Dec. 22 marked the start of the longest government shutdown in American history. It ended on Jan. 25 with the still-looming threat of another within 21 days of the government reopening. The one threat that is meant to help the country is the one that might hinder this country if both sides don’t agree by Feb. 15 to the absurd amount to fund a border wall.
The shutdown originated from the lack of an agreement over border security, which is needed, but not to the extent with which it is destroying America. Many became hysteric over the idea of no longer being able to feed their families, pay bills or sadly, keep up with medical expenses. Some states suffered greatly from it, but Mississippi is one of the most prominently affected.
During the shutdown, Mississippi was ranked eighth for the most people affected by the 34-day shutdown. More than 18 percent of its population benefited from the SNAP program. Of that 18 percent of beneficiaries, more than 75 percent of them had a family and 33 percent had elders living with them. Despite the well-known myth that most of these families do not work, 41 percent were working families. Mississippi was forced to send out February’s food stamps on Jan. 17 without a chance for people to have them next month.
When Trump was voted into office, he made false promises of having Mexico pay for a border wall that the nation’s leaders never agreed to. Now, in a time when the country needs him the most, he is holding back from excelling. Many Americans are depending on aid, Social Security benefits, SNAP, disabilities and other funds in order to ensure that they can live the American dream. Yet, there is no life, liberty or pursuit of happiness when the one person who is supposed to represent his country most, chooses to take such away from his citizens.
How could someone who says that he wishes to ‘Make America Great Again’ destroy the country by manipulating the economy to his standards as if he is running a business — and decimating what the government has set in order to aid Americans simply over something like a wall? In the weeks during the shutdown, he was constantly granted a chance for compromise but instead of making such deals, he veered the playing field into what he desires and said “no” to helping Americans.
There is a lot to ponder and worry come Feb. 15, if there is no agreement for a wall that is practically pointless when there is determination to come across the border.
Trump said that there will be no country without a border, perhaps he has not acknowledged that there will be no country without funding or without its people to help it thrive.
Alexus Smith is a freshman political science major from Jackson.