Anyone who may have thought that one man could not destroy our country has been in for a rude awakening by the events of the past week.
The partial government shutdown — the Trump-down, as we refer to it — that has been engineered solely by President Donald Trump is yet another example of how Trump is destroying America — not only figuratively, as he has done ever since his inauguration through his espousal and support of un-American values around the world — but now, he is doing so quite literally.
Whether one agrees with Trump’s desire to build a wall along the border with Mexico, there never has been a study of any kind that even remotely has determined how and where it should be built, its cost, and what it might accomplish. In short, Trump is proposing a project that is likely to cost tens of billions of dollars, at a time when those funds can be used for other needs, without any evaluation — by experts — of the efficacy of such a barrier. (We would note that previous studies under prior administrations have asserted that a wall along the border will accomplish nothing in terms of deterring illegal immigration.)
In addition, two-thirds of the land along the border is privately-owned. Assuming for the sake of argument that the government is going to take that land by eminent domain — although it cannot do so for lands owned by Native American tribes — will be a lengthy and costly process.
On the other hand, there are many other options available to Trump — many of which are favored by both parties — that can accomplish the goal of improved border security immediately.
A government shutdown is not some abstract notion. Every day of the Trump-down is causing real damage to our nation — most notably to our national parks — and to the 800,000 government workers who do not have a paycheck to support their families, as well as farmers who have been receiving government subsidies — thanks to Trump’s tariff war — whose funding also will come to a halt.
A sane and rational discussion of a border wall has its place in the normal legislative process. But that discussion is totally separate from the issue of funding the budgets for unrelated government agencies to keep them operational.
The Trump-down is making America look like a banana-republic of the sort that is subject to the whims of a madman-tyrant. It is hard to imagine that our nation can sink any lower.
But with Trump around for two more years, does anyone doubt that we have yet to bottom-out?