Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell must end the shutdown now!

When I taught U.S. History to my sixth graders and we discussed the founding of our country, I’m fairly certain I mentioned to these 12-year-olds that it was a pretty big deal at the time that we decided we would have no king.

We’d have three co-equal branches of government. Legislative to make the laws. Judicial to interpret the laws.  Executive to enforce the laws. It was on the final test. All my elementary students passed it. It’s a test the Senate is failing.

Senate leadership under Mitch McConnell would have us re-teach our students that there are actually only two branches of government left.  Senator McConnell has announced that he will not allow a vote on something as essential as reopening our government without the approval of Donald Trump.

Let that sink in.  The Senate—an independent branch of government whose Constitutional duty is to make laws—has announced that it will stand down and allow Donald Trump to continue to cause national suffering as a way to pressure lawmakers to give him the “win” on a wall that he cannot earn by argument or negotiation. Donald Trump has been given the keys to the U.S. Senate.

He is prolonging this crisis as leverage over members of Congress who are convinced that his wall was never anything more than an irresponsible campaign rally chant; that he never had a plan to keep his promise that Mexico would happily pay for it; and that there is no rational argument to spend billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars on something that does not address the complex issues of immigration. That Donald Trump has no scruples in what he is doing to federal workers and the important services they provide to the public surprises no one.

But the Senate leadership is something else. The votes are there to pass the legislation that will open the government. The Senate passed it once (blindsided by Donald Trump who rejected it after he’d agreed to support it). The House passed it. Senator McConnell is most likely correct that Donald Trump will not sign it. 

But any one of my sixth graders could tell you what happens next. Congress was designed to be a check on a president who thought he’d been elected king. Congress can override a presidential veto.  

It’s time to recognize that Trump is incapable of solving the problem he created. He lost the fight to convince lawmakers to support the billions of dollars he needs to brag to his rallies that he bent Congress to his will. He does not understand good-faith negotiations. Donald Trump is the cause of this shutdown catastrophe. He is not capable of and perhaps has no interest in ending it.

We must look to the Senate now.  The Senate must do its job, pass the legislation that will open our government and be prepared to override Trump’s veto. We have no king, Senator McConnell. Take back the keys you gave Donald Trump. Do not put him in charge of our Senate.  Congress has the power and the responsibility to act.  Do it now.

We must all make our voices heard and tell Congress to reopen the federal government.


10 Responses to “Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell must end the shutdown now!”

  1. Jose Coba

    A one-sided article, at best. It takes two parties, Reps and Dems, to close the government. President Trump is decidedly stubborn in his belief, so Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer should take advantage of the fact instead of being equally stubborn. Give him his wall, but make it expensive. Education can benefit from the concessions agreed in exchange for said wall.

  2. Stacy Manuel

    It’s impossible for the President to negotiate when the democrats won’t even attend the meetings uf your so concerned about the shut down contact your demoncrat LORDS who are truly responsible for this shutdown.

  3. Mike McCann

    I agree with the NEA that Trump is in capable of rational leadership. He is an embarrassment to the Office of President and all of America. We need to remember this in 2020 and not just Trump but those in Congress who are not able to represent our nation.

  4. Mike McCann

    I agree with the NEA that Trump is incapable of rational leadership. He is an embarrassment to the Office of President and all of America. We need to remember this in 2020 and not just Trump but those in Congress who are not able to represent our nation. Act now on behalf of all of America

  5. Denver

    “. . . must end the shutdown now!”

    No they mustn’t. There is nothing the federal government does that effects the day to day operation of primary education, and if there is, we’re doing it wrong.

  6. Michael Quinn

    I have been working with adolescents for 39 years.
    Teaching for 23 years. I left the NEA about 6 years ago. Should never have joined.
    All you care about are teachers paying their dues so you can support the far,FAR left..
    You do NOT speak for this teacher.

  7. Ned Schrems

    Your definition of “co-equal” seems to be “dictated by the Speaker of the House.” The Constitution gives the President Veto Power. Put together a plan that can get a veto-proof majority, and it will become law. Until then, live with the result determined in accordance with the rules defined by the Constitution.

  8. Len Mullen

    Your schools are good at teaching facts, but not so good at teaching analytical thinking. Obviously, you lack analytical skills. Otherwise, you would appreciate that this shutdown is the consequence of having three co-equal branches of government.

    Thank God for Donald Trump. He promised to secure our borders, protect our jobs, and keep us safe. Many have made that promise in the past (though not one of the candidates who ran against him would), but he is the first to KEEP those promises.

    May I recommend The American Pageant to you? You lack an understanding of US history. The American Pageant does not preach history. It guides the student through history via historic documents including The Federalist Papers. If you study these, you will understand that President Trump embodies the values of the Founding Fathers.

    I know you think open borders will create more jobs in your business, but I work in Lynn Massachusetts and know many who teach in that school system. They are very unhappy teaching classes where the kids do not speak english.

    It’s also clear that you are completely disingenuous. It’s not possible for you to be unaware of the video clips of Pelosi, Schumer, and others wringing their hands over illegal immigration and vowing to build a wall. Your students are not stupid. You will have zero credibility with them if you spew this in the classroom.

    As Barak Obama said, Elections Have Consequences. We won. Get over it.

  9. Elaine Truett

    The president is an embarrassment to all teachers. He bullies, lies, steals,call people out their names, rude, obnoxious, how can any teacher support this looney tune. I am so glad that Ihave now retired and just listen to his antics on the t.v.. If I was in the classroom I would not be able to hold my peace!!! And he touches women without their permission. uuuuug

  10. Chip Brown

    Len, very well said. As a teacher in the classroom I am dedicated to correct the failings of past teachings by the education system. The fact this completely insincere and ignorant statement by the President of the nations largest union of educators makes me shiver. The fact that any teacher starts spewing comments about our President and politics makes their position at risk. Shut up or become informed. Teachers root for America!


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