"Let's just agree to disagree because clearly we're getting nowhere." It was the end of a long series of text messages that I was exchanging with one of my best friends. I had known him since we were babies, but at that moment it felt like I didn't know him at all. We had gotten into a political debate while texting over Snapchat. He is a Trump supporter. I am not.
As the government shutdown comes to a close, I can't help but relate to the Congressional members who are standing their ground. They are all standing up for what they believe is right. Their determination reminds me of the argument I had with my best friend. We were both so stubborn. Unwilling to concede any point, we charged ahead—flexing our knowledge on various political issues. We started the argument in the hopes that we might be able to sway each other's viewpoints. In this respect, we failed.
Congress hasn't done much better. The government shutdown started on December 22, 2018 when President Trump did not receive funding for the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall—a promise he made during his 2016 campaign. Since then, over 800,000 federal employees haven't received paychecks and have taken to the streets to protest the shutdown. The economy in the United States also loses $2 billion every day the government is shutdown. That means our economy lost $70 billion from this shutdown alone.
Was it all worth it? On January 25, 2019 Congress reopened the government, passing a bill that would allow certain parts of the government to reopen. However, this bill did not include funding for President Trump's long sought after border wall. Was the standoff worth it?
It is understandable that people are demanding answers. But this about so much more than a wall. It is about standing up for what's right. It is about making sure that immigrants are recognized and treated as human beings. But at the end of the day, it's up to you to decide whether or not human rights are worth the sacrifice.