President Trump has partially shut down the government for the third time in 2018 on Dec. 22 and has broken the record for the longest government shut down in U.S. history. All of it is owed to his long-standing desire to erect a wall at the U.S. border, but he’d rather blame the Democrats. Just two years ago, Trump was maintaining his intentions of making Mexico fund the construction of a southern border wall. Unsurprisingly, those plans went awry, and hardworking Americans are now taking the fall for his campaign fantasy that continuously fails to gain substantial support in Congress.
Hundreds of thousands of federal employees have been furloughed since the partial shutdown took place, and experienced their first missed paycheck on Jan. 11, 2019.
While the partial shutdown has the most implications for federal employees, it affects the security and livelihoods of others as well.
Firstly and probably most importantly, the safety of our food is at stake. Following the shutdown, the FDA has halted its regular inspections of vegetables, fruits, seafood, and more. While meat, eggs, and grains are still routinely inspected under the shutdown, the former is at a much higher risk for contamination.
Additionally, the security of low-income individuals who rely on SNAP benefits, more commonly referred to as food stamps, is being compromised too; if the partial shutdown continues past the end of February, more than 38 million people may not be provided with their benefits.
It also has its implications for the environment, too. The National Park Service not being operant despite a lot of national parks staying open has inevitably led to littering, waste buildup, and negligence of public safety. These occurrences aren’t exclusive to shutdown periods, however, they’re greatly exacerbated when there is far less staff to educate visitors on what not to do.
America cannot be made “great again” if there are hundreds of thousands of people not being paid for the very work that contributes to America’s alleged greatness. The American people do not need a wall to enforce their security and safety, they need their paychecks. This presidency has fallen nothing short of an embarrassing stain in future U.S. history books.