We are officially into the second month of the longest government shutdown in American history. The stalemate on both sides of the aisle remains as the approval rating for you know who continues to drop.
The financial reality in this country is that many workers, in spite of having jobs that come with a steady paycheck, are within one or two missing paychecks of financial disaster. If the government does not open by Friday and the Federal workers who have been furloughed or working without pay do not receive their paychecks, it could create a financial ripple that affects every American household.
The irony about this shutdown is that it comes down to a disagreement about how to keep the country safe. The people whose job it is to keep us safe cannot do their jobs because they lack financial support to complete their jobs. FBI agents are complaining that they are unable to do their jobs without a paycheck or funding. 10% of TSA agents are calling out sick. They are the front lines of national security at our airports. How are they supposed to do their jobs if they cannot afford to come to work? A number of TSA agents have resigned or considered resigning out of sheer desperation.
Mitch McConnell could have ended the shutdown already. But he refuses to, blocking four bills that would have re-opened the government and supply badly needed paychecks to government employees. He is already laying the groundwork for a 2020 re-election campaign. If I lived in Kentucky, I would be thinking long and hard if he deserved my vote.
On top of this shutdown, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of barring Transgender men and women from serving in the military. Upholding this ban is akin watching a magician doing street magic using playing cards. The audience is directed to look at their left hand while their right hand holds the card that will “magically” appear from thin air. We are in the middle of a national crisis, those in power should be working together to re-open the government. They should be not banning Americans who are willingly going into the military, knowing full well that they may have to sacrifice their lives to protect this country. President “bone spurs” is one to talk about who should and who should not be in the military.
I feel like the country at this moment is at a fork in the road. We can either go one way and move towards the ideals created by our Founding Fathers. Or, we can go another way and remain a divided country where identity politics and labels rule over us. I just hope (hope being the important word in this sentence), that we, as a nation make the right decision.
Immigrant has become a dirty word in this country, especially since you know who became President.
While the ban on Transgender troops was lifted last year, there are many who are willing and able to serve, but are given the runaround when they present themselves as recruits.
Today, the Associated Press reported that immigrant recruits are being quietly discharged by the military.
Not only is America the land of immigrants, but her military is made up of immigrants or children of immigrants. My grandfathers, the sons of Jewish immigrants, served their country in World War II. One of my great-uncles served in World War I. Many Irish immigrants fought for the North and the South during the Civil War. Similarly, European immigrants fought for America during World War I. They wanted to prove that they were just as American as any native-born soldier.
The fact is that America has not had a draft since Vietnam. Everyone who signs up for the military is doing so of their own free will. They know, just as we know, that it is an honorable, but perilous profession.
To potentially put your life on the line to protect the American people, reveals to me at least, the nature of those who join the military. I could say the same thing about you know who, but he did use the excuse of “bone spurs” to get out of serving in Vietnam.
Tomorrow is Veterans Day. Tomorrow we honor the men and women who have given their lives to protect this country.
The military is not for everyone, but for those who are willing and able to join, it is the noblest act that they can undertake.
A few months ago, Donald Trump announced that transgender troops would be banned from the military. A judge has blocked enforcement of the ban.
Unlike other countries, America does not have a mandatory military conscription. It is up to the individual if he or she wants to become a member of the armed forces. It is shortsighted and foolish (though it would not be the first time with the Trump administration) to prevent these people from joining or continuing in the service, especially if they have been trained and are able to adequately do their job.
We need to honor all of our troops, regardless of any labels they themselves or others may use to the define them. After everything they have done for us, it is the least we can do.
I don’t know how low this man can sink (though turning on Jeff Sessions is pretty low), but he may be reaching the bottom.
The military is not for everyone. But those who choose to serve, regardless of whether they are gay, straight, sexually fluid, transgender, etc, we should be thanking them for their service, not banning them from serving. They are potentially giving up their lives to safeguard not only our country, but democracy.
President Trump has no respect for anyone or anything, unless they serve his needs. He flies off the handle, acts more like a ten-year old boy than a 70ish year old man who happens to the President and thinks that Congress will automatically do his bidding. That is not the way a democracy works.
It’s time to get this man out of the oval office before he runs this country, like many of his businesses into the ground.