As the longest government shutdown in the history of the U.S. drags on for the 24th day, hundreds of thousands of federal workers in the U.S. are furloughed, or are working without pay. These workers do critical things like check if airplanes are safe, inspect power plants and critical infrastructure, and ensure our food won’t make us sick.
It’s revolting. As he fights for his border wall, Trump is using federal workers, refugees, and our health and safety, as political pawns.
And behind the racism and xenophobia on full display by Trump and his supporters lurks another deadly agenda.
Since the 1980s, corporate billionaires, namely the Koch brothers, and conservative think-tanks have engineered a political climate that makes possible a wholesale corporate takeover of our government. They have swung public opinion toward deep distrust of government and positioned the private sector as best fit to serve the (paying) public’s need.
Trump’s atrocious shutdown plays right into this agenda: Undermine the effectiveness of the government, then use it as an excuse to gut public services. And watch as corporations like Nestlé attempt to position themselves as the solution.
Trump’s dog-whistle politics and his normalization of racism and xenophobia are having real and devastating effects on people’s lives — people in the U.S., and people attempting to seek refuge here.
And while the decades-long assault on our government and democracy impacts everyone, the dismantling of any semblance of a social safety net and the starving of public programs disproportionately affect certain people, including communities of color and low income communities. This serves the racist ideologies that have always gone hand in glove with the structures of corporate power.
Enough is enough! It’s time to demand an end to this absurd government shutdown. Add your name now.
There’s major work to be done to transform this broken system. We can do it by organizing together, raising our voices, and taking action. Today, we must start with getting the government back up and running to provide critical services — and getting people back to work.