The Human Crisis of the Shutdown

The Human Crisis of the Shutdown

It’s not what a lot of you think. That is one thing I’m sure of.

A huge part of the crisis is the way our country is treating its citizens, using them as pawns in a battle that neither side is going to win.

But even worse is the attitude of so many who are demanding the “wall” that will most likely never be built, and saying it’s all “for the greater good!”

Really? Our hard working citizens and their families who are either furloughed without pay or having to still do their jobs without pay are doing it “for the greater good?!” The government contractors and their families who can’t work and may not get any back pay when this mess is over are suffering “for the greater good?!”

The “greater good” doesn’t pay their bills. Any more than it would pay yours.

It just amazes me. I’m heartsick. I’m appalled. And I do not understand how some people can be so cavalier, so uncaring, even cold hearted. Like they really don’t care, as long as they get their own way and are not personally inconvenienced.

Why? What’s happening to our country? How have we become so insensitive to others who are caught in the middle of a controversy not of their choosing, and certainly not caused by anything they’ve done, except be employed by the federal government?

The end does not always justify the means, and certainly not in this case. Not when it’s hurting so very many American families.

Comments I have heard have amazed me. When i mention how these employees are being treated unfairly and how they’re having trouble paying their bills, I hear “yes it’s a shame, but illegals have taken our jobs away and people can’t find work because of them so we need a wall.” So what about the families who now can’t pay their bills? That question wasn’t answered.

Talking about how wrong it is for these families to do without paychecks and the problems they’re having deciding whether to pay rent or their mortgage, or buy food…”they can take out a loan or get food stamps. They’ll figure it out. We need a wall.”

Then there was, “If you’re so concerned, then help them find a new job, pay their bills, and buy their food. We need a wall to stop drug smuggling, human trafficking, and murderers and rapists from entering the country. We need a wall.”

But many of these employees can’t pay their mortgage or their rent. They’re in danger of losing their home if this continues. “Then the banks should work with them and their landlords forgive their rent til it’s settled and we get our wall. It’s important to our security.”

It doesn’t work that way. Mortgage companies need their money as well, and most landlords aren’t in a position to let the rent go unpaid, because they have mortgages to pay as well. If this continues then their employees could be affected as well. Vicious cycle, isn’t it? But we need that wall!! The heck with everything else!

“The workers can get unemployment. And food stamps. All they have to do is apply. What’s the problem there? We need a wall!” The problem is, they’ll make far less on unemployment than their regular paychecks, and it takes awhile to get food stamps as well. It’ll help some, certainly, but it takes 2-4-6 weeks to get that first check, depending on where they live. What do they do in the meantime? And just remember they have to pay all that back when they finally get paid.

Many of these furloughed and unpaid workers are having to take out loans to survive. Some are interest free. And some are not. Is that fair? Oh, I forgot. “We need that wall! They’ll figure it out.”

Many of these workers are having to choose between food, utility payments, housing, and medicine, some of it life saving insulin. Plus they have health insurance premiums to pay. “Lots of people can’t afford health insurance because of illegal immigrants. They can apply for Medicaid. We have to have our wall!”

I guess the wall is far more important than someone’s insulin, or blood pressure meds, or other drugs people have to take regularly. Is this that “greater good” thing again?

And this is not like being laid off from a job because of an economic downturn. They can’t go out and look for other employment very well, because most employers will assume, and rightly so, that as soon as this shutdown ends, they’ll go back to their other jobs. And finding new employment is not the easiest thing to do, contrary to those who say “stop complaining and just deal with it! That’s life, and that’s too bad. And oh, by the way, we want that wall!”

Our country is in crisis. Our elected officials aren’t negotiating. Each side blames the other, and as of this writing, neither is willing to compromise, which leaves all of these 800,000+ people and their families, plus all of the government contract employees, in a state of limbo, with no financial security at all. They are at the mercy of others who don’t seem to really care about them.

I am greatly concerned for these families, for what this shutdown is doing to them, and how the entire matter is dividing our country so deeply. It has now reached a point of extreme division, often pitting friends and family against each other in a sometimes vicious war of words and name-calling.

I have yet to hear a valid argument as to why it is ok to leave these federal employees in this situation indefinitely. It seems all we are hearing from each side is either “We have to have a wall!” or “We will not fund a wall!” It’s time for BOTH sides to sit down and negotiate an end to this stalemate. These employees do not deserve this treatment by either side.

And to all of you, no matter what side you’re on in this, please try to put yourselves in these people’s places. Actually picture yourselves being there. No income, or worse, working for no paycheck, with a promise to be paid later. Trying to figure out how to meet your expenses, feed your family, afford your medications, and try to keep a roof over your head.

And for those working for no pay, imagine how that feels. No, really imagine it. Don’t the majority of us really need the money we’re paid for the job we do?

How would you feel if you were actually in that situation? No end in sight, and running out of money? Having to try to get loans, beg landlords or mortgage companies to give you a break, and then being told “no”. Then having people tell you it’s all for the greater good, and you’ll get by somehow.

I’m sorry, but this is a real human crisis we’re facing right now. Where is the compassion we’re supposed to have for others? I’m not seeing it here. And until we stop being on one side or the other, no one is going to win. We’re spending too much time criticizing the “other side” and not enough time trying to solve the problem. Yes, I want illegal immigration stopped, but not at so many peoples’ expense who have no say in the matter. Enforce the laws we have, add more border guards, but for everyone’s sake, stop this shutdown madness.

Our federal employees are caught in limbo, and it’s going to start affecting a lot more people if it continues.

They deserve better. Don’t you agree?

For once let’s put politics aside and do what’s right for everyone concerned.

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