Gary Horton | Border Wall Shutdown Is a Bad Gift for Christmas

“All I want for Christmas is my border wall

Is my border wall

Just my border wall

Gee, if I could only have

My border wall

Then I could wish you Merry Christmas!”

— Donald Trump

It seems childish and simple, doesn’t it? Just days before the most beloved holiday in the United States, President Trump decides to ruin the long-awaited moment for a million government workers and tens of millions of Americans dependent on what these workers do for the public.

A government shutdown. The very thing Trump once accused Obama for, as a failure of his leadership. This time, right in front of all America, Trump announced, “I’m proud to shut the government down. I’ll take the mantle of shutting it down.”

What we’re being subjected to is little more than a chest-bumping match between our ego-sensitive baby-president and resistant Republican and Democratic senators double-dog-daring each other over funding for said baby-president’s infamous border wall. Or his steel slat fence. Or just about anything vertical Trump can define as a “wall” and declare “victory” to his wall-panting base, assuring them he’s kept them safe from the raping, murderous, drug-dealing hordes of brown people from overwhelming our white homeland. Norwegians and white people like them, Trump tells us, are welcome…

Meanwhile, during this holiday season of joy to the world and love for all – our government has been willfully, purposefully, and destructively – shut down by a person no less than the president of the United States. What other country on Earth would see their president, or prime minister, or even dictator, willfully wreck the function of their own government? This is indeed madness.

And it’s been a mad week. Perhaps the maddest week of all Trump-era mad weeks. Just when it seems one week can’t possibly be crazier or more reckless than the week before, comes last week. God help us for the next ones coming up…

Trump’s poorly qualified servant, Steven Mnuchin, made the crazy and unprompted move of assuring American banks have sufficient liquidity – adding fuel to this Trump theater fire, sending terrified investors to the exits before the whole damn building caves in.

As I write this column the Dow Jones is down 650 points just this morning. The ticker tape reads at 21,792. We’re now down over 5,000 points from the Trump tax giveaway goosed-up high of 26,840. Bear territory. Fear on the street. The Trump voodoo economics of freebie mega-cash giveaways to the hyper-rich has now run its course and the inevitable real economic world is crashing in on us. And on our 401ks. And our well-being.

And if government shut-downs and stock melt-downs aren’t enough to give you the jitters, Trump Defense Secretary “Mad Dog” Jim Mattis called it quits in a most eloquent and devastating way. Citing Trump’s continuing and inexplicable affection toward the world’s tyrants, Mattis said, “I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours.”

Trump sees it otherwise, and is conceding world leadership to whoever is willing to step in our place. Well-respected Mattis wouldn’t suffer being associated with the destruction of America’s reputation in the world, and publicly stepped aside, avoiding the predictable reputation-debasement that comes from working in Trump’s circle of criminals, grifters and dupes.

So, here’s our Christmas gifts from Trump this year: A wiped-out stock market, a government closed for business, and God-only knows who with any kind of competency is pulling the levers of our national defense.

Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!

Everyone knows the story of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Well, it turns out there’s a sequel — and you and I are unwitting and unwilling characters in the story. Here we are: A bunch of Cindy-Loo-Whos as an orange-haired Grinch steals our well-being and security right out from under our trees.

The real Grinch eventually got a heart and came back around, restoring gifts and goodness to Whoville. This isn’t going to happen with Trump. The best we can hope for is Katie Hill and the rest of the resurgent Democratic Congress to bring Grinch-Trump to heel.

Katie Hill and her incoming class of new representatives might just be that under-appreciated and unrecognized gift we end up appreciating the most.

America is waiting for our second Christmas, Jan. 3. Just 10 more days until we get the ultimate present of this season: Government accountability. Sugar-plums of adult governance dance in our collective heads.

Until then, a bunch of government functions and a ton of government employees are shut down, shut out and fuming over the stupidity of this presidential ego-stunt — all for a wall that will never be built.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. Thankfully, a bright sunny day will surely follow this dark Christmas night.

Gary Horton’s “Full Speed to Port!” has appeared on Wednesdays in The Signal since 2006.

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