Finally, the 35 day national nightmare caused by the incompetent selfish man whom the Republican Party and Vladimir Putin helped elect to the Office of the Presidency is over. The initial estimate is that the economic cost was 6 billion dollars. And what did the Trump shutdown accomplish? Absolutely nothing, but pain and suffering to over one million federal workers and contractors as well as the disruption of vital government services to the American people. Dedicated public servants, who, unlike the incompetent bankruptcy-king businessman the Republican Party helped elect, understand what service to their country means, were forced to go to foodbanks to feed themselves and their families. Right here in Philadelphia, federal workers were forced to go to Philabundance distribution points under Route 95 to get food normally reserved for the poor and homeless. Brave Coast Guard defenders of our nation had to worry about finding money for their rent, food, and medicine for sick family members while they were forced to work for the defense of our country for no pay. And this all occurred because of the ignorance and petulance of the man-child Republicans elected to the White House.

I don’t want to hear blame-deflecting words from now embarrassed Republicans that “both sides” caused this shutdown. Go to the videotape to learn why this Trump shutdown was indeed caused by the man who does not understand our constitution and the powers that the legislative branch has.

““I am proud to shut down the government for border security,” Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. “ So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it.””

If he did understand the power a true leader of the House of Representatives has, he never would have embarked on such a course so devastating to the American people and our country simply to get funds for an applause line from his campaign rallies. It took 35 days and immeasurable pain to Americans, our economy and to the reputation of our democracy for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to teach him a lesson that any intelligent high school civics student should know: the President of the United States is not a king or dictator.

So after inflicting all this pain on America for 35 long days, he is exactly where he started 35 long days ago. The government is open and there is no funding for his unachievable promise to build “something” that was supposed to be paid for by Mexico.

Thank goodness Nancy Pelosi, a truly competent experienced leader, was elected to be the Speaker of the House. Unlike Paul Ryan, who lacked the courage and wisdom to stand up to the president’s childish ignorant narcissistic demands, and hence left office with the United States Government shut down and in shambles, she has restored and reopened our government through her steely resolve. I hope the American people will understand now who the true leaders are in this government who care first, not about themselves or their Party or fact-free campaign slogans, but about the health and welfare of our country and the millions of public servants who toil tirelessly to make it function.

Please. No more self-inflicted attacks from the Republican Party on our country, attacks in which our adversaries in the Kremlin no doubt delight. Let’s hope our great United States government is never shut down again.

Steve Cickay, Newtown

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