“But! Obama shut down the government for seventeen days!”
“YAS bitch! For HEALTHCARE!”
This quote from record breaking rapper Cardi B really resonated with me this morning: what happened to the moral integrity of American Republicans, for Christ’s sake? (Literally, in most cases, for Christ’s sake.) Republicans have – in my lifetime – branded themselves as the “working class” party. They’re supposedly the Christian party, the Supports The Military Party, and not elitist because their president doesn’t read books. Once you even glance at almost any Republican’s platform you’ll see this is nonsense. A fact my mother was quick to point out during Obama’s second run for office when she said, “when I was a kid in Kentucky with family in the coal mines and Dad working at the oil refinery, everybody was a Democrat because Democrats protected worker’s rights.” Good on you Pa because, accurate.
So, what the hell guys? You’re going to support millions of people being forced by the government to work without pay? Isn’t that, dare I say it, communism? I am so aghast and disgusted and disappointed in any person in America who supports the idea that other Americans should be forced to work without pay, with the fear of loosing their jobs if they don’t show up for work. Being paid for your labor is a basic human right. I mean, I guess I haven’t read John Locke in a while but, I don’t have to be an elitist liberal to know that people should be paid to go to work!
And for what? For a literal wall to keep people out of the country. A wall that is physically built on our border like the year is 1209 and the Huns are coming and this is the Disney animated film Mulan and we’re the Chinese. I’m not even talking about the ethical implications of said wall, which are indeed vast. I want to know genuinely from like, I don’t know, the Republican down the street: do you honestly not know about airplanes? What about boats? Have you heard about boats? Because let me tell you, both airplanes and boats are great, although both will be frustrating and dangerous right now what with the government shut down.
Back before I knew how bad it was going to get, before Donald Trump won the presidency, before Britain completely lost it, back when Justin Trudeau was still new and beautiful, I wrote a post called: Republicans Are People Too. I sit here, huddled against the cold, and I look at the date of that post, July 2016. I must have really thought Hilary was going to win. Well, she didn’t. Racism and xenophobia and hate won and now we’re here with this impending environmental and humanitarian and economical disaster of a border wall and zero people are surprised about it.
What I am surprised about is the lack of human compassion and dignity that Republicans are willing to show toward other human beings. (Also, though, the loss of logic because see: airplanes, boats.) You probably didn’t make it this far, but If this essay made you uncomfortable because it feels like I’m talking to you please ask yourself sincerely, why is it okay for the government to force people to work without pay? Is it because most of the employees – like TSA agents – are Black or Hispanic or poor already? Is it because your job is okay because you don’t work for the government? Is it because they deserve to be punished?
Something I learned growing up Lutheran is that we don’t inherently deserve anything we have; it is a gift and a blessing from God. You learn that we’re all born sinners and no one individual deserves God’s love more than another. See: prostitutes and feet washing. You can debate theology amongst yourselves but this resonates far beyond Christendom and most world religions into our basic fundamental beliefs about human rights.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.The Declaration of Independence, from a Government Website, which is not currently being updated or monitored because of the government shutdown.