I posit that there are two types of people in this world; those who possess the ability to recognize when they have overstepped a boundary in conversation and should step back to let other contributing parties speak their peace without threatening and subsequently acting on said threat in a manner that some call sophomoric and those who don’t. Now, it is not my responsibility nor my right to choose which camp you place President Donald Trump in, regarding these to subsets of human existence, but as an informed contributing member of society, I should hope that following the conclusion of this article, you will make said a decision on your own.
For those of you totally unclear as to what is currently taking place in domestic politics, turn on, tune in, and drop out for several paragraphs, and let me educate you briefly. Trump has fought tooth and nail since his inauguration to allocate government funds to construct a border wall along the US-Mexico border. It’s almost as if sixty years ago, when Trump was twelve years old, he sat at the bedside of his dying great-grandfather who said, “Donny…(a cough, cough) Promise me you’ll do one thing in your life.” Trump, in tears, responded, “Yes, grandpa, whatever you want!” Great-grandpa Trump continued, “Promise me you’ll build a wall between here and Mexico. A wall so high that everyone in heaven will sigh in annoyance at its grandeur…Promise me…Promise…(he falls asleep one last time). There can be no other explanation for President Trump’s adamance in wanting this wall built.
With the Democratic Party set to take back the house following the convening of the 116th Congress on January 3, President Trump publicly expressed his concerns about the fate of his wall with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi several weeks ago. According to sources present at the meeting, Trump spoke, on end, about the importance of securing funding for border wall construction, going so far as to threaten to shut down the government if his demands aren’t met.
“If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government — this country needs border security. I will take the mantle, I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you [Democratcs] for it.”
–President Donald Trump
In terms of taking the temperature of the room during the altercation, Mr. Schumer told the press that President Trump had thrown a “temper tantrum” over the wall, continuing to say “the president made it clear that he wants a shutdown.” From the most bipartisan perspective one can possibly muster, there is no way to see Trump’s behavior during the meeting with the two Democratic members of Congress as anything less than incredibly disrespectful. The president shared his opinions for several minutes, then he paused, turned to Ms. Pelosi and said, with an incredibly pedantic tone, “Nancy, would you to share a few words?” Pelosi took an audible deep breath, and spoke:
“I think the American people recognize that we must keep the government. That a shutdown is not worth anything, and we shouldn’t have a Trump shut down.”
–House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
As has been made clear by recent headlines, President Trump made good on his threat to shut down the government. Amid the current shutdown, for which the end is not clearly visible, the president continues to press Democrats to give him the funds necessary to build the wall. On Monday, Trump tweeted that “virtually every Democrat we are dealing with today strongly supported a border wall or fence. It was only when I made it an important part of my campaign because people and drugs were pouring into our country unchecked, that they turned against it. Desperately needed!”
As much as it pains me to say that temper tantrums work in the political arena, Trump’s actions are living proof of this statement. Parts of the federal government will remain inoperable until his $5 billion budget request is approved, and it seems like the Democratic party, no matter how liberal, how head-strong, may have to acquiesce to Trump’s requests in order for the government to return to business as usual.