Actions speak louder than words. And the president’s actions on Wednesday as he ditched a meeting meant to help end the government shutdown spoke volumes.
President Donald Trump walked out of a meeting with Democratic Party leaders Wednesday afternoon after he posed to them a single question, according to reporting from CNN.
The president asked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) whether she would agree to fund a border wall on the southern U.S. border or not. Trump has said he won’t sign any government funding bill without the border wall included.
When Pelosi told him no, Trump stood up, said “bye bye,” and left. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) called the president’s actions a “temper tantrum.”
Trump himself, in a tweet he wrote after the incident, called the meeting a “total waste of time.”
Whatever you want to call it, the whole ordeal (and how Trump behaved during it) demonstrates the president’s lack of regard for the American people.
Families across the country are hurting from the effects of the shutdown. As NPR reported late in December, more than 800,000 government workers aren’t getting paid as a result of Trump’s stubbornness.
Those families face dire situations, as many of them have to pay rent, mortgages, and other bills, not to mention groceries and other necessary expenses.
But it’s not just government workers who are struggling. National parks are not staffed, and trash is accumulating in our nation’s most pristine wildlife areas. Reporting from CNBC notes that food stamp recipients may be in trouble if the shutdown lasts past February, as Trump has promised it will if he doesn’t get the wall. And the Food and Drug Administration has furloughed inspectors who look over the nation’s food supply, putting us all at a great health risk as a result, the Washington Post reported.
Furloughed workers also present a greater impact on our national economy than people give them credit for. As workers are unable to buy goods and services, the effects trickle to the private sector. Demand for those goods and services go down, and because of that, it could negatively impact the need for employers to hire or even keep on workers in some markets.
When Trump storms out of a meeting that was set up to end the shutdown, what he’s really doing is storming out on the American people who want the shutdown to end. Their livelihoods depend on it — but the president doesn’t show that he cares about these people, in his actions nor in his words, when he calls such meetings a “waste of time.”
The American people have suffered long enough. They do not deserve to feel more pain as a result of this crisis. The president needs to grow up, and do what’s right: agree to negotiate an end to the government shutdown.