The government shutdown can’t be justified by citing the obvious needs of border security. Border security is a necessity but why pursue it by endangering the safety of Alaskans and the rest of the nation?
Immediate and daily threats to public safety are posed by forcing the Transportation Security Administration, Coast Guard, Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers and other key public safety occupations to work without pay. Although many in these occupations are working regularly without pay, it is unconscionable and imprudent to send those who provide public safety into harm’s way potentially demoralized by the added stresses of worrying about creditors and their family’s basic needs going unmet.
Shutting the government down for any length of time displays contempt for those in federal service and a lack of respect for the value of the goods and the critical nature of the services they provide for the state and the nation. President Donald Trump has many other options to achieve border security without resorting to the self-defeating and self-destructive option of a government shutdown. Trump and his supporters on the shutdown will not be remembered as champions of national security — they have marked themselves as willing to damage our government and endanger Alaska and the nation in their attempt to secure a narrow, controversial political objective.
Will the future be scarred by more lengthy shutdowns as Trump continues to go outside the constitutionally established legislative process to deliver campaign promises made to a minority of the electorate?
• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.