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The Maastricht Diplomat

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Lifting the Shutdown

At the end of this week, after 35 days of a closed down government, the US Shutdown has been lifted, at least, temporarily. The Trump administration decided that if there were to be no consensus on the financing of the big beautiful Wall, it would mean that the only option would be a government shutdown, and what a shutdown it was. 35 days, the longest in the United States’ history.

People were not paid, yet requested to come to work, and foodbanks were set up for those that were affected by it. The question is: was it worth it? Considering it wasn’t the first time in history the government shut down – Obama did it as well – it is a tactic that has worked in the past, and Trump decided he would use that tried and trusted tactic to build the wall he promised in 2016. Make no mistake, the only reason the government shut down, is because of a promise Trump made and cannot get away from. It was a central point in his rallies, it was the meme that may have played a role in getting him into office. The wall, and the Mexicans were going to pay for it. That of course never happened, as international politics do not work on a coercive basis, but the wall; it needs to happen.

A citizen initiative was set up in December last year on Gofundme, to raise 1 billion dollars for the start of the wall, and people actually, at the time of writing have donated 20 million dollars. A not so minor feat. Of course, in classic internet fashion, a counter Gofundme was set up, to sponsor ladders that the Mexicans could use to get over the wall, but that campaign did not go as well. So, said Wall. I personally believe we need to control our borders, there is a need to defend a sovereign state from those that try to enter illegally. I do not agree with the idea that a wall which is a 4th century solution to a 21st century problem. It may be very effective indeed, but perhaps not as wise of an investment as foreign aid or further strengthening border patrol. However, Trump said he would build a big, beautiful wall, and a big, beautiful wall it will be.

The only problem he has at the moment is that the Democrats run the House of Representatives, and they are not a fan of the wall. So, both Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House and the President are bullying each other like little children while the world is watching. She blocks him from holding the annual State of the Union and he upholds his Shutdown. It’s a power dynamic and both sides either seem to be winners or losers and with the temporary lifting of the Shutdown, no one has won either. Trump will want that wall, no matter the cost, so when these three weeks are over, the chance a new shutdown happens is quite big. All in all, the world is as crazy as always, people act like little children on the world stage and in a few years from now you may see two walls from space.

In other news, an egg. Yes, an egg. We all couldn’t have foreseen that an egg would be the king of Instagram, but it did. It surpassed Kylie Jenner with the most liked photo, raking in 18,4 million likes. The internet is a weird yet exciting place, where the most random things can become the next memes and thus news; we pride ourselves to be on top of all major news items of course.


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