The Government Shutdown Began November 8, 2016

Let’s face it: it’s not the Trump Shutdown, it’s the People’s Shutdown.

The 62 million people who decided to turn the United States into a shithole country by electing Donald Trump fourteen months ago deserve the blame for the disorder and chaos in the District of Columbia. There is no logic or basis to the nonsense that officially began at midnight on January 20, 2018…but there was no logic or basis to the nonsense that was the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Think about the argument that those who voted for Trump wanted to “shake things up in Washington.” The problems affecting Washington could not be solved by “shaking things up”; those problems were caused mainly by right-wing hyperpartisanship and big money in politics, and voting for Trump would not have done a damn thing to remedy either problem. Those who claimed to have voted for Trump because he would “shake things up” actually did so because they wanted him to prevent the government from providing any assistance or fair treatment whatsoever to people they consider “undesirables.”

They’re loving this shutdown, because they figure that a profoundly dysfunctional federal government is preferable to a federal government that’s providing “handouts,” “welfare,” “food stamps,” “Obamaphones,” etc.

Their hatred–their fear and loathing for anyone not like them–is responsible for this government shutdown. If they had their way, armed Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents would smash into the homes of every DACA beneficiary and force those beneficiaries to get on the first plane back to their countries of origin. If they had their way, every woman who marched this weekend would be denied equal pay for equal work, the right to control their own bodies and possibly even the right to vote. If they had their way, the bill that made Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a federal holiday would have been repealed long ago–even though their previous hero, Ronald Reagan, signed that bill into law.

Will the folks who supported this man and this party ever express regret or remorse for their actions? Well, at least one person has:

A young Republican activist from Northern Virginia who was seen as a potential rising star quit the party Tuesday, citing President Trump’s “appalling comments” about Haitian immigrants and what he called a nativist streak in his home state.

Kyle McDaniel, 28, served on the party’s State Central Committee for two years and has worked as a top aide for Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield), who said he had hoped McDaniel would eventually run for public office.

But McDaniel said he harbored increasing reservations over where the party has been heading. On Tuesday, he sent a letter of resignation to State Party Chairman John Whitbeck that described events he “could no longer stomach,” including Trump’s reported reference last week to Haiti as a “shithole” country and the defense by some party leaders of this summer’s rally by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville that led to the death of a 32-year-old woman…

“I have, on more occasions than I care to recall, been forced to ‘bite my tongue’ when in conversation with other party leaders about the issues of the day,” wrote McDaniel, who has gone to Haiti as a relief worker with his church and said he and his wife, Katie, have considered adopting a Haitian child. “I cannot in good faith continue to do that.”

Although McDaniel is not a marquee name in the state party’s leadership, the news of his departure touched a nerve among some officials, who said they worry that Trump is causing deep fissures in the party, especially among younger Republicans. In Northern Virginia in particular, anti-Trump sentiments run high, helping to fuel a wave of Democratic victories in November.

Not everyone smartens up–or gets disgusted–at the same time. Better late than never for Mr. McDaniel, I say…but what about the rest of the folks who continue to align themselves with this morally diseased president and party?

In a recent New York Times interview, legendary novelist Philip Roth–who once declared that former President George W. Bush was “a man unfit to run a hardware store let alone a nation like this one” (a description that is also quite accurate with regard to Trump)–proclaimed that the 45th president is “a massive fraud, the evil sum of his deficiencies, devoid of everything but the hollow ideology of a megalomaniac.” Those who voted for him knew that, but they didn’t care. They’re responsible for the madness we have now. Like an arms dealer who eagerly sells weapons to a tyrant, those voters gave Trump the ammunition he needed to shoot down our democracy.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.