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Op/Ed: Shutdown - Give the President What He Wants with a Caveat

JD Lock, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Retired), 18 January 2019


A reasonable compromise to lead us out of this childish quagmire of a government shutdown.  Congress should include $5.7B in the proposed budget, per the president’s demand, but as funding for ‘border security,’ which is the one common denominator both sides can agree on.  Included with the funding is the proviso that HOW the funding is to be allocated is to be determined by a non-government, non-partisan, non-profit committee TBD.  Each side, Republican and Democrat, would have an opportunity to present their case as to how the funding should best be allocated.  The committee’s recommendations would be final.

What better, American way, to resolve a standoff than by each side publicly presenting its case before an independent and objective board whose decision is final?  It’s a solution that not only allows both sides to save face, but also provides democratic civility.  To be or not to be; wall or no wall.  The case should be made on the strength or weakness of one’s arguments, not on the paychecks of government workers and contractors used as powerless pawns.

President Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”  President Trump’s mantra is to ‘Make America Great Again.’  Agree or disagree with the mantra, this shutdown does not make us great nor is it government ‘for the people.  Our national leaders need to do their work which will allow America to do its work.

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