As most of you know, after 35 days the government shutdown has ended – temporarily. In retrospect, like most things devised by our government, it was ill-conceived, caused a lot of unnecessary pain and inconvenience to a lot of innocent people, was driven primarily by political expediency, and yielded dubious benefit. Negotiations will be continuing, however, there is a strong probability that on February 15, or thereabouts, we will get to do it all over again.
Like most of us, I felt deeply for the 800,000 or so federal workers who were forced to forego their paychecks during the shutdown. What they were forced to endure was unconscionable. They were unfortunate pawns in the battle between two titans – President Trump and Speaker Pelosi. The effect of the shutdown was beginning to permeate other areas and affect a broader cross-section of people. For example, a sizeable number of air traffic controllers participated in a “sickout,” which wreaked havoc at many airports causing delays and missed flights. As always, in these circumstances, it’s the little guy who gets hurt the most.
So, if you are keeping score, who were the winners, and who were the losers? Permit me to render my opinion with respect to that.
Identifying the winners is somewhat complicated, but I will endeavor to do so:
1. The open borders crowd. We all know who they are. We see them on tv and read their tweets. They favor unrestricted, or at least very loose, immigration policies. They want to let as many immigrants into the US as possible. They are adamantly opposed to a physical wall/barrier. They are advocating technology, such as drones, to secure the border. Well, that is nothing more than an elaborate ruse. Drones may be effective as a supplement to a wall, but not instead of one. They would not prevent anything. All they could do would be to spot migrants who have already breached our border. It would be too late then.
2. The Trump-haters. Anything Trump wants, they oppose. They see a wall/barrier as a symbol of everything Trump. Even though many of them were in favor of a wall/barrier before Trump was elected, they oppose it now simply because he has advocated it. Most Democratic members of Congress, including “Chancy,” and even some Republicans, fall into this category.
3. The elites – Who are the elites? To paraphrase the late Supreme Court Justice, Potter Stewart, I can’t define them, but I know them when I see them. I’ll give you some examples: (a) the bureaucratic swamp dwellers in DC who actually run the government and want to maintain the status quo, which benefits them. They oppose Trump on all matters because he was elected to bring wholesale changes, which they view as a threat to their power and status. (b) their supporters in the media; If one listens to CNN or MSNBC, among others, on any given day the consistency of their comments is remarkable. Often, they even use the same words and phrases as if they were reading from a script of talking points. (c) anyone who would benefit from cheap labor. Who are they? I refer you to my blog of January 10, titled “Open Borders Scam.”
Who are the losers? That’s easy. You and me. Ordinary people. For example, blue collar workers, unskilled or semi-skilled laborers who work in construction, manufacturing, in a warehouse, or at a trade, any middle class person who pays taxes. Again, please see my January 10 blog. We are being scammed by those with a vested interest in open borders and their supporters, most of whom live in gated communities with 24 X 7 security and, yes, walls. Their position is not based on humanitarian feelings for the migrants, but rather, it is rooted in economics and politics.
We have not seen the last of this issue. Our government did not resolve anything. All it did was to kick the proverbial can down the road. Our representatives are very good at that. They have been doing it for years and years on various issues. As I said, on or about February 15 the temporary reopening period will likely end, and we will be subjected to this pain all over again.
Mr. Trump lost the battle, but, hopefully, he will win the war. Public opinion was trending against him. In the end, the continued and well-documented suffering of the unpaid federal workers and the spectacle of airport chaos mandated that he agree to a deal to reopen the government.
Democrats and open borders enthusiasts were openly celebratory of Mr. Trump’s “defeat.” Senator Schumer gleefully and snidely said he “hoped Trump has learned his lesson.” Classy. One would think that a senior senator would be above that kind of comment, would exhibit some grace, but I guess not. As I said, the real losers were the ordinary American people, like you and me.
If the open borders crowd continues to block funding for a wall/barrier President Trump may very well invoke emergency powers to close the border or commence building a wall. It appears to be within his purview to do so, but undoubtedly, that would lead to challenges in the courts and God knows what else. Stay tuned.