By Robert A. Vella

Although the history of government shutdowns is very long in America, the current dynamics where Republicans attempt to use it as a weapon to force Democrats to acquiesce to their ideological demands is very recent (see:  Shutdowns Are ‘All Games of Chicken.’ Here’s How They’ve Evolved.).  This ploy emerged in the 1990s under Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich who led a political movement which was antithetical to democratic governance.  Let’s be clear, these ideologues are hostile to the very idea that a democratically elected government is empowered to enact the will of the people.  That means they oppose federal regulations such as environmental protections and labor laws, social programs to ease poverty and improve public health, involvement in the education of children, taxation, and a whole host of other roles which are philosophically progressive.  By 2016, this movement had also openly embraced xenophobic racism and it rallied behind the aggressive banner of Donald Trump.

Because Democrats and Independents are supportive of democratic governance, the shutdown ploy can only be effectively used by that faction of the Republican Party.

So, that is primarily what’s driving President Trump’s determination to shutdown the federal government.  His border wall demand is simply a metaphor for his political base.  Still, there’s more to Trump’s megalomania and it’s all about his insatiable yet fragile ego as well as his vain efforts to protect himself from criminal investigation and impeachment.

During a contentious meeting on Wednesday, Trump reportedly told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that he would “look foolish” if he reopened the government while the border wall funding was being negotiated.  Obviously, Trump’s ego and political image are more important to him than the well-being of the country.  However, the longer this shutdown lasts the more pain will be felt by the American people and the more angry they will become.  In the coming weeks, food stamp assistance will be cutoff, income tax refunds won’t be dispersed, and three-quarters of a million federal employees won’t have any income.  And, that’s just the beginning of the pain.

But, Trump’s motives aren’t limited to ego.  White House aides reportedly believe that the government shutdown will distract the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives from investigating his administration, and that it might also impede federal criminal investigations of Trump associates and his family including the investigations under Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Further reading:

Trump threatens years-long shutdown for his wall as GOP support begins to fracture

Fact check: What’s a ‘national emergency,’ and can Trump declare one to get his wall?

25 thoughts on “What’s driving Trump’s megalomania to shutdown the government over a border wall

  1. Ego…a desire to be powerful

    Wanting to have his way, so his base gets fed and he must feed them to keep their support.

    Steel companies, concrete companies, engineering companies and other contractors etc. that will make much money from this as will any stockholders or owners of these companies… a little inside trading perhaps.

    Racism and an empty cold heart

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Once this is over, all that’s left is Mueller and investigations for this shit bag. This is his last hurrah to distract bigly from his crimes being in full focus. I hate this asshole SO much I shake–all over, all the time. I kinda look like fat Elvis on steroids without the sun glasses.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. This was on another blog from the NYT. Excellent article and the comments are superb…such intelligent and thoughtful people. I hope you can access it, as I only have limited numbers of articles. The comments alone are worth the read.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, that’s a good one. Thanks, Mary. These two paragraphs stood out for me:

      The unrelenting chaos that Trump creates can sometimes obscure the big picture. But the big picture is simple: The United States has never had a president as demonstrably unfit for the office as Trump. And it’s becoming clear that 2019 is likely to be dominated by a single question: What are we going to do about it?
      Since the midterm election showed the political costs that Trump inflicts on Republicans, this criticism seems to be growing. They have broken with him on foreign policy (in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Syria) and are anxious about the government shutdown. Trump is vulnerable to any erosion in his already weak approval rating, be it from an economic downturn, more Russia revelations or simply the defection of a few key allies. When support for an unpopular leader starts to crack, it can crumble.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Excellent article by David Leonhardt, Mary. Well worth the read. Thanks for sharing. Here is a key excerpt:

      “Whether the House of Representatives, under Democratic control, impeaches Trump is not the big question. The question is whether he loses the support of a meaningful slice of Republicans…

      They know. They know he is unfit for office. They do not need to be persuaded of the truth. They need to be persuaded to act on it.”

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Pingback: Bombshell aftermath, new poll on Gov. Shutdown, Sandy Hook court ruling, Trump attacks on Healthcare | The Secular Jurist

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