stuck.
As the shutdown hit its fifth day on Wednesday, federal workers have been sharing worries about not receiving a paycheck on Twitter using the hashtag #ShutdownStories. Julie Burr, an administrative assistant at the Department of Transportation, wrote that she is “a single mom in panic mode” and is “picking up extra shifts at [her] 2nd job but it won’t pay the rent.” Incredibly, the government has reportedly created sample letters for employees to send to creditors explaining their situation. “I am a federal employee who has recently been furloughed due to a lack of funding of my agency,” one meant to be sent to landlords reads. “Because of this, my income has been severely cut, and I am unable to pay the entire cost of my rent, along with my other expenses.”
“People can’t pay their rent, they can’t put food on the table,” Joyce Vance, the United States attorney for the Northern District of Alabama during the 2013 shutdown, told the Times. “They’re not sitting on a huge pile of cash for an emergency.”
All of this is a game to Trump. This is just the White House version of The Apprentice. Trump has no idea of the damage that he’s doing to real people in real time. And it is useless to explain it. If anyone tried, he probably would just grab a Big Mac and turn on Fox News, because at the end of the day — he really doesn’t care: a message that the White House has already given us, loud and clear.