Shut Down

I used to work in social services. I don’t shock easily.

But I’m also Canadian, a woman brought up to believe that workers have rights when employers take advantage of them and that even when you’re forced back to work in a strike situation (as a person performing an essential service without which society can’t function) you must be paid for it.

I am really having a hard time wrapping my head around the shut down in the US and why it has gone on for so long.

I do understand why the Democrats are reluctant to deal with Trump, especially after he backed out of several deals that everyone had agreed to and is now blaming them for a situation that he agreed he’d own. I understand fully the concerns that if they give in to him just a little bit, he’ll just shut the government down every time he wants something. Reward a tantrum and you’ll keep getting them, after all.

The problem is, though, that the Democrats haven’t found a way to negotiate with Trump in terms of the only thing that really matters to him: the support of his base. That’s his currency, what he truly care about — he couldn’t care less about how the shut down is affecting people, and that puts the Democrats in a position where it’s almost impossible to negotiate. Trump doesn’t have to back down if he’s got nothing to lose (or if he feels he doesn’t, at least.)

The rest of us may be able to see that he’s painted himself into a corner, but reality has never been Trump’s strong suit.

And I don’t really know what the answer is, but I do know this — until those 800,000 furloughed American workers are being paid, none of the politicians in the Congress and Senate should be paid either. If American workers are going to be used as pawns in a political game, politicians should have to pay a price for that.

Do your job, Washington. Figure this out.